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Table of Contents

Administration Guide

Traffic shaping

A FortiGate provides quality of service (QoS) by applying bandwidth limits and prioritization to network traffic. Traffic shaping is one technique used by the FortiGate to provide QoS. A basic approach to traffic shaping is to prioritize higher priority traffic over lower priority traffic during periods of traffic congestion. This provides a stabilizing effect for important traffic while throttling less important traffic.

The FortiGate can be configured to deliver traffic shaping with policing or traffic shaping with queuing. The general difference between the two is as follows:

Technique

Description

Traffic shaping with policing

When traffic exceeds the configured bandwidth limits, traffic is dropped.

Traffic shaping with queuing

When traffic exceeds the configured bandwidth limits, traffic is delayed for transport until bandwidth frees up. Traffic may be dropped if the queues are full.

Policing and queuing can both prioritize traffic and deliver guaranteed bandwidth and maximum bandwidth by setting bandwidth limits. The implementation differs though, since queuing uses queues, and policing does not. In queuing, before a packet egresses an interface, it is first enqueued to a queue using an algorithm such as RED or FIFO. The kernel dequeues the packet based on the HTB algorithm before sending it out. In policing, traffic simply drops if it is over the allocated bandwidth.

Configuration methods

There are different methods to configure traffic shaping on the FortiGate. The following table lists the methods and their capabilities in order of preference. If all three methods are configured, the first will be preferred over the second, which is preferred over the third.

Method

Policing

Queuing

Traffic prioritization

Guaranteed and maximum bandwidth limits

Traffic queuing

Traffic shaping profile*

Yes

Yes, based on percentage of outbandwidth

Yes

Traffic shaper

Yes

Yes, based on rate

No

Global traffic prioritization

Yes

No

No

* Traffic shaping profiles are configured as either policing or queuing types. Queuing allows for additional options when configuring a shaping class entry.

The features of each method’s implementation are slightly different. The following is a brief summary of the traffic policing features and the approach each method takes.

Traffic prioritization

The FortiGate can place packets into different priority levels in order to prioritize certain traffic over others.

Method

Description

Traffic shaping profile

Traffic is placed into classes. A total of 30 classes are available. For each class, traffic can be configured into five priority levels.

Traffic shaper

Traffic can be prioritized into the high (2), medium (3), or low (4) levels. When traffic is below the guaranteed bandwidth of the shaper, the traffic is automatically applied the critical level (1).

Global traffic prioritization

Traffic is prioritized into high (2), medium (3), or low (4) based on ToS (type of service) or DSCP.

Guaranteed and maximum bandwidth limits

The general purpose for configuring guaranteed bandwidth is to allocate a certain proportion of the total outbandwidth to guarantee transport for a certain type of traffic. This is configured and handled differently in each method.

A traffic shaping profile, when applied to an interface’s egress shaping profile, can be configured to use up to 100% of the interface’s configured bandwidth between all the classes. It does not matter what priority is configured in each class. The guaranteed bandwidth is always honored.

Traffic shapers, however, do not have a hard limit on the guaranteed bandwidth. Administrators need to be aware how much guaranteed bandwidth has been allocated to all their traffic shapers, so that they do not exceed the total outbandwidth of an interface. Traffic under the guaranteed bandwidth of a traffic shaper is given a priority of one. If the total traffic with priority one exceeds the total outbandwidth, traffic can be dropped.

The maximum bandwidth limit caps the maximum bandwidth that can be used. This is configured as a percentage of the outbandwidth in a traffic shaping profile. It is configured as a rate for traffic shapers.

Configuring outbandwidth

Traffic shaping is generally configured for egress traffic leaving the FortiGate. Therefore, it is necessary for the interface outbandwidth to be defined for traffic prioritization to take place in all of the traffic shaping configuration methods. Interface outbandwidth is also needed when defining the guaranteed and maximum bandwidth in a traffic shaping profile.

For traffic shapers, configuring outbandwidth is not necessary to apply maximum bandwidth limits; however, outbandwidth is necessary for guaranteed bandwidth. Traffic under the guaranteed bandwidth limit on a traffic shaper is given priority 1. If outbandwidth is not configured, traffic prioritization does not take place and the priority is meaningless.

Traffic shaping policy

Traffic shaping profiles and traffic shapers are methods of policing traffic. Traffic shaping policies are used to map traffic to a traffic shaper or assign them to a class.

A traffic shaping policy is a rule that matches traffic based on certain IP header fields and/or upper layer criteria. For example, it can match traffic based on source and destination IP, service, application, and URL category. One common use case is to match traffic based on the ToS or DS (differentiated services) field in the IP header. This allows Type of Service or Differentiated Services (DiffServ) tags to be read from traffic from a downstream device and prioritized accordingly on the FortiGate.

DSCP matching and DSCP marking

DSCP matching and DSCP marking can be performed on a firewall shaping policy and a regular firewall policy. DSCP matching is used to match DSCP tags from ingress traffic, and DSCP marking is used to change the DSCP tag on egress traffic.

In a firewall shaping policy and regular firewall policy, use the tos and tos-mask fields to perform DSCP matching. Use the diffserv-forward and diffserv-reverse fields to perform DSCP marking.

