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WLAN Performance Test Guide

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Huawei uses machine translation combined with human proofreading to translate this document to different languages in order to help you better understand the content of this document. Note: Even the most advanced machine translation cannot match the quality of professional translators. Huawei shall not bear any responsibility for translation accuracy and it is recommended that you refer to the English document (a link for which has been provided).
WLAN Performance Test Guide

WLAN Performance Test Guide

Introduction

This document describes the performance test method and explains for the difference between the theoretical and actual link setup rates. In addition, this document describes how to rectify faults during the performance test.

Prerequisites

The AP5030DN running V200R006C10 is used as an example.

Table 1-1 lists performance test data of the AP5030DN in the lab for reference.

Table 1-1 AP5030DN single-user performance data

Band

Bandwidth

Packet Type

STA Radio Type

3 MIMO Down-link Throughput (Mbit/s)

3 MIMO Up-link Throughput (Mbit/s)

1 MIMO Down-link Throughput (Mbit/s)

1 MIMO Up-link Throughput (Mbit/s)

5G

HT80

TCP

11ac

741

655

321

326

5G

HT80

UDP

11ac

818

695

323

367

5G

HT20

TCP

11n

147

149

51

52

5G

HT20

UDP

11n

161

153

50

56

2.4G

HT20

TCP

11n

137

137

47

49

2.4G

HT20

UDP

11n

154

140

55

57

Understanding the Speed Test

What Are Theoretical Air Interface Rates?

The mainstream air interface protocol is developing from 802.11n to 802.11ac. The following tables describe physical-layer rates supported by the two protocols.

Table 1-2 Physical-layer rate of 802.11n (unit: kbit/s)

Mode

MCS

HT20

Normal-GI

HT20

Short-GI

HT40

Normal-GI

HT40

Short-GI

HT

mcs0

6500

7200

13500

15000

HT

mcs1

13000

14400

27000

30000

HT

mcs2

19500

21700

40500

45000

HT

mcs3

26000

28900

54000

60000

HT

mcs4

39000

43300

81000

90000

HT

mcs5

52000

57800

108000

120000

HT

mcs6

58500

65000

121500

135000

HT

mcs7

65000

72200

135000

150000

HT

mcs8

78000

86700

162000

180000

HT

mcs9

86500

96000

180000

200000

HT

mcs10

13000

14400

27000

30000

HT

mcs11

26000

28900

54000

60000

HT

mcs12

39000

43300

81000

90000

HT

mcs13

52000

57800

108000

120000

HT

mcs14

78000

86700

162000

180000

HT

mcs15

104000

115600

216000

240000

HT

mcs16

117000

130000

243000

270000

HT

mcs17

130000

144400

270000

300000

HT

mcs18

156000

173300

324000

360000

HT

mcs19

173000

192000

360000

400000

HT

mcs20

19500

21700

40500

45000

HT

mcs21

39000

43300

81000

90000

HT

mcs22

58500

65000

121500

135000

HT

mcs23

78000

86700

162000

180000

HT

mcs24

117000

130000

243000

270000

HT

mcs25

156000

173300

324000

360000

HT

mcs26

175500

195000

364500

405000

HT

mcs27

195000

216700

405000

450000

HT

mcs28

234000

260000

486000

540000

HT

mcs29

260000

288900

540000

600000

HT

mcs30

26000

28800

54000

60000

HT

mcs31

52000

57600

108000

120000

HT

mcs32

78000

86800

162000

180000

HT

mcs33

104000

115600

216000

240000

HT

mcs34

156000

173200

324000

360000

HT

mcs35

208000

231200

432000

480000

HT

mcs36

234000

260000

486000

540000

HT

mcs37

260000

288800

540000

600000

HT

mcs38

312000

346800

648000

720000

HT

mcs39

346000

384000

720000

800000

Table 1-3 Physical-layer rate of 802.11ac (unit: kbit/s)

