Skip to Main Content
The ability to measure, monitor and control the service quality experienced by network traffic is becoming increasingly important as multiple traffic types are aggregated onto IP networks. Assessing the real-time performance of the application flows is an essential requirement for network operations and service management, as well as for identifying how the different traffic types and transports interact and behave, when they are carried over the end-to-end Internet infrastructure. This paper introduces a novel measurement technique for assessing the performance of IPv6 network flows. By exploiting IPv6 extension headers, measurement triggers and the instantaneous measurement indications are carried in the same packets as the payload data itself. providing a high level of probability that the behaviour of the real user traffic flows is being observed. The measurement mechanism is applied at the network layer and provides for a generic technique able to measure any type of traffic without depending on particular transports or on specific measurement architectures. A prototype implementation of this technique is also described and evaluated by measuring performance properties of application flows over different-capacity IPv6 environments. End-to-end delay and jitter of video streams have been measured, as well as the goodput for services operating on top of reliable transport. This measurement technique can be the basis for low-overhead, scalable, transparent and reliable measurement of individual and aggregate network flows, and can be dynamically deployed where and when required in a multi-service IP environment.