The following topics provide information about configuring traffic shaping:

Traffic shaping

A FortiGate provides quality of service (QoS) by applying bandwidth limits and prioritization to network traffic. Traffic shaping is one technique used by the FortiGate to provide QoS. A basic approach to traffic shaping is to prioritize higher priority traffic over lower priority traffic during periods of traffic congestion. This provides a stabilizing effect for important traffic while throttling less important traffic.

The FortiGate can be configured to deliver traffic shaping with policing or traffic shaping with queuing. The general difference between the two is as follows:

Technique

Description

Traffic shaping with policing

When traffic exceeds the configured bandwidth limits, traffic is dropped.

Traffic shaping with queuing

When traffic exceeds the configured bandwidth limits, traffic is delayed for transport until bandwidth frees up. Traffic may be dropped if the queues are full.

Policing and queuing can both prioritize traffic and deliver guaranteed bandwidth and maximum bandwidth by setting bandwidth limits. The implementation differs though, since queuing uses queues, and policing does not. In queuing, before a packet egresses an interface, it is first enqueued to a queue using an algorithm such as RED or FIFO. The kernel dequeues the packet based on the HTB algorithm before sending it out. In policing, traffic simply drops if it is over the allocated bandwidth.

Configuration methods

There are different methods to configure traffic shaping on the FortiGate. The following table lists the methods and their capabilities in order of preference. If all three methods are configured, the first will be preferred over the second, which is preferred over the third.

Method

Policing

Queuing

Traffic prioritization

Guaranteed and maximum bandwidth limits

Traffic queuing

Traffic shaping profile*

Yes

Yes, based on percentage of outbandwidth

Yes

Traffic shaper

Yes

Yes, based on rate

No

Global traffic prioritization

Yes

No

No

* Traffic shaping profiles are configured as either policing or queuing types. Queuing allows for additional options when configuring a shaping class entry.

The features of each method’s implementation are slightly different. The following is a brief summary of the traffic policing features and the approach each method takes.

Traffic prioritization

The FortiGate can place packets into different priority levels in order to prioritize certain traffic over others.

Method

Description

Traffic shaping profile

Traffic is placed into classes. A total of 30 classes are available. For each class, traffic can be configured into five priority levels.

Traffic shaper

Traffic can be prioritized into the high (2), medium (3), or low (4) levels. When traffic is below the guaranteed bandwidth of the shaper, the traffic is automatically applied the critical level (1).

Global traffic prioritization

Traffic is prioritized into high (2), medium (3), or low (4) based on ToS (type of service) or DSCP.

Guaranteed and maximum bandwidth limits

The general purpose for configuring guaranteed bandwidth is to allocate a certain proportion of the total outbandwidth to guarantee transport for a certain type of traffic. This is configured and handled differently in each method.

A traffic shaping profile, when applied to an interface’s egress shaping profile, can be configured to use up to 100% of the interface’s configured bandwidth between all the classes. It does not matter what priority is configured in each class. The guaranteed bandwidth is always honored.

Traffic shapers, however, do not have a hard limit on the guaranteed bandwidth. Administrators need to be aware how much guaranteed bandwidth has been allocated to all their traffic shapers, so that they do not exceed the total outbandwidth of an interface. Traffic under the guaranteed bandwidth of a traffic shaper is given a priority of one. If the total traffic with priority one exceeds the total outbandwidth, traffic can be dropped.

The maximum bandwidth limit caps the maximum bandwidth that can be used. This is configured as a percentage of the outbandwidth in a traffic shaping profile. It is configured as a rate for traffic shapers.

Configuring outbandwidth

Traffic shaping is generally configured for egress traffic leaving the FortiGate. Therefore, it is necessary for the interface outbandwidth to be defined for traffic prioritization to take place in all of the traffic shaping configuration methods. Interface outbandwidth is also needed when defining the guaranteed and maximum bandwidth in a traffic shaping profile.

For traffic shapers, configuring outbandwidth is not necessary to apply maximum bandwidth limits; however, outbandwidth is necessary for guaranteed bandwidth. Traffic under the guaranteed bandwidth limit on a traffic shaper is given priority 1. If outbandwidth is not configured, traffic prioritization does not take place and the priority is meaningless.

Traffic shaping policy

Traffic shaping profiles and traffic shapers are methods of policing traffic. Traffic shaping policies are used to map traffic to a traffic shaper or assign them to a class.

A traffic shaping policy is a rule that matches traffic based on certain IP header fields and/or upper layer criteria. For example, it can match traffic based on source and destination IP, service, application, and URL category. One common use case is to match traffic based on the ToS or DS (differentiated services) field in the IP header. This allows Type of Service or Differentiated Services (DiffServ) tags to be read from traffic from a downstream device and prioritized accordingly on the FortiGate.

DSCP matching and DSCP marking

DSCP matching and DSCP marking can be performed on a firewall shaping policy and a regular firewall policy. DSCP matching is used to match DSCP tags from ingress traffic, and DSCP marking is used to change the DSCP tag on egress traffic.

In a firewall shaping policy and regular firewall policy, use the tos and tos-mask fields to perform DSCP matching. Use the diffserv-forward and diffserv-reverse fields to perform DSCP marking.

The following topics provide information about configuring traffic shaping: