RealTime IT News

New Tool Can Measure Internet Backbone Performance for ISPs

Netcom Systems Inc. Tuesday unveiled a new system that enables Internet service providers to test performance levels of their backbone networks.

SmartISP, the company's first product to be used in an online environment, looks to set a new industry standard for measuring live Internet backbone performance by providing accurate, reproducible measurements.

SmartISP works by sending small amounts of test traffic onto the network. While recording key measurements such as TCP transfer rates, packet loss, timeouts and jitter, the application runs on a live network without disturbing normal network operations.

"This robust package allowed us to run tests every hour on the hour, 24 by 7, for 30 days straight, logging more than 61,000 sessions which equates to roughly 6 million packets and acknowledgments with 100-nanosecond accuracy," said Bob Mandeville, director of European Networking Laboratories.

"Using these scripts, we were able to determine key performance characteristics that Net managers can use whenever they're trying to evaluate ISPs including backbone uptime, forwarding rate, TCP timeouts, packet loss and jitter," Mandeville said.

"SmartISP gives users intelligent insight on how effectively the Internet is handling real traffic so they can take steps to improve performance," said Roberta Parker, Netcom's product marketing manager.

"Ensuring quality of service is a key competitive issue for both providers and users of bandwidth. SmartISP provides a precise tool for quantifying the behavior of the backbone."