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Senior Staff Bio - Nevil Brownlee

Nevil is the creator of NeTraMet, an open-source implementation of the Realtime Traffic Flow Measurement (Internet Standard) architecture. The University of Auckland has used NeTraMet to collect all its Internet usage data since late 1992. NeTraMet is used by at least 200 sites around the world, including large and small Internet Service Providers and many universities.

Nevil visited CAIDA and NLANR at the San Diego Supercomputer Centre fairly often during the '90s. He worked with CAIDA and MCI in developing a version of NeTraMet which worked with the DOS-based OC3MON system; during this development he contributed the DOS TCP stack used by OC3MON. He spent the first half of 2000 on sabbatical leave at CAIDA, and now works 50% of his time for them. The other 50% of his time he continues to work for the University of Auckland.

Nevil was co-ordinator of the CAIDA Metrics Working Group, which operated between February 2000 - 2003. This group's goal was to provide educational material explaining network measurement to Enterprise IT managers, to define a minimal set of metrics for characterising network performance (including best-current-practice methods of measuring them), and to produce a requirements document for network hardware vendors so that such measurements become widely and easily accessible.

Nevil continues to develop NeTraMet at CAIDA. He has produced versions of NeTraMet which

  • Use CoralReef to work with trace files and high-speed network interface cards (Dag, Point, etc.) at OC3 and OC12 speeds
  • Work directly with Dag network interfaces cards
  • Monitor streams within IP flows, so as to collect response-time distributions for various IP applications
  • Run on Microsoft Windows
Using these high-speed versions of NeTraMet, Nevil has been observing response times for the global DNS root and gTLD servers. Such measurements provide considerable insight into the behaviour of the servers, and also of the Internet paths between those servers and UC San Diego.

Internet Researcher             Director, Technology Development               
CAIDA / SDSC / UC San Diego     ITSS, The University of Auckland
Phone: +1 858 534 8338          Phone: +64 9 373 7599 x8941
Fax: +1 858 822 0861            Fax: +64 9 373 7021
Email:          Email:

Published Work

DNS-related Measurements

Work in Progress
Congestion behaviour of Internet paths,as observed using Passive DNS request/response measurements, Nevil Brownlee and Ilze Ziedins
Conference/Workshop Papers
DNS Root/gTLD Performance Measurements, N. Brownlee, kc. claffy and E. Nemeth, Usenix LISA 2001, December 2001
DNS Measurements at a Root Server, N. Brownlee, kc. claffy and E. Nemeth, Globecom 2001, November 2001
Methodology for Passive Analysis of a University Internet Link, N. Brownlee, kc. claffy, M. Murray and E. Nemeth, PAM2001 Workshop, April 2001
Streams, Flows and Torrents, N. Brownlee and M. Murray, PAM2001 workshop, April 2001
Global DNS Nameserver Performance Analysis using NeTraMet, Network Statistics Workshop, NISS, Raleigh, 9-10 Mar 2001
Passive Global DNS Measurements and Multipathing, IEPG Meeting, London, Sun, 5 Aug 2000

Network Measurements, NeTraMet

Monitoring Traffic on the Next Generation Internet, Jerry Toung,
Conference/Workshop/Journal Papers
Using NeTraMet for Production Traffic Measurement, Nevil Brownlee, Intelligent Management Conference (IM2001), May 2001
The Auckland data set: an access link observed, Jörg Micheel, Ian Graham and Nevil Brownlee, Proceedings of 14th ITC, Girona, April 2001
Fundamentals of Internet Measurement - A Tutorial, Nevil Brownlee and Chris Loosley, CMG Journal of Computer Resource Management, April 2001
Kawaihiko and the 3rd Quartile Day, Nevil Brownlee and Russell Fulton, IEEE Communications, July 2000
Traffic Measurement: An Overview, Asia & Pacific Internet Association Newsletter No. 4, Winter (February) 2000
Network Management and realtime Traffic Flow Measurement, pp 223-227, Journal of Network and Systems Management, Vol 6, No 2, 1998
Internet Pricing in Practice, reprint of "NZ Experiences (1996)," pp 77-90 of "Internet Economics," Lee W McKnight and Joseph P Bailey, MIT Press, 1997
New Zealand Experiences with Network Traffic Charging, Nevil Brownlee, Journal of Electronic Publishing, Vol 2, Issue 1, May 1996

Earlier Publications

Reports and Papers
Modelling Self-Similar Network Traffic, Ross Alexander, Nevil Brownlee and Ilze Ziedins, Statistics Dept Report, University of Auckland, 1995,
An Algol-Based Implementation of SNOBOL4 Patterns, J. Nevil Brownlee, CACM, Vol 20, No 7, pp 527-529, 1977
Some measurements of atmospheric ion mobility spectra and conductivity at Auckland, J.N. Brownlee, Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics, Vol 37, pp 1145-1149, 1975
A new approach to atmospheric-ion mobility spectrometry, J.N. Brownlee, Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics, Vol 37, pp 1139-1144, 1975

