Calibration and Analysis of Enterprise and Edge Network Measurements

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School of Electrical Engineering | Doctoral thesis (article-based) | Defence date: 2013-12-13
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Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS, 201/2013
With the growth of the Internet over the past several decades, the field of Internet and network measurements has attracted the attention of many researchers. Doing the measurements has allowed a better understanding of the inner workings of both the global Internet and its specific parts. But undertaking a measurement study in a sound fashion is no easy task. Given the complexity of modern networks, one has to take great care in anticipating, detecting and eliminating all the measurement errors and biases. In this thesis we pave the way for a more systematic calibration of network traces. Such calibration ensures the soundness and robustness of the analysis results by revealing and fixing flaws in the data. We collect our measurement data in two environments: in a medium-sized enterprise and at the Internet edge. For the former we perform two rounds of data collection from the enterprise switches. We use the differences in the way we recorded the network traces during the first and second rounds to develop and assess the methodology for five calibration aspects: measurement gain, measurement loss, measurement reordering, timing, and topology. For the dataset gathered at the Internet edge, we perform calibration in the form of extensive checks of data consistency and sanity. After calibrating the data, we engage in the analysis of its various aspects. For the enterprise dataset we look at TCP dynamics in the enterprise environment. Here we first make a high- level overview of TCP connection characteristics such as termination status, size, duration, rate, etc. Then we assess the parameters important for TCP performance, such as retransmissions, out-of-order deliveries and channel utilization. Finally, using the Internet edge dataset, we gauge the performance characteristics of the edge connectivity.
Supervising professor
Ylä-Jääski, Antti, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Finland
Thesis advisor
Paxson, Vern, Prof., University of California, Berkeley, USA
Gurtov, Andrei, Prof., University of Oulu, Finland
calibration, sound network measurements, enterprise switch measurements, edge networks
Other note
  • [Publication 1]: Boris Nechaev, Vern Paxson, Mark Allman, Andrei Gurtov. On Calibrating Enterprise Switch Measurements. In Proceedings of the ACM SIG- COMM/USENIX Internet Measurement Conference (IMC’09), Chicago, Illinois, USA, pp. 143–155, November 2009.
  • [Publication 2]: Boris Nechaev, Vern Paxson, Mark Allman, Mike Bennett, Andrei Gurtov. Towards Methodical Calibration: A Case Study of Enterprise Switch Measurements. ICSI Technical Report TR-13-005, September 2013.
  • [Publication 3]: Boris Nechaev, Mark Allman, Vern Paxson, Andrei Gurtov. A Preliminary Analysis of TCP Performance in an Enterprise Network.In Proceedings of the USENIX Internet Network Management Conference on Research on Enterprise Networking (INM/WREN’10), San Jose, CA, USA, 2010.
  • [Publication 4]: Christian Kreibich, Nicholas Weaver, Boris Nechaev, Vern Paxson. Ne- talyzr: Illuminating The Edge Network. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM/USENIX Internet Measurement Conference (IMC’10), Melbourne, Australia, pp. 246–259, November 2010.