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Network Traffic Measurement and Modeling

Carey Williamson
Department of Computer Science University of Calgary


Network Traffic Measurement A recent focus of networking research (mid to late 1980’s. early 1990’s)  Collect data or packet traces showing packet activity on the network for different network applications 2 .

Purpose  Understand the traffic characteristics of existing networks  Develop models of traffic for future networks  Useful for simulations. planning studies 3 .

Requirements  Network measurement requires hardware or software measurement facilities that attach directly to network  Allows you to observe all packet traffic on the network. superuser permission 4 . or to filter it to collect only the traffic of interest  Assumes broadcast-based network technology.

others. others. SNMP.Measurement Tools  Can be classified into hardware and software measurement tools  Hardware: specialized equipment  Examples: HP 4972 LAN Analyzer..  Software: special software tools tcpdump.. DataGeneral Network Sniffer. xtr. 5  Examples: ...

while generating none of its own 6 .Measurement Tools (Cont’d)  Measurement tools can also be classified as intrusive or non-intrusive  Intrusive: the monitoring tool generates traffic of its own during data collection  Non-intrusive: the monitoring tool is passive. observing and recording traffic info.

and is analyzed off-line (later) 7 .Measurement Tools (Cont’d)  Measurement tools can also be classified as real-time or non-real-time  Real-time: collects traffic data as it happens. and may even be able to display traffic info as it happens  Non-real-time: collected traffic data may only be a subset (sample) of the total traffic.

Potential Uses of Tools  Protocol debugging  Network debugging and troubleshooting  Changing network configuration  Designing. etc. 8 . testing new applications  Detecting network weirdness: broadcast storms. routing loops. testing new protocols  Designing.

Potential Uses of Tools (Cont’d)  Performance  How evaluation of protocols and applications protocol/application is being used  How well it works  How to design it better 9 .

etc. interconnection devices.Potential Uses of Tools (Cont’d)  Workload  What characterization traffic is generated  Packet size distribution  Packet arrival process  Burstiness  Important in the design of networks. 10 . congestion control algorithms. applications.