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2012 IEEE Symposium on Wireless Technology and Applications (ISWTA), September 23-26, 2012, Bandung, Indonesia

The Effect of QoS Implementation in MPLS Network


Anuar Zamani Othman, Ruhani Ab Rahman, Md Mahfudz Md Zan, Mat Ikram Yusof
Faculty of Electrical Engineering
Universiti Teknologi MARA
Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
anzam@tm.com.my, ruhani.fke@gmail.com, mdmahfudz@gmail.com, dr.mat@salam.uitm.edu.my
connected to the MPLS network via a dedicated leased lines or
Metro-Ethernet to the nearest exchange, and exchanging
routing by either static routing or dynamic routing ranging
from MP-BGP, EIGRP, OSPF or RIP [4]. Since MPLS makes
the private network transparent from the other customer, the
routing from the CE at the Headquarter can be distributed
seamlessly to the other branches similar to the dedicated
private network. This enables the branch-to-branch
communication without worrying to do the conversion or
introduce network address translation (NAT) environment,
since all the IP addresses is private and dedicated to the
customer itself. The selection of MPLS VPN for this research
is to emulate the most popular VPN product in Malaysias
market, and investigate the effect of QoS in the MPLS network
as well as from the customers perspective.

Abstract This paper presents the implementation of Quality of


Service (QoS) based on the Class Based QoS IP Precedence in
MPLS network. Most of the Internet Service Providers (ISP)
need to use QoS since customers nowadays requires more
bandwidth to support their network applications. ISP test lab has
been used to implement QoS in MPLS network. Results obtained
can be used by ISPs and Network Administrators in
implementing the QoS and can be enhanced further with other
type of queuing mechanism.
Keywords- Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), Virtual
Private Network (VPN), Quality of Service (QoS), Border Gateway
Protocol (BGP) routing, Class-based Queuing.

I.

INTRODUCTION

Most of the ISP implement high speed network with varies


types of local access. Most Malaysian subscribers choose
network services based on the optimal value of bandwidth
requirement without fully considering users demand for higher
bandwidth. QoS implementation in the network can help IT
Administrators manage their traffic by prioritizing the network
traffic. QoS is another method used to save cost rather than
using a specific bandwidth management tool.

B.

IP Precedence and Type of Service (TOS)


IP Precedence and the TOS field were first introduced in
IETF RFC 791 (September 1981). The TOS field format in an
IP datagram header is shown in Figure 1. The notion of
precedence was defined broadly in [5] as an independent
measure of the importance of a datagram and the intended use
of the Network Control precedence designation is within a
network only. Precedence can take one of eight values from 0
("normal" priority) to 7 ("highest" priority). The actual use and
control of that designation is up to each network.

Quality of service (QoS) is defined in [1] as the capability


to provide resource assurance and service differentiation in a
network. Users that combine real-time applications, which
have a limited tolerance for network latency and packet loss
such as voice and video, need to have an IPv4 that is able to
handle QoS. Such IPv4 network takes into consideration the
following aspects such as delay, throughput and packet drop
with enhanced methods such as Weighted Fair Queuing
(WFQ), Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP), and Class
Based Weighted Fair Queuing (CBWFQ).

The ToS field provides an indication for the QoS required


for this datagram. It is used in selecting the appropriate service
parameters at network elements. The main choice is a threeway tradeoff between low delay, high reliability, and high
throughput. Bit 3 is used for delay (D) specification. D=0
indicates normal delay, and D=1 indicates low delay. Bit 4
is used for throughput (T). T=0 indicates normal throughput,
and T=1 indicates high throughput. Bit 5 is used for
reliability (R). R=0 indicates normal reliability, and R=1
indicates high reliability. Bits 67 are reserved for future use
(FU).

A. Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) VPN


MPLS [2] is an advanced forwarding scheme that works
between layer 2 (link layer) and layer 3 (network layer). Most
of the worldwide ISP is using MPLS VPN to create a
customers dedicated private network environment because of
its cost effectiveness and scalability [3]. In this research, the
MPLS used is the Layer 3 MPLS VPN in the Internet Service
Provider Telekom Malaysia (TM), which has a dedicated core
network called IPVPN and running on BGP routing protocol.
A Layer 3 MPLS VPN uses VRFs (Virtual Route Forwarding)
in isolating one customer from another, ATM Based networks,
or IPsec-based VPNs. The customers edge router (CE) is

978-1-4673-2210-2/12/$31.00 2012 Crown

Figure 1.

TOS field in IP datagram.

ToS is simple, and considered to be the first support of QoS


on IP Networks. Many of the router vendors support ToS and
IP Precedence, and utilise its features as a first aid solution for

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2012 IEEE Symposium on Wireless Technology and Applications (ISWTA), September 23-26, 2012, Bandung, Indonesia

QoS and also other value-added services [3]. TM is using IP


Precedence and ToS to provide QoS to its customers due to its
simplicity and ease of product development and packaging.
TM offers its customers four types of IPVPN packages which
are categorized as Multimedia, Mission Critical, Standard Data
and Economy Data. Each of the data type is assigned an IP
Precedence value which the MPLS process will handle
accordingly based on the packet tagged with the specific IP
Precedence upon entering the network.
C. Class-based Queuing (CBQ)
CBQ is a class of link-sharing scheduling algorithms that
enables a hierarchical division of bandwidth among various
classes of traffic for a particular link in times of congestion
such as in Fig. 2 [3].
LINK

50%

40%

Agency
A

10%
Real
Time

10%

20%

10%

Telnet

FTP

15%
Conn.
1

Conn.
n

Figure 2.

10%

Agency
B

Real
Time

IP

5%
Telnet

Apps

Agency
C

3%
Real
Time

2%
Telnet

Figure 3. Flowchart of the research.


5%

B. Experimental Test Lab Setup


In this research, real network devices were used for the
experiments. The network devices were connected to the ISP
MPLS IPVPN where one site represents the headquarter and
the other site the branch office. The experimental set up is as
shown in Figure 4 and details of the setup are shown in Table
1.

FTP

0%
FTP

Hierarchical link sharing structure [3].

These algorithms create a sharing tree for all classes to be


supported for a link. Both interior and leaf classes should
receive its allocated link-sharing bandwidth over a specified
time interval. Moreover, any excess bandwidth in the link
should be distributed among the classes according to a sharing
policy. A link-sharing structure may mark classes as exempt,
bounded, or isolated. An exempt class is allowed to have 100%
of the total link bandwidth. However, the scheduler and
admissions control schemes ensure that the traffic from this
class is within the limits of the link sharing goals. A bounded
class is not allowed to borrow any excess bandwidth from any
of its parent classes in the sharing tree, whereas an isolated
class does not allow classes from a different branch to borrow
its unused bandwidth and does not borrow from other classes
[3].
Figure 4. Experimental Test Lab setup.

II.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Two MPLS PEs, Brickfield and Jalan Raja Chulan, were


used for the experimental setup. The router at HQ and the four
PCs are connected to a layer 2 switch. The PCs installed with
J-Perf Packet Generator from HQ will produce the source
traffic based on class as per Table II. CE HQ is connected to
the TM MPLS IPVPN node at Brickfield using a 2Mbps leased
line. Static routing was used between CE and PE, and BGP
routing protocol was used between PE Brickfield and PE Jalan
Raja Chulan. CE Branch router was connected to the PE Jalan
Raja Chulan using a 2Mbps leased line. PC E was used as the

A. Scope of Work
In evaluating the performance of the effectiveness of QoS
in the MPLS network, there are researcher using the approach
of simulations, [11][14] and some using the network lab setup.
In this research, we used the production ISP MPLS network,
and dedicated leased lines. The flow of the research is as
shown in Figure 3.