Conference/Workshop Presentations

Conference/Workshop Presentations
NeTraMet Streams, DNS Response Times, IEPG Meeting, San Diego, Sun, 10 Dec 2000
CoralReef and NeTraMet, IEC (Internet Engineering Curriculum) Workshop, CAIDA, 30 Jun 2000
Is Your Network Available? (or, Common Network Metrics), NANOG meeting, Albuquerque, Jun 2000,
Network Measurement FAQ, CAIDA Metrics WG, June 2000,
New Metrics for new Services, IPERF/XIWT meeting, SLAC (Stanford), Feb 2000
Active & Passive Round Trip Time Distribution Measurements with NeTraMet, IEPG Meeting, Adelaide, Mar 2000
Passive Measurements on TCP Flows, IEPG meeting, Minneapolis, 14 Mar 1999
Internet Traffic Measurement: an Overview, Background paper for the ICAIS seminar (APEC Telecommunications Ministers' meeting) Miyazaki, Japan, 8 Mar 99
Passive Measurement of TCP Flows and Measurement Tools Panel, Internet Statistics Measurement and Analysis workshop, CAIDA/NLANR, San Diego, Jan 99
Using SRL, the Simple Ruleset Language, IETF Meeting, Chicago, Aug 98
Implementing TCP Attributes, or Web-Proxy Traffic Statistics, IETF Meeting, Los Angeles, Mar 98
ATM and VLANs at the University of Auckland, Two presentations for TUANZ Conference, Wellington, Mar 98
Traffic Measurement with NeTraMet, Tutorial session at APNIC, Manila, Feb 98

Internet Standards

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is the body which sets the technical standards used throughout the global Internet. Nevil has been involved in the IETF continuously since 1992, especially as co-chair of it's Realtime Traffic Flow Measurement (RTFM) Working Groups. He has also active in many other IETF working groups, e.g. Operational Statistics (co-chair), IP Performance Measurement, Site Security Handbook, Guidelines on Reporting and Incident Processing, Internet Accounting, and Authentication, Authorisation and Accounting (both working group and research group).

Nevil is currently co-chairing the IP Flow Information eXport (ipfix) effort. ipfix ran a successful Birds-of-a-feather (BOF) session at IETF 51 in London (August 2001), and has submitted a draft WG charter to IESG for approval. The group's goal is to produce a standard method for exporting flow information from network devices, as an eventual replacement for the various proprietary methods in use now.

Requests for Comment (RFCs)
2924Accounting Attributes and Record Formats, N. Brownlee, A. Blount, Sep 2000
2724New Attributes for Traffic Flow Measurement, Sig Handelman, Stephen Stibler, Nevil Brownlee & Greg Ruth, Oct 99
2723SRL: A Language for Describing Traffic Flows and Specifying Actions for Flow Groups, Oct 99
2722Traffic Flow Measurement: Architecture, Oct 99 Nevil Brownlee, Cyndi Mills, Greg Ruth (replaces 2063)
2721RTFM: Applicability Statement, Oct 99
2720Traffic Flow Measurement: Meter MIB, Oct 99 (replaces 2064)
2350 (BCP 21)Expectations for Computer Security Incident Response, N.Brownlee & E.Guttman, Jun 98
2196 (FYI 8)Site Security Handook, Sep 1997
2123Traffic Flow Measurement: Experiences with NeTraMet, Mar 1997
2064Traffic Flow Measurement: Meter MIB, Jan 97 (Obsoleted by RFC 2720)
2063Traffic Flow Measurement: Architecture, Jan 97 (Obsoleted by RFC 2722)
1672Accounting Requirements for IPng, Aug 94

Work History

Nevil began work at the University of Auckland Computer Centre as a Programmer in June 1970, and became Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Computer Centre. When the University's Computer Centre and Corporate Services Registry merged in September 1995, he became Director (ITSS Technology Development).

Nevil was Architect of the University of Auckland campus network from its beginnings (1986) with thickwire Ethernet. His network group started on a structured cabling upgrade early in 1997, together with a move to an ATM backbone sectors and campuses using Xylan/Alcatel switches. That campus backbone to provides voice and 100 Mb/s dataservices throughout the University.

Nevil managed the Kawaihiko network (linking all the New Zealand Universities) from its beginning in 1989, through its growth and redevelopment around 1996, and its phasing out at the end of 1998.

Nevil Lectured in Computer Studies through the early 70's, continued lecturing in Computer Science (Compiler Construction) until 1988, and was joint supervisor of Masters thesis work in Computer Science (Networking and Statistics) until 1995. He is now an Honorary Lecturer in Computer Science, teaching 1/3 of the Department's honours Networking class (415.742).

Nevil was Program Committee Chair for PAM2000, an Internet Measurement conference held at Waikato University in April 2000. PAM2000 attracted 70 people from all over the world; PAM2001 was held in Amsterdam, PAM2002 will be held in Colorado.


B.Sc., Auckland, 1965
M.Sc., Auckland, 1968
Ph.D. (Atmospheric Physics), Auckland, 1975

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