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Wide-area Internet traffic patterns and characteristics

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3 Author(s)
Thompson, K. ; MCI Telecommun. Corp., USA ; Miller, G.J. ; Wilder, R.

The Internet is rapidly growing in number of users, traffic levels, and topological complexity. At the same time it is increasingly driven by economic competition. These developments render the characterization of network usage and workloads more difficult, and yet more critical. Few recent studies have been published reporting Internet backbone traffic usage and characteristics. At MCI, we have implemented a high-performance, low-cost monitoring system that can capture traffic and perform analyses. We have deployed this monitoring tool on OC-3 trunks within the Internet MCI's backbone and also within the NSF-sponsored vBNS. This article presents observations on the patterns and characteristics of wide-area Internet traffic, as recorded by MCI's OC-3 traffic monitors. We report on measurements from two OC-3 trunks in MCI's commercial Internet backbone over two time ranges (24-hour and 7-day) in the presence of up to 240,000 flows. We reveal the characteristics of the traffic in terms of packet sizes, flow duration, volume, and percentage composition by protocol and application, as well as patterns seen over the two time scales

Published in:

Network, IEEE  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 6 )