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RFC 2544 Testing Overview


The RFC 2544 series of tests is a method to benchmark interconnected network devices. Due to its ability to measure throughput, burstability, frame loss and latency, this methodology is also used to test ethernet-based networks.

You can use the RFC 2544 test methodology to measure and report performance characteristics of network devices. These tests measure throughput, latency, frame loss rate, and bursty frames. The test methodology enables you to define various parameters such as different frame sizes to be examined (64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 1280, and 1518 bytes), the test time for each test iteration (10 seconds through 1,728,000 seconds), and the frame format (UDP-over-IP).


Connectivity Services Director supports the RFC 2544 test methodology for only ACX Series Universal Access Routers and MX Series 5G Universal Routing Platforms.

The RFC 2544 methodology was created to assess different parameters found in service-level agreements. By providing performance availability, transmission delay, link burstability and service integrity measurements, a carrier can certify that the working parameters of the delivered ethernet circuit comply with the contract.

(unicast). An RFC2544-based benchmarking test is performed by transmitting test packets from a device that functions as the generator or the initiator (which is also called the originator). These packets are sent to a device that functions as a reflector, which receives and returns the packets to the initiator.

The following are some of RFC 2544 benchmarking tests methodology types that you can use to test, measure, and report performance characteristics of network devices.

  • Throughput—The throughput test calculates the maximum rate at which none of the offered frames are dropped by the device/system under test (DUT/SUT).This measurement translates the obtained rate into the available bandwidth of the service.

  • Latency—The latency test (for store-and-forward devices) refers to the time interval that begins when the last bit of the input frame reaches the input port and ends when the first bit of the output frame is seen on the output port. It is the time taken by a bit to go through the network and back. Latency variability can be a problem. With protocols like VoIP, a variable or long latency can cause degradation in voice quality.

  • Frame Loss—The frame loss test calculates the percentage of frames that should have been forwarded by a network device under steady state (constant) loads, that were not forwarded due to lack of resources. This measurement can be used for reporting the performance of a network device in an overloaded state, as it can be a useful indication of how a device would perform under pathological network conditions such as broadcast storms.

  • Burst—The burstability or back-to-back test refers to the fixed length of frames that are presented at a rate such that there is the minimum legal separation for a given medium between frames (maximum rate) over a short to medium period of time, starting from an idle state. The test result provides the number of frames in the longest burst that the device or network under test will handle without the loss of any frames.

You can access the RFC 2544 testing feature from the Services Activation Director (SAD) screen. The following sections help you understand how you can create, run, and view the results of an RFC 2544 test:

  • Configure an RFC 2544 test— See Configuring an RFC 2544 Test for step-by-step instructions on configuring an RFC 2544 test.

  • Modify an RFC 2544 test— To modify an RFC 2544 test, go to the OAM-RFC2544-Test > Manage Tests page, select the test you want to modify, and click Actions > Modify. The Modify Test page appears displaying the parameters of the test. See Configuring an RFC 2544 Test for details about the parameters of an RFC 2544 test.


    After you modify an RFC 2544 test, you have to validate and deploy it again for the modified configuration to be deployed to the device.

  • Deploy an RFC 2544 test—See Deploying RFC 2544 Tests for step-by-step instructions on deploying an RFC 2544 test.

  • Run the RFC 2544 test— To run an RFC 2544 test, go to the OAM-RFC2544-Test > Manage Tests page, select the test you want to run, and click Actions > Start Test.

  • View the test results— To view the results of an RFC 2544 test, go to the OAM-RFC2544-Test > Manage Tests page, select the test for which you want to view the results, and click Actions > View Test Result.