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Title: Multi-layer network monitoring and analysis
Author: Hall, J. C.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2003
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A new passive monitoring architecture — Nprobe — is presented, based upon 'off the shelf components and which, by using clusters of probes, is scalable to keep pace with current high bandwidth networks without data loss. Monitored packets are fully captured, but are subject to the minimum processing in real time needed to identify and associate data of interest across the target set of protocols. Only this data is extracted and stored. The data reduction ratio thus achieved allows examination of a wider range of encapsulated protocols without straining the probe's storage capacity. Full analysis of the data harvested from the network is performed off-line. The activity of interest within each protocol is examined and is integrated across the range of protocols, allowing their interaction to be studied. The activity at higher levels informs study of the lower levels, and that at lower levels infers detail of the higher. A technique for dynamically modelling TCP connections is presented, which, by using data from both the transport and higher levels of the protocol stack, differentiates between the effects of network and end-process activity. The balance of the dissertation presents a study of Web traffic using Nprobe. Data collected from the IP, TCP, HTTP and HTML levels of the stack is integrated to identify the patterns of network activity involved in downloading whole Web pages: by using the links contained in HTML documents observed by the monitor, together with data extracted from the HTML headers of downloaded contained objects, the set of TCP connections used, and the way in which browsers use them, are studied as a whole. An analysis of the degree and distribution of delay is presented and contributes to the understanding of performance as perceived by the user. The effects of packet loss on whole page download times are examined, particularly those losses occurring early in the lifetime of connections before reliable estimations of round trip times are established. The implications of such early packet losses for pages downloads using persistent connections are also examined by simulations using the detailed data available.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available