Mode

NSS

MCS

HT20

Normal-GI

HT20

Short-GI

HT40

Normal-GI

HT40

Short-GI

HT80

Normal-GI

HT80

Short-GI

VHT

1

mcs0

6500

7200

13500

15000

29300

32500

VHT

mcs1

13000

14400

27000

30000

58500

65000

VHT

mcs2

19500

21700

40500

45000

87800

97500

VHT

mcs3

26000

28900

54000

60000

117000

130000

VHT

mcs4

39000

43300

81000

90000

175500

195000

VHT

mcs5

52000

57800

108000

120000

234000

260000

VHT

mcs6

58500

65000

121500

135000

263300

292500

VHT

mcs7

65000

72200

135000

150000

292500

325000

VHT

mcs8

78000

86700

162000

180000

351000

390000

VHT

mcs9

86500

96000

180000

200000

390000

433300

VHT

2

mcs0

13000

14400

27000

30000

58500

65000

VHT

mcs1

26000

28900

54000

60000

117000

130000

VHT

mcs2

39000

43300

81000

90000

175500

195000

VHT

mcs3

52000

57800

108000

120000

234000

260000

VHT

mcs4

78000

86700

162000

180000

351000

390000

VHT

mcs5

104000

115600

216000

240000

468000

520000

VHT

mcs6

117000

130000

243000

270000

526500

585000

VHT

mcs7

130000

144400

270000

300000

585000

650000

VHT

mcs8

156000

173300

324000

360000

702000

780000

VHT

mcs9

173000

192000

360000

400000

780000

866700

VHT

3

mcs0

19500

21700

40500

45000

87800

97500

VHT

mcs1

39000

43300

81000

90000

175500

195000

VHT

mcs2

58500

65000

121500

135000

263300

292500

VHT

mcs3

78000

86700

162000

180000

351000

390000

VHT

mcs4

117000

130000

243000

270000

526500

585000

VHT

mcs5

156000

173300

324000

360000

702000

780000

VHT

mcs6

175500

195000

364500

405000

789800

877500

VHT

mcs7

195000

216700

405000

450000

877500

975000

VHT

mcs8

234000

260000

486000

540000

1053000

1170000

VHT

mcs9

260000

288900

540000

600000

1170000

1300000

VHT

4

mcs0

26000

28800

54000

60000

117200

130000

VHT

mcs1

52000

57600

108000

120000

234000

260000

VHT

mcs2

78000

86800

162000

180000

351200

390000

VHT

mcs3

104000

115600

216000

240000

468000

520000

VHT

mcs4

156000

173200

324000

360000

702000

780000

VHT

mcs5

208000

231200

432000

480000

936000

1040000

VHT

mcs6

234000

260000

486000

540000

1053200

1170000

VHT

mcs7

260000

288800

540000

600000

1170000

1300000

VHT

mcs8

312000

346800

648000

720000

1404000

1560000

VHT

mcs9

346000

384000

720000

800000

1560000

1733200

With 802.11ac, HT80, and 3x3 MIMO, the Rate Is 1.3 Gbit/s as Announced. In Actual Tests, This Rate Cannot Be Reached. Why?

Chariot is used in the test. The air interface rate defined by the protocol is the physical-layer rate in the WLAN communication system. However, the test result displayed on Chariot, a universal test tool in the industry, is the service-layer rate.

When calculated from the physical layer to the service layer, bandwidth is lost, including time consumption of the process required by 802.11 MAC layer communication, and header and trailer overheads of data frames on different layers.

Specifically, bandwidth provided by the communications system can be calculated using the number of bits transmitted per unit time, that is, number of bits/time.

  • Number of valid bits transmitted

    In the preceding figure, A-MSDU Subfrm1 marked in dashed lines is the packet sent from the Ethernet, where the MSDU field is the service packet sent from the upper layer (packet described in the test result of Chariot). The entire 802.11 packet also has the PLCP Preamble, PLCP Header, and 802.11 Header headers.

  • Time for transmitting the preceding bits

    The following figure shows the protocol process through which each data packet transmitted on the 802.11 air interface goes.

    The transmitter sends a data frame after Distributed Interframe Space (DIFS) times out and waits for the backoff time. After receiving the data frame, the receiver waits until Short Interframe Space (SIFS) times out and sends an ACK frame to the transmitter. The data frame transmission is successful only after the entire process is completed correctly.

Service packet rate = Number of bits in service packets/Total packet transmission time

Due to communication loss described above, the actual service rate is less than the physical-layer rate of the air interface.

Performance Test Process

Performance Test Networking and Influencing Factors

Figure 1-1 shows the networking diagram for a single-client performance test.

Figure 1-1 Single-user performance test networking diagram

The core part of the performance test is the air interface environment between the AP5030DN and Client1. Client1 communicates with the AP through the air interface. Service traffic flows from Client1 to the AP, and reaches the uplink server.

Based on the test networking diagram and AP performance data, factors that affect performance include the device under test (DUT) and its configuration, air interface environment, AP model, wired network, and server performance & configuration.

