Recent enhancements have been proposed to the ATM Unspecified Bit Rate (UBR) service that guarantee a minimum rate at the frame level to the UBR VCs. These enhancements have been called Guaranteed Frame Rate (GFR). In this paper, we discuss the motivation, design and implementation issues for GFR. We present the design of buffer management and policing mechanisms to implement GFR. We study the effects of policing, per-VC buffer allocation, and per-VC queuing on providing GFR to TCP/IP traffic. We conclude that per-VC scheduling is necessary to provide minimum rate guarantees to TCP traffic. We examine the role of frame tagging in the presence of scheduling and buffer management for providing minumum rate guarantees. The use of GFR to support the Internet Controlled Load Service is also discussed.
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