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LACHESIS: A Tool for Benchmarking Internet Service Providers

Jeff Sedayao and Kotaro Akita
Intel Corporation


Internet access is increasingly critical to organizations and individuals [1]. With the current boom in Internet Service Providers (ISPs), how does one judge one vendor from another? LACHESIS* is a tool that provides a way to benchmark ISPs. LACHESIS takes a list of prominent Internet Landmarks and determines the packet loss and network latency involved in reaching those landmarks. Throughput was rejected as a factor. Several studies indicate that network latency is a critical factor in World Wide Web (WWW) performance [2-5]. The default set of LACHESIS landmarks (landmarks used are customizable) includes the Domain Name Service (DNS) root servers, well known FTP servers, and popular WWW servers. LACHESIS is implemented as a PERL script wrapped around FPING. The LACHESIS tool encourages ISPs to have good interconnectivity with other ISPs. It also encourages ISPs to have plenty of capacity and not to drop packets. LACHESIS has the potential to swamp landmarks with ICMP packets (used by FPING), but this can be dealt with by filtering out ICMP from abusive hosts. ISPs can cheat by favoring ICMP packets. Future plans include a Winsock implementation so that individual SLIP/ PPP Internet subscribers can run their own benchmarks.

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