During the test, if performance cannot reach the expected result, see section Performance Troubleshooting to rectify the performance fault.

Test Process

  1. Preparation
    • Connect power cables, data cables, and antennas according to the test networking diagram.
    • Verify and load the software package of the AP.
    • Check interference.
  2. Configure testing tools (such as Chariot).
  3. Set WLAN parameters.
  4. Carry out the test. Compare the first performance result with performance specifications.
    • If the test result reaches the expected effect, the test is completed.
    • If the test result does not reach the expected effect, see section Performance Troubleshooting to rectify the performance fault.

Recommended Configuration

Based on the default system configuration, the configurations listed in the following table can greatly improve test performance.

Command

Description

<AC6605> system-view
[AC6605] wlan 
[AC6605-wlan-view] ap-id 1
[AC6605-wlan-ap-1] radio 1
[AC6605-wlan-radio-1/1] channel 80mhz 36

Sets the AP bandwidth to HT 80 MHz to test the maximum rate of the AP.

<AC> system-view
[AC] wlan
[AC-wlan-view] radio-5g-profile name default
[AC-wlan-radio-5g-prof-default] vht a-msdu enable
[AC-wlan-radio-5g-prof-default] vht a-msdu max-frame-num 3

Enables the A-MSDU function and specifies the maximum number of sub-frames that can be aggregated to improve MAC layer efficiency and air interface performance.

<AC> system-view 
[AC] wlan  
[AC-wlan-view] undo calibrate enable 

Disables the automatic radio calibration function. This function enables the AC to adjust the channels and power of APs. When this function is disabled, the AP bandwidth is fixed, thus ensuring the expected air interface rate.

<AC> system-view
[AC] wlan
[AC-wlan-view] radio-2g-profile name default
[AC-wlan-radio-2g-prof-default] guard-interval-mode short
[AC-wlan-radio-2g-prof-default] quit
[AC-wlan-view] radio-5g-profile name default
[AC-wlan-radio-5g-prof-default] guard-interval-mode short

During spatial propagation, a delay will occur on wireless signals at the receive end because of multipath. If the interframe gap (IFG) is small, subsequent data frames will interfere with the original data frame. The guard interval (GI) is used to avoid such interference. The common GI is 800 ns, whereas the short GI defined from 802.11n is 400 ns, which raises the physical connection rate.

Performance Troubleshooting

Verifying the Test Networking and Configuration

Verify the test networking, configuration, and tool parameters to ensure that they are consistent with the preset configurations. Pay attention to default configurations that affect performance.

Radio Type

The radio type indicates the radio mode of an AP. The 802.11ac radio provides higher-order modulation and coding, significantly improving the service data rate.

By default, APs are configured to use the latest radio type that they support, as listed in Table 1-4.

Table 1-4 PHY features of some indoor APs

Item

AP5030DN

AP4030DN

AP2030DN

AP7030DE

AP6010DN

Number of spatial streams (NSS)

3

2

2

3

2

5G radio type

11a/n/ac

11a/n/ac

11a/n/ac

11a/n/ac

11a/n

5G radio max bandwidth

80 MHz

80 MHz

80 MHz

80 MHz

40 MHz

You can run the display radio all command on the AC to query radios. Type indicates the radio type.

<AC> display radio all
CH/BW:Channel/Bandwidth 
CE:Current EIRP (dBm) 
ME:Max EIRP (dBm) 
CU:Channel utilization 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
AP ID Name            RfID  Band  Type    Status  CH/BW    CE/ME STA     CU 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
1     60de-4474-9640  1     5G    an      on      56/80M   25/25 0       3% 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
Total:1

Frequency Bandwidth

The frequency bandwidth is the bandwidth of the frequency on which an AP works. A larger value indicates a stronger air interface capability and a higher rate. The bandwidth values include HT20, HT40, and HT80. The default value is HT20.

You can run the display radio all command on the AC to query radios. BW indicates the frequency bandwidth.

<AC> display radio all
CH/BW:Channel/Bandwidth 
CE:Current EIRP (dBm) 
ME:Max EIRP (dBm) 
CU:Channel utilization 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
AP ID Name            RfID  Band  Type    Status  CH/BW    CE/ME STA     CU 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
1     60de-4474-9640  1     5G    an      on      56/80M   25/25 0       3% 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
Total:1

NSS

By default, APs are configured to support the maximum number of spatial streams that they support, which can be found in the AP product description. For the NSS specifications of typical indoor APs, see Table 1-5.

