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What is "Best Effort" mode?

    • Updated:
    • 16 Aug 2017
    • Product/Version:
    • TippingPoint IPS N-series All
    • TippingPoint IPS NX-series All
    • TippingPoint IPS S-series All
    • TippingPoint TPS All
    • Platform:
Best Effort mode is a feature available in the TippingPoint N-Platform (660N, 1400N, 2500N, 5100N, 6100N), NX-Platform (2600NX, 5200NX, 6200NX, 7100NX, 7500NX) and TPS (2200T) family of IPS devices which protects latency sensitive applications (voice, video) by shunting permitted traffic packets around the inspection engine.

When "Best Effort" mode is enabled, the default latency threshold is set at 1000 microseconds, and the default recovery percentage at 20%. The device will enter "Best Effort" mode when latency reaches 1000 microseconds, and will exit the "Best Effort" mode when latency drops to 200 microseconds (20% of 1000). When the latency reaches the default or user-defined threshold, permitted traffic is shunted around the inspection engine until latency falls to the defined recovery percentage. As an example, at default settings (1000µs/20%), a single TCP stream ramps from 318 Mbps to 552 Mbps by shunting 50% of packets.

Example: If you are running a video application thru the IPS device and the video is choppy, you could turn on "Best Effort" in order to address the problem.

How to manage "Best Effort": To manage "Best Effort" you have to access the IPS via the CLI and execute the "debug np best-effort" command with appropriate subcommand.

debug np best-effort parameters
enableEnables "Best Effort" mode.debug np best-effort enable
disableDisables "Best Effort" mode.debug np best-effort disable
-queue-latencyDefines the latency threshold at which "Best Effort" mode is entered. The default is 1000 microseconds.debug np best-effort enable -queue-latency <microseconds>
-recover-percentDefines the recovery percentage at which "Best Effort" mode is exited. The default is 20%.debug np best-effort enable -recover-percent <percent>

Best Effort" and "show np tier-stats": When "Best Effort" mode is enabled on the IPS and you execute the "show np tier-stats" CLI command a new parameter "Ratio to best effort" is displayed;

Best Effort

What is "Ratio to Best Effort"? Ratio to best effort is the amount of traffic being trusted at that tier. If tier 3 receives 100Mbps, and you have a ratio to best effort of 10%, then 10Mbps of traffic would be trusted, the remaining 90% will either be clean (not hit a trigger), or pass to tier 4 for reassembly or threat verification

Configure; Troubleshoot; Deploy
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