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Technical Report

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Technical Report Number



In this paper we present a simulation study of the Ethernet performance under conditions of bursty traffic. This study is motivated by two observations: Ethernet will continue to be a widely used Local Area Network (LAN), especially as an access LAN for future high speed internet (or Broadband ISDN); and future high speed applications can best be modeled as bursty sources. Bursty traffic in this study is specified using three parameters: peak bandwidth, average bandwidth, and burst factor. The simulation study shows that the inherent behavior of the Ethernet does not change with bursty traffic. That is, as long as the utilization is less than a threshold value, packet delay, is almost equal to transmission time, queue lengths are minimal, and packet delay, queue lengths, and packet loss rate increase very quickly. Although the basic trend of the Ethernet performance is the same, performance metrics deteriorate faster with bursty traffic. For example, packet loss due to collision, packet delay, and buffer sizes increase with burstiness of traffic sources. The ratio of peak to average bandwidth of traffic sources has an unexpected effect on the packet loss rate and queue lengths. At high utilization, packet loss and queue lengths are less for higher peak-to-average ratio of bursty sources.


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