USENIX Technical Program - Abstract - Internet Technologies & Systems 99
Sting: a TCP-based Network Measurement Tool
Stefan Savage, University of Washington
Understanding wide-area network characteristics is critical for
evaluating the performance of Internet applications. Unfortunately,
measuring the end-to-end network behavior between two hosts can be
problematic. Traditional ICMP-based tools, such as ping, are
easy to use and work universally, but produce results that are limited
and inaccurate. Measurement infrastructures, such as NIMI, can
produce highly detailed and accurate results, but require specialized
software to be deployed at both the sender and the receiver. In this paper
we explore using the TCP protocol to provide more accurate network
measurements than traditional tools, while still preserving their
near-universal applicability. Our first prototype, a tool called
sting, is able to accurately measure the packet loss rate on both the
forward and reverse paths between a pair of hosts. We describe the
techniques used to accomplish this, how they were validated, and
present our preliminary experience measuring the packet loss rates to
and from a variety of Web servers.
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