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ClassBench: A Packet Classification Benchmark

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2 Author(s)
Taylor, D.E. ; Exegy Inc., St. Louis ; Turner, J.S.

Packet classification is an enabling technology for next generation network services and often a performance bottleneck in high-performance routers. The performance and capacity of many classification algorithms and devices, including TCAMs, depend upon properties of filter sets and query patterns. Despite the pressing need, no standard performance evaluation tools or filter sets are publicly available. In response to this problem, we present ClassBench, a suite of tools for benchmarking packet classification algorithms and devices. ClassBench includes a filter set generator that produces synthetic filter sets that accurately model the characteristics of real filter sets. Along with varying the size of the filter sets, we provide high-level control over the composition of the filters in the resulting filter set. The tool suite also includes a trace generator that produces a sequence of packet headers to exercise packet classification algorithms with respect to a given filter set. Along with specifying the relative size of the trace, we provide a simple mechanism for controlling locality of reference. While we have already found ClassBench to be very useful in our own research, we seek to eliminate the significant access barriers to realistic test vectors for researchers and initiate a broader discussion to guide the refinement of the tools and codification of a formal benchmarking methodology. (The ClassBench tools are publicly available at the following site: http://www.arl.wustl.edu/~det3/ClassBench/.)

Published in:

Networking, IEEE/ACM Transactions on  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 3 )