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2012 IEEE Symposium on Wireless Technology and Applications (ISWTA), September 23-26, 2012, Bandung, Indonesia

destination host and connected directly to the CE Branch


router.
TABLE I.

CE Router, the IP Precedence of the packets will be inspected


and will be queued according to the class of service. The
packets will then be delivered to the CE Branch and finally to
the destination host. This process is shown in Figure 5.

DETAILS OF LAB SETUP.

Traffic generation

Equipment/Application/Link

Quantity

PCs at HQ to generate traffic


PC at Branch to receive traffic from HQ
HQ Router Juniper SSG
Branch Router Juniper SSG
ISP Router in TM IPVPN Brickfield and
Jln Raja Chulan
2Mbps Leased line with 31 timeslots
J-Perf Traffic Generator/Monitoring

4
1
1
1
2

QoS marking

QoS classification

2
5

Exceed
guaranteed
bandwidth?

Each PC at HQ will generate four types of traffic


representing four classes of service; Multimedia, Mission
Critical, Standard and Economy. This is emulated by using
different port numbers to emulate the different types of
application. Thus the class of service can be distinguished by
applying different type of service matching to the application
port.
TABLE II.

A
B

5001

C
D

5002
5006

PC

IP
Precede
nce

Type of
Service
Multimedia
(mmd)
Mission
Critical (mcr)
Standard (std)
Economy
(econ)

Econ class?

600kbps

600kbps

2
1

400kbps
Not set

Exceed leased
line bandwidth?

Yes

No
Pass traffic to branch

Drop

Figure 5. The traffic flow

III.

RESULT AND DISCUSSION

A. Before implementing QoS.


An initial series of tests was conducted without
implementing the class based QoS which will serve as a
reference for later tests. First, a series of packets is generated
and injected into the network until the data rate approached the
maximum capacity for the 2 Mbps line. After that other
miscellaneous traffic is injected into the network and it affected
the throughput of the MMD, MCR, STD and ECON traffic as
shown in Figure 6, Figure 7, Figure 8 and Figure 9
respectively. Throughout this period, the branch router
continuously received total aggregated traffic close to full
capacity of 2 Mbps as shown in Figure 10.

The CE router is a Juniper SSG router with Screen OS. In


Juniper SSG routers, Priority is mapped to the IP Precedence.
The mapping between Priority and IP Precedence is shown in
Table III. The router was configured with class-based QoS
according to the traffic bandwidth allocation shown in Table II.
TABLE III.

Yes

No

Traffic
Allocation

Relegate to Econ
class

No

PC WITH DIFFERENT TYPE OF APPLICATIONS

Generating
Traffic with
Application
Port
5000

Yes

JUNIPER SSG PRIORITY TO IP PRECEDENCE MAPPING

IP Precedence
Priority

7
0

6
1

5
2

4
3

3
4

2
5

1
6

0
7

The HQ PCs will generate traffic destined for the Branch


PC. When any packet arrived at the CE Router, the traffic will
be inspected and matched according to the type of class
configured in the CE router. For example, if the traffic matches
with port 5001, the traffic will be tagged as Multimedia which
is priority 3 or IP Precedence 4.
The packets will pass through the PE router, and then
transmitted across the MPLS network until it reached the other
PE at the destination site. Before delivering the packets to the

Figure 6. The result before implementing QoS for Multimedia

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2012 IEEE Symposium on Wireless Technology and Applications (ISWTA), September 23-26, 2012, Bandung, Indonesia

Figure 10. Ingress traffic at branch router.

B. After implementing QoS


After completing the tests without QoS implementation, a
series of tests was run with QoS configured on the Juniper SSG
router. MMD, MCR, STD and ECON packet types were
generated and injected into the network as performed for the
test without QoS implementation. Figure 11 shows the traffic
generated for each traffic type.

