Application of overlay techniques to network monitoring.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Measurement and monitoring are important for correct and efficient operation of a network, since these activities provide reliable information and accurate analysis for characterizing and troubleshooting a network’s performance. The focus of network measurement is to measure the volume and types of traffic on a particular network and to record the raw measurement results. The focus of network monitoring is to initiate measurement tasks, collect raw measurement results, and report aggregated outcomes.
Network systems are continuously evolving: besides incremental change to accommodate new devices, more drastic changes occur to accommodate new applications, such as overlay-based content delivery networks. As a consequence, a network can experience significant increases in size and significant levels of long-range, coordinated, distributed activity; furthermore, heterogeneous network technologies, services and applications coexist and interact. Reliance upon traditional, point-to-point, ad hoc measurements to manage such networks is becoming increasingly tenuous. In particular, correlated, simultaneous 1-way measurements are needed, as is the ability to access measurement information stored throughout the network of interest.
To address these new challenges, this dissertation proposes OverMon, a new paradigm for edge-to-edge network monitoring systems through the application of overlay techniques. Of particular interest, the problem of significant network overheads caused by normal overlay network techniques has been addressed by constructing overlay networks with topology awareness - the network topology information is derived from interior gateway protocol (IGP) traffic, i.e. OSPF traffic, thus eliminating all overlay maintenance network overhead.
Through a prototype that uses overlays to initiate measurement tasks and to retrieve measurement results, systematic evaluation has been conducted to demonstrate the feasibility and functionality of OverMon. The measurement results show that OverMon achieves good performance in scalability, flexibility and extensibility, which are important in addressing the new challenges arising from network system evolution. This work, therefore, contributes an innovative approach of applying overly techniques to solve realistic network monitoring problems, and provides valuable first hand experience in building and evaluating such a distributed system.
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