Table 1-5 PHY features of some indoor APs

Item

AP5030DN

AP4030DN

AP2030DN

AP7030DE

AP6010DN

NSS Number of Space Stream

3

2

2

3

2

5G-radio type

11a/n/ac

11a/n/ac

11a/n/ac

11a/n/ac

11a/n

5G-radio max bandwidth

80 MHz

80 MHz

80 MHz

80 MHz

40 MHz

Testing Tools and Their Configurations

Chariot

Chariot is used to test network throughput. It simulates testing for end-to-end, multiple operating systems, multiple protocols, and multiple applications. Networks or network parameters (such as throughput, reaction time, delay, jitter, and packet loss) can be tested from the user's perspective. The software simulates real traffic to test performance of network devices or network systems in end-to-end mode in a real environment.

Chariot consists of the Chariot console and endpoints. The Chariot console can run on various Microsoft Windows platforms. On the Chariot console, you can define various possible testing topologies and services to be tested. Chariot endpoints can run on almost all popular operating systems. Chariot endpoints leverage host resources and execute scripts delivered by the Chariot console to complete tests. The test networking is shown in Figure 1-1.

For single-user extremum tests, Table 1-6 lists recommended parameter settings.

Table 1-6 Recommended Chariot parameter settings for single-user performance tests

Bandwidth

Packet Type

Buffer Size

Send Buffer

Recv Buffer

NSS

HT80 (3x3)

TCP

10000000

65535

65535

10

UDP

1000000

65400

65400

40 (down), 30 (up), 20+20 (both)

FTP Download

FTP download is a common application, with many choices. FileZilla is recommended for tests and supports multi-thread concurrent processing. Retain the default configuration in tests.

Verifying the STA Capability

High communication performance requires that both the AP and STA have high capabilities. Therefore, the STA capability needs to be verified so as to obtain the optimal performance.

  • AP performance:

    APs support the maximum rate by default.

  • STA performance:

    After a STA goes online, query the basic capabilities of the STA on the AC, including:

    • Radio type
    • Frequency bandwidth
    • NSS
    • GI

On the AC, run the following command to obtain the basic capabilities of the STA:

<AC6605> display station sta-mac b878-2eb4-2689 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
... 
Station's radio mode                      : 11n 
... 
Station's HT Mode                         : HT20 
Station's MCS value                       : 9 
Station's NSS value                       : 2 
Station's Short GI                        : nonsupport 
... 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the preceding command output:

  • Station's radio mode: radio type supported by the STA.
  • Station's HT mode: frequency band supported by the STA.
  • Station's MCS value: MCS value for spatial streams. For an 802.11n ST, 0 through 7 indicate one spatial stream, 8 through 15 indicate two spatial streams, and 16 through 23 indicates three spatial streams.
  • Station's NSS value: number of spatial streams.
NOTE:

The value of Station's NSS value is displayed only for STAs working in 802.11ac mode or STAs that work in 802.11n mode and support 256QAM.

  • Station's Short GI: indicates whether the STA supports short GI.

Verifying the Wired Network Quality and Server Capability

In addition to the air interface, the performance test environment involves the wired network. The wired network consists of connection cables, devices along the service path (such as switches), and devices exchanging service data (such as PCs and servers). Ensure that the wired network does not become the bottleneck for the performance test.

  • For devices exchanging service data (such as PCs and servers), the following performance is required:
    • When the device is a transmitter, ingress data bandwidth reaching the radio is no less than air interface bandwidth.
    • When the device is a receiver, bandwidth is no less than data bandwidth sent from the radio.
  • Cables and devices along the service path are subject to similar bandwidth requirements.

Verify the performance of the wired network as follows: Assuming that the service flow is a complete data traffic path, exclude the air interface and then perform the service flow test for wired links (with the same test PC and server). When the test result reaches 1 Gbit/s, it can be confirmed that wired links will not become the bottleneck for the performance test of the 802.11ac air interface.

Troubleshooting Air Interface Quality Issues

The air interface environment is affected by factors including the received signal strength indicator (RSSI), signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and channel independence of transmit and receive antenna combinations in the MIMO system.

In most cases, high RSSI and SNR values indicate high performance. When the MIMO system works, high channel independence indicates high performance.

Air interface quality affects the WLAN communication system, which is represented by the air interface rate, MCS statistics, RSSI, and channel utilization.

Interference Check

It is recommended that the test environment interference be checked before a test. In the test environment, signals working on the same or close channel as the channel to be tested are considered as interference signals.