Figure 7. The result before implementing QoS for Mission Critical

Figure 8. The result before implementing QoS for Standard

Figure 9. The result before implementing QoS for Economy

Figures 6 through 9 show that each of the traffic types,


MMD, MCR, STD and ECON, decreased from about 2 Mbps
to below 200 kbps after the introduction of other miscellaneous
traffic. This indicates that all types of traffic are treated equally
without any priority.

Figure 11. The generated traffic from PcA, PcB, PcD & PcD

The traffic received at the branch CE router was recorded


using J-Perf. Figure 12 through 15 are the plotted graphs for
each type of traffic. Figures 12 through 14 show that MMD,
MCR and STD traffic types stabilized to close the configured
QoS allocated bandwidth of 600 kbps, 600 kbps and 400 kbps

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2012 IEEE Symposium on Wireless Technology and Applications (ISWTA), September 23-26, 2012, Bandung, Indonesia

respectively. The ECON traffic will use whatever remaining


bandwidth available because no QoS classification was set for
this type of traffic.

Figure 15. The result after implementing QoS for Economy

Table IV shows that the average traffic received by the


Branch CE router is close to the value of the configured QoS
allocation. The traffic for MMD and MCR averaged at 606.15
kbps and 603.65 kbps respectively, as compared to the QoS
configured allocation of 600 kbps for each traffic type. The
STD traffic recorded an average of 398.94k bps close to the
QoS allocation of 400kbps and the ECON traffic averaged at
303.11kbps which equals to the remaining available bandwidth
of the 2Mbps line.

Figure 12. The result after implementing QoS for Multimedia

TABLE IV.

Figure 13. The result after implementing QoS for Mission Critical

AVERAGE RECEIVED IN PC E.

Type

QoS policy
(kb/s)

Average Received (kb/s)

MMD

600

606.15

MCR

600

603.65

STD

400

398.94

ECON

Not set

303.11

The result illustrates that the QoS implementation using IP


Precedence and ToS can provide the desired service level. The
simplicity of its implementation makes it very attractive for ISP
like TM to develop products that satisfies the need of its
customers with the desired QoS.
IV.

CONCLUSIONS

IP Precedence can be used to prioritize traffic and preserve


QoS. Based on this research, the applications and types traffic
generated, bandwidth and priority can be set to each customer
application according to the desired IP Presidence. By having
prioritized network, the traffic can be assured to get the
guaranteed values if the congestion happen or noise happen in
the link. The result obtained shows that the bandwidth
allocation for specific applications at the access level is
guaranteed end to end in this similar VPN network setup. This
study suggests that the use other type of QoS mechanism, such
as DifServ or DSCP, that have more varieties of options in QoS
implementation, and using higher end routers would provide
better classification and improved performance.

Figure 14. The result after implementing QoS for Standard data

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2012 IEEE Symposium on Wireless Technology and Applications (ISWTA), September 23-26, 2012, Bandung, Indonesia

[4] R. Ab Rahman, M. Kassim, and N. Ariffin, "Performance Analysis on


Wan Optimizations: Bandwidth Management in Multi Protocol Level
Switching (MPLS) Virtual Private Network (VPN)," 2011 International
Conference on Future Information Technology, IPCSIT vol.13 (2011), pp. 1318, 2011.
[5] J. Postel, Internet Protocol  DARPA Internet Program Protocol
Specification,
IETF
RFC
791,
September
1981;
http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc791.txt

REFERENCES
[1] Z. Wang, Internet QoS : architectures and mechanisms for quality of
service, San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann, 2001.
[2] E. Rosen, A. Viswanathan, and R. Callon, Multiprotocol Label
Switching
Architecture,
IETF
RFC
3031,
January
2001;
http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3031.txt
[3] M. A. El-Gendy, A. Bose, and K. G. Shin, "Evolution of the Internet
QoS and support for soft real-time applications," Proceedings of the IEEE,
vol. 91, pp. 1086-1104, 2003.

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