Characterization of Mbone Session Dynamics: Developing and Applying a Measurement Tool
Almeroth, Kevin C.
Ammar, Mostafa H. (Mostafa Hamed)
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Much of our current understanding of the operational aspects and the network requirements of multicast communication derives from the MBone. As an experimental network that overlays the Internet, the MBone has served as the testbed for multicast protocols. This work has led to the development of audio and video conferencing tools that have been used extensively recently. This paper describes our efforts in developing and using a measurement tool, called Mlisten for characterizing the dynamic behavior of MBone sessions. Such a characterization will be of great benefit in understanding how any future networking infrastructure with multicast and real-time capabilities will be used. We discuss the challenges in monitoring MBone session participation and report on a methodology for pre-processing observed data to make it better reflect the true behavior of members in an MBone session. We also report on the results of using Mlisten to determine temporal, geographical and resource usage characteristics of several recent MBone sessions