Check out the new USENIX Web site.
USENIX, The Advanced Computing Systems Association

NSDI '08 Abstract

Pp. 205218 of the Proceedings

Uncovering Performance Differences Among Backbone ISPs with Netdiff

Ratul Mahajan and Ming Zhang, Microsoft Research; Lindsey Poole and Vivek Pai, Princeton University

Abstract

We design and implement Netdiff, a system that enables detailed performance comparisons among ISP networks. It helps customers and applications determine, for instance, which ISP offers the best performance for their specific workload. Netdiff is easy to deploy because it requires only a modest number of nodes and does not require active cooperation from ISPs. Realizing such a system, however, is challenging as we must aggressively reduce probing cost and ensure that the results are robust to measurement noise. We describe the techniques that Netdiff uses to address these challenges.

Netdiff has been measuring eighteen backbone ISPs since February 2007. Its techniques allow it to capture an accurate view of an ISP's performance in terms of latency within fifteen minutes. Using Netdiff, we find that the relative performance of ISPs depends on many factors, including the geographic properties of traffic and the popularity of destinations. Thus, the detailed comparison that Netdiff provides is important for identifying ISPs that perform well for a given workload.

  • View the full text of this paper in PDF. Listen to the presentation in MP3 format.

    The Proceedings are published as a collective work, 2008 by the USENIX Association. All Rights Reserved. Rights to individual papers remain with the author or the author's employer. Permission is granted for the noncommercial reproduction of the complete work for educational or research purposes. USENIX acknowledges all trademarks within this paper.
To become a USENIX member, please see our Membership Information.

Last changed: 11 Aug 2008 mn