Passive Internet Measurement: Overview and Guidelines based on Experiences
Journal article, 2010

Due to its versatility, flexibility and fast development, the modern Internet is far from being well understood in its entirety. A good way to learn more about how the Internet functions is to collect and analyze real Internet traffic. This paper addresses several major challenges of Internet traffic monitoring, which is a prerequisite for performing traffic analysis. The issues discussed will eventually appear when planning to conduct passive measurements on high-speed network connections, such as Internet backbone links. After giving a brief summary of general network measurement approaches, a detailed overview of different design options and important considerations for backbone measurements is given. The challenges are discussed in order of their chronological appearance: First, a number of legal and ethical issues have to be sorted out with legislators and network operators, followed by operational difficulties that need to be solved. Once these legal and operational obstacles have been overcome, a third challenge is given by various technical difficulties when actually measuring high-speed links. Technical issues range from handling the vast amounts of network data to timing and synchronization issues. Policies regarding public availability of network data need to be established once data are successfully collected. Finally, a successful Internet measurement project is described by addressing the aforementioned issues, providing concrete lessons learned based on experiences. As a result, the paper presents tutorial guidelines for setting up and performing passive Internet measurements.








Wolfgang John

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Networks and Systems (Chalmers)

Sven Tafvelin

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Networks and Systems (Chalmers)

Tomas Olovsson

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Networks and Systems (Chalmers)

Computer Communications

0140-3664 (ISSN)

Vol. 33 5 533-550

Subject Categories

Computer Engineering



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