November 14, 2004

HPWREN network traffic traces available via NLANR/MNA's PMA server

The HPWREN backbone instrumentation includes capabilities for on demand and regular passive and active measurements which facilitate network research activities. In addition, these data sets are also critical to the engineering and operation of the infrastructure.

A fairly recent addition is the capability to create daily traffic traces at the interface between HPWREN and the Internet at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC). To allow for this, a packet tracing machine is connected to the two interfaces that terminate wireless links at SDSC. The longer term storage for the data is facilitated by the Measurement and Network Analysis project of the National Laboratory for Applied Network Research (NLANR/MNA, http://mna.nlanr.net), specifially via its Passive Measurement and Analysis component, to which the daily traces are being transferred from the HPWREN Internet traffic tracking machine. PMA is managed by Joerg Micheel of NLANR/MNA and the University of Waikato, NZ. Matthew Luckie, also of NLANR/MNA and the University of Waikato, wrote the software that is able to interleave packet traces from multiple interfaces into a singular file. The daily files only contain packet headers, with no user data, and the IP addresses are anonymized for the public traces to protect privacy. More information, as well as the actual trace data, is available via the NLANR/MNA PMA server at http://pma.nlanr.net/Special/hpwren.html.

The San Diego Supercomputer Center's HPSS data server provides long term tape storage for the HPWREN traffic traces, while the main NLANR PMA server provides the short term storage as traces become available, as well as for FTP and web access to the data.
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In addition, the HPWREN trace collecting machine also automatically analyzes the daily traces, and sends summaries via electronic mail to various interested parties. Additional statistics are available at http://stat.hpwren.ucsd.edu. These data sets will be critical to the Quality of Service (QoS) and Policy Based Routing objectives of the new HPWREN project that has been previously described in a news update.

-- Joerg Micheel, NLANR/MNA PMA manager, and Hans-Werner Braun

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