Estimation of the Port Number Consumption of Web Browsing

Gábor LENCSE  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E98-B   No.8   pp.1580-1588
Publication Date: 2015/08/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E98.B.1580
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Internet
IPv6 transition,  NAPT,  NAT64,  port number consumption,  port shortfall,  web browsing,  

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Due to the depletion of the public IPv4 address pool, Internet service providers will not be able to supply their new customers with public IPv4 addresses in the near future. Either they give private IPv4 addresses and use carrier grade NAT (CGN) or they move towards IPv6 and provide NAT64 service to the IPv6 only clients who want to reach IPv4 only servers. In both cases they must use a stateful NAT/NAT64 solution. When dimensioning a NAT/NAT64 gateway, the port number consumption of the clients is a key factor as the port numbers are 16 bits long and a unique one has to be provided for every session (when using traditional type NAPT, which does not include the destination IP address and port number in the tuple for the identification of TCP sessions) and a single web client may use several hundred sessions and an equal number of port numbers according to literature. In this paper, we present a method for the estimation of the port number consumption of web browsing. The method is based on the port number consumption measurements of the most popular web sites and their combination using the number of the visitors of the web sites as weight factors. We propose the resulting curve as an approximation of a general profile of the average port number consumption of web browsers after the first click, but without taking into consideration the effect of the web users' browsing behavior. We also discuss the case of the extended NAPT, which can reuse the source port numbers towards different destination IP addresses and/or destination port numbers. We propose a formula and give measurement results for the extended NAPT gateways, too. We disclose the measurement method in detail and provide the measurement scripts in Linux, too.