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Proceedings Paper

Bench-style network research in an Internet instance laboratory
Author(s): Paul R. Barford; Lawrence H. Landweber
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Paper Abstract

Network researchers employ a variety of experimental methods and tools including analytic modeling techniques, simulators, and widely deployed measurement infrastructures. It is natural to assume that the overall scope of network research may be limited by the type and capability of the tools and test systems that are available. In this paper we describe a new, bench--style approach for conducting network research that we argue is essential for effectively investigating different classes of important problems. We describe the architecture for the workbench environment which enables this approach - what we call the Internet Instance Laboratory (IIL). The conceptual model for an IIL is a highly configurable laboratory environment containing commercial networking equipment typical of any end--to--end path in the Internet. An IIL would also have the capability to create accurately a broad range of conditions across all networking layers. The two most important advantages of an IIL are the ability to instrument entire end--to--end paths and the ability to install new equipment or protocols in any location in the environment. Clearly, neither of these opportunities is available in the live Internet. While an IIL offers significant capabilities, developing such a testbed is not without significant challenges. We describe these challenges and approaches for addressing them. Finally, we discuss different classes of research questions which would become tractable if an IIL were available.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 July 2002
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4868, Scalability and Traffic Control in IP Networks II, (8 July 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.475267
Show Author Affiliations
Paul R. Barford, Univ. of Wisconsin/Madison (United States)
Lawrence H. Landweber, Univ. of Wisconsin/Madison (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4868:
Scalability and Traffic Control in IP Networks II
Victor Firoiu; Zhi-Li Zhang, Editor(s)

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