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Resource Reservation Protocol

Resource Reservation Protocol

(aka RSVP)

Resource Reservation Protocol definition

The Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP) is a network protocol designed for reserving resources in a network. It allows applications to request a certain quality of service (QoS) for their data flows, ensuring the network can provide the necessary bandwidth and performance. RSVP works for both multicast (sending data to many receivers) and unicast (one-to-one communication) services.

See also: bandwidth, IP multicast, multicast router

How the Resource Reservation Protocol works

  1. The application from which the data originates sends a ‘Path’ message through the network. It travels along the route to the intended receiver(s), mapping it out along the way.
  2. Upon deciding the type and amount of resources needed (like bandwidth), the receiver sends a ‘Reservation’ request back. This request specifies the QoS required.
  3. Each router along the path checks if it has enough resources available. If it does, it reserves the needed resources and forwards the reservation request to the next router.
  4. Once all routers have made the reservation, the receiver is notified, and the data transfer starts with the guaranteed QoS.
  5. These reservations are temporary and updated regularly, allowing the network to adjust to changes.

Uses of the Resource Reservation Protocol

  • Enterprise networks. Business networks often use RSVP for applications that need steady bandwidth, like video calls or VoIP.
  • Multimedia applications. It’s ideal for multimedia applications (like video or music streaming) that need a certain quality level.
  • Integrated services (IntServ) networks. In networks that use the IntServ model for providing QoS, RSVP is a key component for reserving resources.
  • Service provider networks. Some service providers use RSVP in their networks to ensure quality service for certain types of traffic.

Further reading

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