Lab Tip: Absolute vs Delta

CCIE Pursuit Blog

If you’ve ever come across a RMON task in a practice lab, you probably find that the hardest part of the configuration is determining whether the value being measured is a delta (change over time) or an absolute value.  You could get the configuration completely correct except that you chose the wrong measurement option (I’ve done it plenty of times).

A recent email on the GroupStudy list defined the difference between these two modes very succinctly and very well:

Delta : For values that always increase
Absolute : For values that can increase or decrease

CPU utilization can go up or down (0% to 100%) so it would be an absolute value.  Packets entering an interface will always accumulate (until the counters are cleared) so this would be a delta value.  We’re (more likely to be*) interested in the number of packets during a certain interval (say the last 5…

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