CAIDA Program Plan - 2000

CAIDA Program Plan - 2000

The Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) is entering its third year of operation and its final year of seed funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). CAIDA remains devoted to promoting greater cooperation in the engineering and maintenance of a robust, scalable global Internet infrastructure. Areas where CAIDA believes it can make important contributions to community advancements include: the development of traffic measurement and analysis tools and techniques, network visualization, and Internet engineering related education and outreach.

During its first two years, CAIDA's focus was on recruiting high quality staff; creating a framework for engineering-related collaborations among commercial, research and government entities; and initiating meaningful research and technical projects. By late 1999, our annual operating budget amounts to roughly $3.5 million annually. Approximately 15 percent of these funds are provided by private sector membership or gift contributions.

During 2000, we plan to place priority on:

  • enhancing the quality of CAIDA's traffic-related research and analyses
  • increasing the proportion of CAIDA's private sector support to roughly 1/3 of total funding -- this will be accomplished both through expanding CAIDA's Membership base and licensing of CAIDA technology.

Two uncertainties are not addressed in the program plan, but may potentially effect our progress against milestones. The first is the environment in which CAIDA's San Diego staff operate. Growth within CAIDA and other programs of the San Diego Supercomputer Center have led to a severe shortage of space at SDSC. Options are being explored involving movement of part or all of CAIDA to a non-UCSD facility. Such a move would permit greater growth, but would have some negative reprocussions upon research and daily operations over the next year.

The other uncertainty is that of staffing. Competition for quality employees in the Internet sector (research and commercial) is intense. We have a high caliber of dedicated personnel currently, but have found that many planned initiatives are being delayed due to difficulties in recruiting new personnel. We hope that our IEC efforts aimed at nurturing the next generation of Internet engineers will result in a growing supply of qualified individuals, available to both CAIDA and the community we serve.

The sections below provide a broad framework for CAIDA's programmatic priorities during FY2000, including both Federally-supported and Member-supported efforts. The sections are divided into the following categories:

Comments on this DRAFT FY2000 Program Plan should be sent to Tracie Monk, tmonk @

1. Measurement Tool Development

1.a Hardware - Coral (OC3, OC12, OC48, and Gig-Ether monitors) - and

Fundamental to CAIDA's research endeavors is the development and implementation of solutions for passively aquiring traffic data (e.g., packet headers) using stand-alone monitors. Currently UNIX hardware implementations are available OC3 and OC12 ATM speeds. Drivers and most of the hardware schematics are publicly available and 3rd party systems integrators are building monitors using the Applied Telecom and Fore cards. Waikato University's DAG OC3/12 ATM/POS cards are not yet commercially available. Goals:
1.a.1 Collaborate with the University of Waikato, NZ to develop, test, and license a DAG-4 OC48 ATM/POS / CoralReef monitor.
1.a.2 Collaborate with the University of Waikato, NZ to develop, test, and license a DAG-4 Gigabit Ethernet/CoralReef monitor.
1.a.3 Research (FPGA design) and begin movement of measurement analysis features into firmware.
1.a.4 With the University of Waikato, NZ, license the DAG-3/CoralReef (monitor - OC3/12 ATM & POS) for commercial development.
1.a.5 Begin development of testsuites for benchmarking the various OC3/12 ATM and POS passive measurement cards (Fore, Applied Telecom, DAGs) and Netflow/cflowd.
1.a.6 As time permits, collaborate with Cisco engineers to test/evaluate NetFlow v.8 on the GSR router.

Project Leads: David Moore, Sean McCreary, Daniel McRobb, and Tracie Monk(CAIDA)
Funding Sources: DARPA, NSF, Membership
Collaborators / Contributors: Waikato University, MCI Worldcom, Cisco

1.b Software - Skitter and

skitter is a traceroute like tool used in infrastructure-wide measurements and analyses (routing, performance, connectivity) supporting projects like CAIDA's NGI initiative for DARPA and research by several collaborating institutions (see: . skitter is also used by networks for reachability reporting, problem diagnosis, performance analyses, and service level agreement monitoring. Goals:
1.b.1 Continue enhancement of skitter modules to reflect Member and research priorities.
1.b.2 Make skitter binaries available to members for their internal use, including beta versions of skpath and sktrace.
Project Leads: Daniel McRobb (CAIDA)
Funding Sources: Membership and DARPA
Collaborators / Contributors: TDB

