Today the usual way of providing a suitable level of service in an enterprise intranet or an Internet Service Provider is to overprovision the network with respect to the real needs. With the increase in bandwidth demand, this approach is less and less tenable economically. An alternative way is to deploy traffic engineering techniques. However, most of the problems that are encountered in this field are combinatorial and of large size, which implies to find efficient and near optimal heuristics.

We would like to set up an open source toolbox of traffic engineering methods called TOTEM1 that would federate many independent software pieces. The resulting toolbox is expected to include more functionality than existing commercial ones, and is clearly designed to be open, i.e. incrementally extensible.

This guide presents how to use the TOTEM toolbox and what is needed to know in order to deal with it. The traffic engineering methods can be classified along several axes: intra-domain versus inter-domain, IP versus (G)MPLS, on-line versus off-line, or centralized versus distributed. They are suitable for network optimization, better routing of traffic for providing QoS, load balancing, protection and restoration in case of failure, etc.

The design of the toolbox also considers different possible use cases. For example, it can be deployed as an on-line centralized tool in an operational network, or used off-line as an optimization tool or as a traffic engineering simulator. Section 2 describes how to easily install and compile the toolbox. Sections 3 and 4 describe the XML format that can be used to represent a network topology and a traffic matrix respectively. Section 5 and 6 describes how to use MPLS and Diffserv in the toolbox. Section 7 describes the tools designed to use the toolbox in a real network environment. Section 8 presents the algorithms that are already included in the toolbox. Section 9 presents how to use the toolbox without having to write Java code (the scenario XML interface). Section 10 describes the functionnalities of the GUI and how to use it. Section 11 describes how to use the toolbox to generate Traffic Matrix files from netflow data.

Simon Balon 2008-06-18