The Internet supports a diverse number of applications, which have different requirements for a number of services. Next generation networks provide high speed connectivity between hosts, which leaves the service provider to configure network devices appropriately, in order to maximize network performance. Service provider settings are based on best recommendation parameters, which give an opportunity to optimize these settings even further. This dissertation focuses on a packet discarding algorithm, known as random early detection (RED), to determine parameters which will maximize utilization of a resource. The two dominant traffic protocols used across an IP backbone are UDP and TCP. UDP traffic flows transmit packets regardless of network conditions, dropping packets without changing its transmission rates. However, TCP traffic flows concern itself with the network condition, reducing its packet transmission rate based on packet loss. Packet loss indicates that a network is congested. The sliding window concept, also known as the TCP congestion window, adjusts to the amount of acknowledgements the source node receives from the destination node. This paradigm provides a means to transmit data across the available bandwidth across a network. A well known and widely implemented simulation environment, the network simulator 2 (NS2), was used to analyze the RED mechanism. The network simulator 2 (NS2) software gained its popularity as being a complex networking simulation tool. Network protocol traffic (UDP and TCP) characteristics comply with theory, which verifies that the traffic generated by this simulator is valid. It is shown that the autocorrelation function differs between these two traffic types, verifying that the generated traffic does conform to theoretical and practical results. UDP traffic has a short-range dependency while TCP traffic has a long-range dependency. Simulation results show the effects of the RED algorithm on network traffic and equipment performance. It is shown that random packet discarding improves source transmission rate stabilization, as well as node utilization. If the packet dropping probability is set high, the TCP source transmission rates will be low, but a low packet drop probability provides high transmission rates to a few sources and low transmission rates to the majority of other sources. Therefore, an ideal packet drop probability was obtained to complement TCP source transmission rates and node utilization. Statistical distributions were fitted to sampled data from the simulations, which also show improvements to the network with random packet discarding. The results obtained contribute to congestion control across wide area networks. Even though a number of queuing management implementation exists, RED is the most widely used implementation used by service providers.
Dissertation (MEng)--University of Pretoria, 2013.