Reconstruction of Application Layer Message Sequences by Network Monitoring

A. Singh and J. Subhlok (USA)


TCP, network monitoring, NAS benchmarks, grid computing


Monitoring communication is central to the development and tuning of parallel and distributed applications. Avail able tools for network monitoring typically capture the net work traffic at TCP or IP layers, but a software developer is most interested in the message exchange sequence between pairs of nodes executing the application. However, capturing application level traffic requires instrumenting the application code, which is cumbersome and not even an option in most cases. We present a procedure that reconstructs the application layer message sequences by analyzing TCP layer traffic. The basic idea is that, since TCP traffic is constructed with a well defined procedure from application traffic, it should be possible to reconstruct application mes sage exchanges from TCP segments. We demonstrate that the procedure is effective, although not perfect, by extensive experimentation with NASA’s NAS parallel bench marks.

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