2. Data Analysis

2.a Analysis Tools - , , and

CAIDA maintains three key tools used in the analysis of Internet data. cflowd is a flow analysis tool used for analyzing Cisco's NetFlow routing statistics for trend analysis and capacity planning purposes. arts++ is a system for storing (binary file format) and manipulating network data. CoralReef is a comprehensive software suite developed by CAIDA to analyze data collected by passive Internet traffic monitors using Fore, Applied Telecom, or DAG cards. A fourth tool, RRDtool (Round-Robin Database tool) is maintained by Tobi Oetiker who joined CAIDA for a sabbatical in 1999 during which time he completed and released RRDtool (a system to store and display time-series data).


2.a.1 Enhance operational usefulness of the cflowd, arts++ and CoralReef analysis software -- particularly for capacity planning, network operations, and security monitoring.
2.a.2 Enhance the reporting formats and graphics capabilities of cflowd and CoralReef analysis software (for Members releases).
2.a.3 Enhance CoralReef's support for non-ATM networks.
2.a.4 Develop a CoralReef application that outputs NetFlow flow-export format.
2.a.5 Begin development of snmp++ tool suite.

Project Lead: David Moore (CoralReef) and Daniel McRobb (cflowd & snmp++)
Funding Sources: Membership, NSF, DARPA
Collaborators / Contributors: TBD

2.b Operational Analysis

CAIDA's forays into operational analyses have historically focused on collaborations with individual ISP engineers and hardware vendors aimed at providing insights concerning the workload characteristics of specific links. Future operational analyses will include significant expansion of skitter data sources and data and development of new techniques for analysis of performance metrics using passively collected data.


2.b.1 Prepare a webpage and daily summary graphs of the performance trends associated with each of the 13 DNS root servers.
2.b.2 Prepare a webpage and daily summary graphs of performance trends and forward path topologies in the Asia Pacific region.
2.b.3 Explore the feasibility of establishing a service for Members to lookup information relating to AS or network connectivity and path specific performance trends.
2.b.4 Develop performance metric capabilities (loss, latency, jitter) for Coral passive monitors.
2.b.5 With respect to above, work with Members and other ISPs to develop Service Level Agreement (SLA) and accounting specifications for incorporation into CoralReef software.
2.b.6 Port NetraMet to Coral and test at one or more trial sites.
2.b.7 Monitor traffic traversing links at UCSD/SDSC, AIX and vBNS and generate automatic html summaries.
2.b.8 Develop basic filtering and data collection mechanisms using CoralReef at OC3 and OC12 speeds.
2.b.9 Extend the OC12mon capabilities by developing security policy compliance and enforcement modules.

Project Leads: David Moore, Daniel McRobb, Brad Huffaker, Nevil Brownlee (CAIDA)
Funding Sources: Membership, NSF, DARPA
Collaborators / Contributors: TBD

2.c Research

Analysis of Internet traffic (active and passive) and routing data can provide insights into the nature and evolution of Internet traffic and network topologies, assist engineers to better architect and manage their networks, and enable researchers to better design and implement emerging Internet protocols and technology.


2.c.1 Research and develop technical papers on the following topics:
  • techniques for evaluating architectural optimality for placement of DNS root servers, mirrors, and other infrastructure
  • wide-scale topology and performance changes as revealed through skitter measurements
  • techniques and estimates of "distance" associated with Internet topologies
  • correlation of active (skitter), passive and/or routing data across time, sources, and data types
  • analysis of techniques and uses for visualizations (2D, 3D and hyperbolic layouts) of network-related data (e.g., active, passive and routing data)
  • update and expand workload characterization concepts covered in 1998 Nature of the Beast article
  • Internet Service Level Agreements (SLAs) - framework (survey of activity, tools, and next steps)
  • NetGeo paper describing mapping of IP addresses and domain names to latitude and longitude coordinates
  • Paper summarizing Asia-Pacific case study (skitter measurements)
2.c.2 Expand the collaborations with other research institutions who are using skitter datasets in their research.
2.c.3 Collaborate with individuals at the University of Auckland in the development of statistical models for analysis of routing and traffic behavior.
2.c.4 Facilitate meritorious research being conducted by 3rd parties (either by offering them internships or sabbaticals at CAIDA or collaborating with them directly.
2.c.5 Evaluate the differences/nuances (e.g., size and growth) between different routing tables, namely the Bates and Telstra summaries.
Project Lead: David Moore, Brad Huffaker and Sean McCreary (CAIDA)
Funding Sources: DARPA, NSF
Collaborators / Contributors: TBD

3. Measurement Infrastructure

Fundamental to the analyses and research described above is the availability of data from active and passive traffic monitors.


