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Ethernet Protocol Overhead Notes

Found this Ethernet info, another note to remember:

Ethernet frame format:

  • 6 byte dest addr
  • 6 byte src addr
  • [4 byte optional 802.1q VLAN Tag]
  • 2 byte length/type
  • 46-1500 byte data (payload)
  • 4 byte CRC

Ethernet overhead bytes:
12 gap + 8 preamble + 14 header + 4 trailer = 38 bytes/packet w/o 802.1q
12 gap + 8 preamble + 18 header + 4 trailer = 42 bytes/packet with 802.1q

Ethernet Payload data rates are thus:
1500/(38+1500) = 97.5293 % w/o 802.1q tags
1500/(42+1500) = 97.2763 % with 802.1q tags

TCP over Ethernet:
Assuming no header compression (e.g. not PPP)
Add 20 IPv4 header or 40 IPv6 header (no options)
Add 20 TCP header
Add 12 bytes optional TCP timestamps
Max TCP Payload data rates over ethernet are thus:
(1500-40)/(38+1500) = 94.9285 % IPv4, minimal headers
(1500-52)/(38+1500) = 94.1482 % IPv4, TCP timestamps
(1500-52)/(42+1500) = 93.9040 % 802.1q, IPv4, TCP timestamps
(1500-60)/(38+1500) = 93.6281 % IPv6, minimal headers
(1500-72)/(38+1500) = 92.8479 % IPv6, TCP timestamps
(1500-72)/(42+1500) = 92.6070 % 802.1q, IPv6, ICP timestamps

UDP over Ethernet:
Add 20 IPv4 header or 40 IPv6 header (no options)
Add 8 UDP header
Max UDP Payload data rates over ethernet are thus:
(1500-28)/(38+1500) = 95.7087 % IPv4
(1500-28)/(42+1500) = 95.4604 % 802.1q, IPv4
(1500-48)/(38+1500) = 94.4083 % IPv6
(1500-48)/(42+1500) = 94.1634 % 802.1q, IPv6

Notes:

  1. 48-bit (6 byte) ethernet address have a 24-bit “Organizationally Unique Identifier” (OUI) assigned by IEEE + a 24-bit number assigned by the vendor.
  2. The minimum ethernet payload (data field) is 46 bytes which makes a 64 byte ethernet packet including header and CRC.
  3. The maximum ethernet payload (data field) is 1500 bytes which makes a 1518 byte ethernet packet including header and CRC. When 802.1q added an optional 4-byte VLAN Tag Header, they extended the allowed maximum frame size to 1522 bytes (22 byte header+CRC).
  4. The bit speed of 100 Mbps ethernet on the wire/fiber is actually 125 Mbps due to 4B/5B encoding. Every four data bits gets mapped to one of 16 5-bit symbols. This leaves 16 non-data symbols. This encoding came from FDDI.
  5. The original Ethernet II spec had a two byte type field which 802.3 changed to a length field, and later a length/type field depending on use: values 1536 and over are types, under 1536 lengths.

Reference:

» Protocol Overhead

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