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Proceedings Paper

Understanding traffic dynamics at a backbone POP
Author(s): Nina Taft; Supratik Bhattacharyya; Jorjeta Jetcheva; Christophe Diot
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Paper Abstract

Spatial and temporal information about traffic dynamics is central to the design of effective traffic engineering practices for IP backbones. In this paper we study backbone traffic dynamics using data collected at a major POP on a tier-1 IP backbone. We develop a methodology that combines packet-level traces from access links in the POP and BGP routing information to build components of POP-to-POP traffic matrices. Our results show that there is wide disparity in the volume of traffic headed towards different egress POPs. At the same time, we find that current routing practices in the backbone tend to constrain traffic between ingress-egress POP pairs to a small number of paths. As a result, there is a wide variation in the utilization level of links in the backbone. Frequent capacity upgrades of the heavily used links are expensive; the need for such upgrades can be reduced by designing load balancing policies that will route more traffic over less utilized links. We identify traffic aggregates based on destination address prefixes and find that this set of criteria isolates a few aggregates that account for an overwhelmingly large portion of inter-POP traffic. We also demonstrate that these aggregates exhibit stability throughout the day on per-hour time scales, and thus they form a natural basis for splitting traffic over multiple paths in order to improve load balancing.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 July 2001
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4526, Scalability and Traffic Control in IP Networks, (25 July 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.434391
Show Author Affiliations
Nina Taft, Sprint Advanced Technology Labs. (United States)
Supratik Bhattacharyya, Sprint Advanced Technology Labs. (United States)
Jorjeta Jetcheva, Carnegie Mellon Univ. (United States)
Christophe Diot, Sprint Advanced Technology Labs. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4526:
Scalability and Traffic Control in IP Networks
Sonia Fahmy; Kihong Park, Editor(s)

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