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USITS 2001 Abstract

Nettimer: A Tool for Measuring Bottleneck Link Bandwidth

Kevin Lai and Mary Baker, Stanford University


Measuring the bottleneck link bandwidth along a path is important for understanding the performance of many Internet applications. Existing tools to measure bottleneck bandwidth are relatively slow, can only measure bandwidth in one direction, and/or actively send probe packets. We present the nettimer bottleneck link bandwidth measurement tool, the libdpcap distributed packet capture library, and experiments quantifying their utility. We test nettimer across a variety of bottleneck network technologies ranging from 19.2Kb/s to 100Mb/s, wired and wireless, symmetric and asymmetric bandwidth, across local area and cross-country paths, while using both one and two packet capture hosts. In most cases, nettimer has an error of less than 10%, but at worst has an error of 40%, even on cross-country paths of 17 or more hops. It converges within 10KB of the first large packet arrival while consuming less than 7% of the network traffic being measured.
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Last changed: 4 Jan. 2002 ml
Technical Program
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