Non-intrusive measurement in packet networks and its applications
Network measurementis becoming increasingly important as a meanst o assesst he performanceo f packet networks. Network performance can involve different aspects such as availability, link failure detection etc, but in this thesis, we will focus on Quality of Service (QoS). Among the metrics used to define QoS, we are particularly interested in end-to-end delay performance. Recently, the adoption of Service Level Agreements (SLA) between network operators and their customersh as becomea major driving force behind QoS measurementm: easurementi s necessaryt o produce evidence of fulfilment of the requirements specified in the SLA. Many attempts to do QoS based packet level measurement have been based on Active Measurement, in which the properties of the end-to-end path are tested by adding testing packets generated from the sending end. The main drawback of active probing is its intrusive nature which causes extraburden on the network, and has been shown to distort the measured condition of the network. The other category of network measurement is known as Passive Measurement. In contrast to Active Measurement, there are no testing packets injected into the network, therefore no intrusion is caused. The proposed applications using Passive Measurement are currently quite limited. But Passive Measurement may offer the potential for an entirely different perspective compared with Active Measurements In this thesis, the objective is to develop a measurement methodology for the end-to-end delay performance based on Passive Measurement. We assume that the nodes in a network domain are accessible.F or example, a network domain operatedb y a single network operator. The novel idea is to estimate the local per-hop delay distribution based on a hybrid approach (model and measurement-based)W. ith this approach,t he storagem easurementd ata requirement can be greatly alleviated and the overhead put in each local node can be minimized, so maintaining the fast switching operation in a local switcher or router. Per-hop delay distributions have been widely used to infer QoS at a single local node. However, the end-to-end delay distribution is more appropriate when quantifying delays across an end-to-end path. Our approach is to capture every local node's delay distribution, and then the end-to-end delay distribution can be obtained by convolving the estimated delay distributions. In this thesis, our algorithm is examined by comparing the proximity of the actual end-to-end delay distribution with the estimated one obtained by our measurement method under various conditions. e. g. in the presence of Markovian or Power-law traffic. Furthermore, the comparison between Active Measurement and our scheme is also studied. 2 Network operators may find our scheme useful when measuring the end-to-end delay performance. As stated earlier, our scheme has no intrusive effect. Furthermore, the measurement result in the local node can be re-usable to deduce other paths' end-to-end delay behaviour as long as this local node is included in the path. Thus our scheme is more scalable compared with active probing.