3.1 Maintain 25 distributed skitter monitors, various passive monitors, and related network testing equipment.
3.2 Develop and maintain skitter destination target lists and related databases (for global monitors and each root)
3.3 Deploy additional 12 active measurement hosts in support of the DNS root server monitoring activities.
3.4 Deploy passive monitors at 2-5 commercial facilities under appropriate NDAs.
Project Lead: kc claffy
Funding Sources: Membership, DARPA, NSF
Collaborators / Contributors: TBD

4. Visualization

Network visualizations are in their early stages of development, with CAIDA's visualization tools (inc. Otter and Mapnet) among the early prototypes. Nurturing and contributing to research and prototypes in this field is an important goal of CAIDA.


4.1 Develop and implement techniques for visualizing massive volumes of distributed, time-series path, performance, routing, and flow data.
4.2 Establish and maintain an "Internet Atlas" website that will include examples and resource links for geographic, semi-geographic, and topology-based network-related visualizations; maintain alternative datasets for visualization and experimentation by researchers and others.
4.3 Develop a Java 3D version of the hypskit tool used for visualizing routing and skitter path data.
4.4 Continue development of the Otter, GeoPlot, and related visualization code to enhance their relevance as tools for Internet engineers and network architects.
4.5 Continue to update the backbone database/visualization tool, Mapnet.
4.6 Develop and make available a geographic traceroute visualization tool, GTrace.
4.7 Establish a service enabling researchers to map IP addresses and domain names to geographic coordinates, NetGeo.
4.8 Collaborate in developing the program and datasets to be used in the IEEE's 4th International Conference on Systems Management (focused on Network Visualization and Statistics)
Project Leads: kc claffy, Brad Huffaker, Daniel McRobb, Tracie Monk (CAIDA)
Funding Sources: NSF, Membership,
Collaborators / Contributors: Sun Microsystems, NSI, ARIN, APNIC

5. Education and Outreach

5.a Internet Engineering Curriculum Repository (IEC) -

The IEC was initiated in early 1998 with the goal of helping educators and others interested in Internet technology keep up with developments in the field. The focus is on developing and maintaining a repository of teaching materials to support new University courses. Workshops such as the one held in August 1999 help to facilitate Internet-related faculty's use of the repository.


5.a.1 Expand and update the curriculum and related materials available in the IEC repository, including addition of ITL-specific lab and curriculum materials.
5.a.2 Publish a Traffic Analysis CD for use in Internet engineering instruction. The CD will include: training materials, animations, analysis software, lab tutorials, and traffic traces. Approximately 1,000 CDs will be distributed to university professors and industry professionals in the U.S. and abroad.
5.a.3 Develop and make public a searchable database of Internet engineering related faculty, institutions, and curriculum.
5.a.4 Hold a 5-day workshop for faculty in San Diego, CA in June 2000; topics include: routing and traffic analysis.
5.a.5 Develop a plan for IEC continuation (or transition to a 3rd party) following conclusion of NSF support in 2000. Present the plan to the IEC Advisory Committee for their consideration.
Project Leads: Evi Nemeth and Theresa Ott, CAIDA
FY2000 Budget: $182,000
Funding Sources: NSF (IEC grant) and Member (Cisco)
Collaborators / Contributors: Participating Universities

5.b Internet Teaching Laboratories (ITL) -

Few of the nation's Universities have courses in networking technology and even fewer have facilities for hands-on exposure and training of students on current Internet hardware and software. With donations of equipment from vendors, notably Cisco, and with financial support from NSF, CAIDA is facilitating the establishment of Internet teaching laboratories at approximately 20 Universities. Efforts are currently focused on evaluation and selection of meritorious proposals; later efforts will emphasize implementation of the ITL facilities and encouraging cooperation and collaboration among the participants.


