Merit Network
Can't find what you're looking for? Search the Mail Archives.
  About Merit   Services   Network   Resources & Support   Network Research   News   Events   Home

Discussion Communities: Merit Network Email List Archives

North American Network Operators Group

Date Prev | Date Next | Date Index | Thread Index | Author Index | Historical

Re: Keynote/Boardwatch Internet Backbone Index A better test!!!

  • From: Ben Black
  • Date: Mon Jun 30 16:29:42 1997

On Mon, 30 Jun 1997, Jack Rickard wrote:

> 
> We're trying not to care here.   I think the "point of view" entailed is
> more along the lines of:  IF I had MY web server on a particular backbone,
> either by running a dedicated access link to my office from that backbone,
> or by taking advantage of co-location, or by actually having that backbone
> host and manage my web site on their server, what would my web site look
> like to the Internet universe - the people that are out there downloading
> pages.  I think there is an ongoing attempt by netheads to reduce this to
> flows between trunk routers.  We're looking at a backbone a bit more
> broadly.  It is the cummulative total of your network, your connectivity to
> other networks, your peering, your people, your coffee pots.  We don't want
> to be drawn down into it much beyond that.  If I have a web site, using any
> of various means, connected or otherwise hosted on YOUR backbone, what will
> the performance look like to MY audience.  Will there be
> differences/advantages to being on one backbone or another, with regards to
> the perceived performance or rapidy of the pages appearing.  The answer to
> the latter appears to be yes.
> 

of course the answer is yes, but what *you* measured in *no way* relates 
to the performance of *customer* web service at these ISPs.  you measured 
performance of the ISP web server itself , which every ISP so far has 
specifically stated is on a pretty *slow* part of their network.  *this* 
is what has repeatedly been stated is a major flaw in your methodology.

> > 4.  The transfer rate of 10KB x 5 is not the same as the transfer rate
> > of a 50KB file.  If one backbone is significantly "burstier" than 
> > another, this could dramatically affect throughput.  For instance, a
> > 10KB file might easily go through a bursty or bouncy backbone in just
> > a few seconds, while larger files require greater consistency.
> > 
> 
> True enough.  But we applied the same methodology to all backbones equally.
>  My sense of what makes up web pages is that they are rarely a solid 50 KB
> of anything, but a series of files with a text file, a smallish logo file,
> a couple of graphics files, etc.  We think readers can relate to the 50 KB
> total, and scaled it so.  But we think most are made up of a series of
> files between 5 and 20 KB.  I would think "bursty" networks would be a plus
> in such an environement.  What I think I'm hearing you say is that latency
> counts.  I agree.  I think it should, but again, we want to look at a
> communicable "whole page" concept for the test download.
> 
> Characterizing just what a "typical" web page is is of course a rather
> loose business.  We're pretty open to suggestions of specifically what the
> download would be like, but it does need to be reasonably of a least common
> denominator. 
> 

here you reveal yet another glaring flaw in your methodology.  you 
downloaded *different* web pages which could have had *different* numbers 
of elements in different combinations.  a page with 3 images and a little 
html would generate 4 http requests, while a more complex page, of the 
same size in bytes, could be 12 images and a little html, thereby 
generating 13 http requests.  each request increases load *outbound* 
(that part you chose to ignore) as well as server load...the end result 
being increased latency (the part you chose to measure).  

this *alone* completely invalidates your results because they cannot be 
correlated with each other.  only by downloading the *exact* same page 
from these different web servers can you even begin to produce meaningful 
results.

> > 5.  Some companies have more popular web pages than others.  Few major
> > providers hang servers directly off their backbone (whatever that might
> > mean in this context), but rather have a lobe or two attaching their
> farm.
> > Just because a provider's web farm is saturated or busy or slow, does not
> > indicate that the rest of their backbone is.
> 
> The web server is operated by and under control of the network, as all
> other aspects are.  The concensus here seems to be that we are primarily
> measuring web server performance and not the network itself.  I'm trying to
> let you all gel around this as the main objection.  In five days I think I
> can show you that it is an interesting theory, just not so.
> 

again, this is not simply an issue of network performance.  you state 
earlier that you are trying to give information to customers who might be 
looking to *colocate* or outsource web service to an ISP.  in that 
scenario, you have to measure performance of servers *at the web farms* 
not the server hanging off a T1 on some network backwater.  positioning 
on the network is *essential* to what you are trying to measure.

> We do think it is quite interesting that the average delivery speed over
> the backbone is little, if any, beyond the bandwidth capabilities of the
> new 56K modems.  It might appear that an extraordinary amount of resource
> is going toward upping the bandwidth to the home, when the perceptual
> "speediness" of the world wide web may not improve at all until the
> backbone performance increases.
> 

you mean the average speed *to the known to be badly positioned in the
network server*.  i am quite certain performance is dramatically faster to
those amazing things called web farms.  "what are web farms?" i hear you
ask.  well, web farms are these things filled with web servers at really
good locations in the network where *paying customers* can locate their
server or site. 

b3n





Discussion Communities


About Merit | Services | Network | Resources & Support | Network Research
News | Events | Contact | Site Map | Merit Network Home


Merit Network, Inc.