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Internet traffic measurement

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1 Author(s)
Williamson, C. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Calgary Univ., Alta., Canada

The Internet's evolution over the past 30 years (1971-2001), has been accompanied by the development of various network applications. These applications range from early text-based utilities such as file transfer and remote login to the more recent advent of the Web, electronic commerce, and multimedia streaming. For most users, the Internet is simply a connection to these applications. They are shielded from the details of how the Internet works, through the-information-hiding principles of the Internet protocol stack, which dictates how user-level data is transformed into network packets for transport across the network and put back together for delivery at the receiving application. For many networking researchers however, the protocols themselves are of interest. Using specialized network measurement hardware or software, these researchers collect information about network packet transmissions. With detailed packet-level measurements and some knowledge of the IP stack, they can use reverse engineering to gather significant information about both the application structure and user behavior, which can be applied to a variety of tasks like network troubleshooting, protocol debugging, workload characterization, and performance evaluation and improvement. Traffic measurement technologies have scaled up to provide insight into fundamental behavior properties of the Internet, its protocols, and its users. The author introduces the tools and methods for measuring Internet traffic and offers highlights from research results

Published in:

Internet Computing, IEEE  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 6 )