Experiences With TCP/IP Over an ATM OC12 WAN

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Executive Summary

This paper discusses the performance testing experiences of a 622.08 Mbps OC12 link. The link will be used for large bulk data transfer, and as such, of interest are both the ATM level throughput rates and end-to-end TCP/IP throughput rates. Tests were done to evaluate the ATM switches, the IP routers, the end hosts, as well as the underlying ATM service provided by the carrier. A low level of cell loss, (resulting in <.01 % packet loss), decreased the TCP throughput rate considerably when one TCP flow was trying to use the entire OC12 bandwidth. Identifying and correcting cell loss in the network proved to be extremely difficult. TCP Selective Acknowledgement (SACK) improved performance dramatically.

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