5.b.1 Establish a prototype ITL lab at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) -- including development of appropriate lab and tutorial materials.
5.b.2 Facilitate the review of proposals by IEC Advisors and the formal transition of vendor equipment to selected Universities.
5.b.3 Work with vendor and University PR officials to ensure the appropriate press coverage of the award and inauguration of the ITL facilities.
5.b.4 Conduct site reviews and establish ITL laboratories at 15-20 sites based on recommendations by the IEC Advisory Board.
5.b.5 Develop and maintain an infrastructure and curriculum materials supporting these laboratories.
5.b.6 Develop and implement plans for: (1) evaluation of ITL Phase 1; (2) sustainability of the ITL collaboration following NSF funding support; and as appropriate, (3) develop and implement a transition plan.
Project Lead: Evi Nemeth, Theresa Ott, and TBD Engineer (CAIDA/IEC); Kevin Thompson (MCI/vBNS)
FY2000 Budget: $250,000
Funding Sources: NSF Grant
Collaborators / Equipment Contributors: Cisco, Cable & Wireless, MCI Worldcom

5.c SD-NAP -

CAIDA hosts the SD-NAP at the University of California's San Diego Supercomputer Center, with support by SDSC and PCH. The primary purpose of the SD-NAP is to facilitate efficient interconnection of ISPs in and to Southern California. The secondary purpose of the SD-NAP is to provide a platform for traffic analysis by CAIDA researchers. As of October 1999, 16 networks connected at the SD-NAP; several R&E networks (vBNS, CalREN, NTON, and Abilene) are connected at SDSC at OC12 or higher speeds, independent of the SD-NAP. Goals:
5.c.1 Use the exchange, as appropriate, as a research and testing environment for collecting and analyzing traffic data and deploying new measurement/analysis tools.
5.c.2 Short-term: Continue to maintain facility and interconnect new ISPs interested in bi-lateral or multi-lateral peering at SDSC.
5.c.3 Long-term: Develop a plan for transitioning the administration, management, and operation of the SD-NAP to SDSC's operationally-oriented Network Services and Support division.
Project Leads: Amy Blanchard, Sean McCreary, Jay Dombrowski (SDSC / CAIDA)
FY2000 Budget: $25,000; personnel costs and most facility costs are underwritten by other CAIDA and SDSC programs.
Funding Sources: Membership, NAP dues
Collaborators / Contributors: UCSD, SDSC, PCH, NAP Members

5.d Internet Statistics and Metrics Analysis (ISMA) Workshops -

As an outreach vehicle to the research and commercial communities, CAIDA periodically holds invitational Internet statistics and metrics analysis workshops. These events cover current activities in a specific field and near-term priorities for research and commercial development. Of greatest interest are those topics enabling better planning for and management of networks and scaling of the Internet.


5.d.1 Hold an ISMA: Correlation of Traffic Datasets workshop May 31 - June 2, 2000.
5.d.2 Collaborate on the PAM-2000 Passive & Active Measurement Workshop scheduled for Hamilton, New Zealand, April 3 and 4, 2000.
5.d.3 Collaborate on the IEEE's 4th International Conference on Systems Management (focused on Network Visualization and Statistics) scheduled for Montreal, Canada June 2000.
Project Lead: Tracie Monk (CAIDA)
Funding Sources: NSF, Membership
Collaborators / Contributors: Waikato University, IEEE (Watson Research Institute), TBD

5.e Community Resources -

In 1998, Cisco Systems funded CAIDA to develop a taxonomy of Internet measurement and analysis tools. This taxonomy has been expanded and a new searchable database will be made available in December 1999 that will include measurement tools and initiatives, weather-report related services, and network visualization tools. Expansion of the scope and quality of the materials available at this site will continue through FY2000.


5.e.1 Maintain the Tool Taxonomy web site
5.e.2 Develop a searchable web-based database for the Tool Taxonomy
5.e.3 Redesign, implement, maintain the CAIDA Web Site
5.e.4 Maintain Internet Weather web site
Project Lead: Margaret Murray (CAIDA)
Funding Sources: Cisco and NSF
Collaborators / Contributors: Various organizations contributing information
Last updated 1 February 2000
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