Pushing Internet experimentation to the (network) edge

Fabian Bustamante, Northwestern University
Host: Randal Burns

Internet measurement and experimentation platforms, such as PlanetLab – a research network with over 570 sites – have become essential for the study and evaluation of distributed systems and networks. Despite their many benefits and strengths, an increasingly recognized problem with current platforms is their inability to capture the geographic and network diversity of the wider, commercial Internet. Lack of diversity and poor visibility into the network hamper progress in a number of important research areas, from network troubleshooting to broadband characterization and Internet mapping, and complicate our attempts to generalize from test-bed evaluations of networked systems. In this talk, I will present Dasu, a measurement experimentation platform for the Internet’s edge. Dasu explicitly aligns the objectives of researchers with those of the users hosting the platform, supporting both flexible experimentation and broadband service characterization. Dasu has been publicly available since mid-2010 and has been adopted by over 96,000 users across 162 countries. I will discuss some of the challenges we faced building a platform for experimentation in the larger Internet. Our work on Dasu, and its first instantiation, was an offspring of two previous Internet-scale systems we deployed – Ono and NEWS. Dasu has, in turn, proven to be richly generative. I will illustrate the value of Dasu’s unique perspective and generative power presenting two concrete projects on content distribution and broadband network analysis.

Speaker Biography

Fabián E. Bustamante is an associate professor of computer science in the EECS department at Northwestern University. He joined Northwestern in 2002, after receiving his Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research focuses on the measurement, analysis and design of Internet-scale distributed systems and their supporting infrastructure. Fabián is a recipient of the US National Science Foundation CAREER award and the E.T.S. Watson Fellowship Award from the Science Foundation of Ireland, and a senior member of both the ACM and the IEEE. He currently serves in the editorial boards of IEEE Internet Computing and the ACM SIGCOMM CCR, the Steering Committee for IEEE P2P (as chair), and the External Advisory Board for the mPlane initiative. Fabián is also the general co-chair for the ACM SIGCOMM 2014 to be held in Chicago. For more detailed information and a list of publications, please visit: http://www.aqualab.cs.northwestern.edu.