Try to perform the test in a place without any signals. If no such an environment can be found, at least ensure that no signals exist on the channel to be tested and the RSSI on neighboring channels is lower than –95 dBm.

Check interference as follows:

  • For Wi-Fi interference signals:

    Install inSSIDer on a laptop supporting 2.4G and 5G or Wifi Analyzer on a dual-band mobile phone to check interference signals.

  • For non-Wi-Fi interference signals:

    Use WiFi-Spy or a portable spectrum analyzer to check non-Wi-Fi interference signals.

Air Interface Rate

After a STA goes online, run the display station all command on the AC to check the air interface rate. In the command output, Rx/Tx indicates the uplink/downlink rate of the air interface. Note that the Rx/Tx values can reflect the actual performance only when traffic is transmitted.

<AC> display station all
Rf/WLAN: Radio ID/WLAN ID 
Rx/Tx: link receive rate/link transmit rate(Mbps) 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
STA MAC          AP ID Ap name         Rf/WLAN  Band  Type  Rx/Tx      RSSI  VLAN  IP address  SSID 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
14cf-9208-9abf 0     1047-8007-6f80  0/2      2.4G  11n 215/208    -26 10    10.10.10.253 tap1 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Total: 1 2.4G: 1 5G: 0

To obtain the extremum single-user performance of the air interface, ensure that the air interface rate is the same as that the theoretical air interface values in Table 1-2 and Table 1-3.

If the theoretical rate cannot be reached, check environmental interference and adjust the relative antenna positions of the AP and STA.

MCS Statistics

MCS statistics include the packet transmit and receive rates of an AP. You can run the display wifi radio-statistics-sdk radio radio-id command in the diagnostic view to query the MSC value of each packet in the receive/transmit direction.

To ensure data accuracy, run the reset wifi radio-statistics sdk radio radio-id command in the diagnostic view to delete historical statistics before checking MCS statistics. After traffic is transmitted for a period of time, run the display wifi radio-statistics-sdk radio radio-id command to check MCS statistics.

<Huawei> system view 
[Huawei] diagnose 
[Huawei-diagnose] display wifi radio-statistics-sdk radio 1 
... 
 Rx MCS STATS: 
 mcs 0- mcs 4 STATS:     0,     0,     0,     0,     0, 
 mcs 5- mcs 9 STATS:     0,     0,    37,     0, 17595, 
 Tx MCS STATS: 
 mcs 0- mcs 4 STATS:     0,     0,     0,     0,     0, 
 mcs 5- mcs 9 STATS:    16,    10,    16, 381, 48989,

The optimal situation is that 95% of MCSs are the highest-order MCSs. If the optimal performance is not available, check environmental interference and adjust the relative antenna positions of the AP and STA.

RSSI

A high RSSI value is a guarantee for the highest air interface rate. The recommended RSSI ranges from –45 dBm to –30 dBm.

  • The downlink RSSI refers to the RSSI of signals received by the STA from the APand can be obtained using inSSIDer or Wifi Analyzer on the STA.
  • The uplink RSSI refers to the RSSI of signals received by the AP from the STA and can be obtained by running the display station all command on the AC.
    <AC> display station all 
    Rf/WLAN: Radio ID/WLAN ID 
    Rx/Tx: link receive rate/link transmit rate(Mbps) 
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
    STA MAC          AP ID Ap name         Rf/WLAN  Band  Type  Rx/Tx      RSSI  VLAN  IP address  SSID 
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
    14cf-9208-9abf 0     1047-8007-6f80  0/2      2.4G  11n 215/208    -26   10    10.10.10.253 tap1 
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
    Total: 1 2.4G: 1 5G: 0

If the RSSI does not meet the preceding requirement, shorten the distance between the AP and STA (3 m or less can achieve a high RSSI for indoor scenarios) and increase the AP transmit power (APs use the maximum transmit power by default).

Channel Utilization

The channel utilization can help detect interference on the channel to be tested. Run the following command on the AC to check the channel utilization:

<AC> display ap traffic statistics wireless ap-id 1 radio 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------- 
... 
Wireless channel utilization(%)                       :0 
... 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

When the AP is not working, the channel utilization should be 0. If a non-zero value is displayed, interference exists on the current channel.

Additionally, a professional Fluke USB network adapter can be used to check the channel utilization.

Related Information

For the radio parameter settings, see Configuring a Radio.

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Updated: 2019-05-06

Document ID: EDOC1100081216

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