Chapter 12: Packet classification

A classification is a definition comprising a system of definitions.

—Friedrich von Schlegel

Abstract

Routers have evolved from traditional destination-based forwarding devices to what are called packet classification routers. In modern routers, the route and resources allocated to a packet are determined by the destination address as well as other header fields of the packet, such as the source address and TCP/UDP port numbers. Packet classification unifies the forwarding functions required by firewalls, resource reservations, QoS routing, unicast routing, and multicast routing. In classification, the forwarding database of a router consists of a potentially large number of rules on key header fields. A given packet ...

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