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Case Project 6-4: Jumbo Frame Support

Something to consider is that there are many types of IEEE 802 frames, but there is only one type of wireless frame. With 802.3 Ethernet frames, once chosen by the network administrator, the same frame type is used to send all data across the wire just as with wireless. Wireless frames are all configured with same overall frame format. 802.3 Ethernet has a maximum frame size of 1518 bytes before fragmentation is required by the standard, but can be increased up to 9000 bytes (known as Jumbo Frames). Frames larger than 1518 bytes are normally fragmented to comply with the current standard. Wireless LAN frames have a maximum frame size of 2346 bytes before the 802.11 standard requires fragmentation. However, wireless frames are generally fragmented at 1518 bytes by the Access Point due to data traversing between wired Ethernet (802.3) and wireless (802.11) media. Sending data in jumbo frames means fewer frames are sent across the network. This generates improvements in CPU cycles and bandwidth. A single 9k jumbo frame replaces six 1.5k standard frames, producing a net reduction of five frames, with fewer CPU cycles consumed end to end. Further, only one TCP/IP header and Ethernet header is required instead of six, resulting in 290 fewer bytes transmitted over the network. It takes over 80,000 standard Ethernet frames per second to fill a gigabit Ethernet pipe, consuming a lot of CPU cycles and overhead. Sending the same data with 9k jumbo frames, only 14,000 frames need to be generated, with the reduction in header bytes freeing up 4 Mbps of bandwidth. The pros of Jumbo Frames: Larger MTUs allow greater efficiency in data transmission since each frame carries More user data (payload or MTU) while protocol overhead and underlying per-packet delay remain fixed. There are many applications that can benefit from the use of Jumbo frames such as, but not limited to, the following: Server Clustering Server Backups (larger MTUs permit faster backups) High Speed Supercomputer Interconnect (for data transfer, not messaging) Network File Server (NFS) Protocol (9000 byte MTU to carry an 8192 NFS data block) iSCSI SANs (9000 bytes to reduce the effect of TCP frame overhead) FCoE SANs (2500 bytes to enclose an FC frame of 2000 bytes)

The Cons of Jumbo Frames: Larger frames consume more Ethernet link transmission time, causing greater delays for those packets that follow and thus increasing lag time and latency. This could have a negative consequence for applications that require low latency and consist of smaller packet sizes such as Voice over IP or InterProcess Communication (IPC). Increased Latency Switch Inefficiencies Operating System, Network Stack and Driver Inefficiencies Jumbo Frame Discovery is required

The usage of Jumbo Frames should be used in devices that are equivalent power and operability with the other. A wireless card should be in the same standard level as the AP, Router and so on.