A Survey of Network Performance Tools for Computer Networking Classes

S. Zeadally, E. Yaprak, Y. Li, and X. Che (USA)


Curriculum, Internet2, Laboratory,Networking, Performance, Tool.


Real traffic measurements and analysis over wide area networks is a challenge for many computer science and engineering educators. This is mainly because there are various networking tools available for measurements and testing over wide area networks and many of them have constraints, which limit their use to only a select group of users. As a result, the collection of wide area traffic data and their analyses becomes a difficult task, particularly in cases where the test site lacks collaboration support with other sites with which there is desire for traffic measurements to be used in undergraduate/graduate computer networking classes. In this work, we review a selection of some of the tools that can be used for wide area traffic measurements. Our survey highlights the features and characteristics of each tool as well as their limitations. We also demonstrate the use of one of the tools we used in some preliminary wide area traffic tests on bandwidth, packet loss, delay, and jitter, and present some initial results and observations. We hope this review will enable educators to make appropriate decisions on the selection of a networking tool that is best suited to meet their teaching goals in the area of computer networking.

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