The differentiated services framework enables quality-of-service provisioning within a network domain by applying rules at the edges to create traffic aggregates and coupling each of these with a specific forwarding path treatment in the domain through use of a codepoint in the IP header. The diffserv WG has defined the general architecture for differentiated services and has focused on the forwarding path behavior required in routers, known as per-hop forwarding behaviors (or PHBs). The WG has also discussed functionality required at diffserv (DS) domain edges to select (classifiers) and condition (e.g., policing and shaping) traffic according to the rules. Short-term changes in the QoS goals for a DS domain are implemented by changing only the configuration of these edge behaviors without necessarily reconfiguring the behavior of interior network nodes. The next step is to formulate examples of how forwarding path components (PHBs, classifiers, and traffic conditioners) can be used to compose traffic aggregates whose packets experience specific forwarding characteristics as they transit a differentiated services domain. The WG has decided to use the term per-domain behavior, or PDB, to describe the behavior experienced by a particular set of packets as they cross a DS domain. A PDB is characterized by specific metrics that quantify the treatment a set of packets with a particular DSCP (or set of DSCPs) will receive as it crosses a DS domain. A PDB specifies a forwarding path treatment for a traffic aggregate and, due to the role that particular choices of edge and PHB configuration play in its resulting attributes, it is where the forwarding path and the control plane interact. The measurable parameters of a PDB should be suitable for use in Service Level Specifications at the network edge.
This document defines and discusses Per-Domain Behaviors in detail and lays out the format and required content for contributions to the Diffserv WG on PDBs and the procedure that will be applied for individual PDB specifications to advance as WG products. This format is specified to expedite working group review of PDB submissions.