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LinkWidth: A Method to Measure Link Capacity and Available Bandwidth using Single-End Probes

Chakravarty, Sambuddho; Stavrou, Angelos; Keromytis, Angelos D.

We introduce LinkWidth, a method for estimating capacity and available bandwidth using single-end controlled TCP packet probes. To estimate capacity, we generate a train of TCP RST packets "sandwiched" between trains of TCP SYN packets. Capacity is computed from the end-to-end packet dispersion of the received TCP RST/ACK packets corresponding to the TCP SYN packets going to closed ports. Our technique is significantly different from the rest of the packet-pair based measurement techniques, such as CapProbe, pathchar and pathrate, because the long packet trains minimize errors due to bursty cross-traffic. Additionally, TCP RST packets do not generate additional ICMP replies, thus avoiding cross-traffic due to such packets from interfering with our probes. In addition, we use TCP packets for all our probes to prevent QoS-related traffic shaping (based on packet types) from affecting our measurements (eg. CISCO routers by default are known have to very high latency while generating to ICMP TTL expired replies). We extend the {\it Train of Packet Pairs technique to approximate the available link capacity. We use a train of TCP packet pairs with variable intra-pair delays and sizes. This is the first attempt to implement this technique using single-end TCP probes, tested on a range of networks with different bottleneck capacities and cross traffic rates. The method we use for measuring from a single point of control uses TCP RST packets between a train of TCP SYN packets. The idea is quite similar to the technique for measuring the bottleneck capacity. We compare our prototype with pathchirp, pathload, IPERF, which require control of both ends as well as another single end controlled technique abget, and demonstrate that in most cases our method gives approximately the same results if not better.

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Academic Units
Computer Science
Publisher
Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
Series
Columbia University Computer Science Technical Reports, CUCS-002-08
Published Here
April 27, 2011