Multi-Hop Packet Tracking

Jan. 01, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2013

Nowadays more and more networks applications (like multimedia and gaming) demand a stronger quality from the network like small latencies or low packets loss. In order to supervise the fulfillment of such demands, we need not only a good understanding of the network itself but also need to know what happens in it. Fraunhofer FOKUS has realized a distributed network surveillance solution for detecting paths of data packets through networks. The Multi-Hop Packet-Tracking permits to “track” packets in the network and answer questions like: The routes followed by the packets through the network, the packets delays and losses between nodes, the service chains used by some data traffic, the influence of cross traffic, and the network QoS on the observed network links. We note that this Packet-Tracking solution needs to take care of the network performance and that the packet selection must be in a way so that we observe the same set of packets in the whole network.

Multi-Hop Packet Tracking uses a non-intrusive coordinated sampling method [RFC5475] to show the hop-by-hop path and transmission quality of data packets from arbitrary applications. The packet tracking solution can provide means to verify (multipath) routing and overlay experiments and provide input to adaptive network algorithms, security applications and the supervision of service level agreements.

Packet Tracking Visualization

The software is currently deployed in the European OneLab Experimental Facilities to support scientists in large scale experimental Internet research. In the live demonstration the Fraunhofer team shows the use of multi-hop packet tracking in a global federated testbed with parts in the BMBF-funded German Future Internet testbed G-Lab and parts in the NSF-funded VINI testbed in the US. Technology 

  • lean, efficient packet tracking measurement by employing standards
  • Coordinated hash-based sampling [RFC5475]
  • resource control through sampling rate adaptation
  • standardized IPFIX data export [RFC5101]

Use Cases

  • Network supervision (management, security, SLA validation, planning)
  • Support for experimental network research (experiment verification, routing, P2P) in large scale federated testbeds
  • Input for adaptive algorithms (overlay establishment, media streaming, management)

The measurement probe is available on SourceForge