Virtualization Proof-of-Concept Project
Virtualization of user desktops along with their applications and data using thin clients has numerous benefits. In this project, we have developed the "VMLab" testbed at OARnet in collaboration with VMware, IBM and Ohio campus partners to evaluate desktop virtualization performance and savings.
For more information please see http://www.oar.net/initiatives/research/projects/vmlab/index.shtml.
H.323 Beacon Project
H.323 Beacon is an open-source tool that can be used to measure, monitor and qualify the performance of an H.323 videoconference session. The H.323 Beacon software is being used by many academic and commercial communities. It has been deployed after being chosen as the official Videoconferencing trouble-shooting tool for the Internet2 Commons and the Megaconferences. Companies including Polycom and Apparent Networks have recommended this tool for troubleshooting end-to-end performance problems relating to H.323-based Videoconferencing systems.
For more information please see http://www.itecohio.org/beacon.
Megaconferences - The World's Largest Internet Videoconferences
Each year, ITEC-Ohio assists in the co-ordination and execution of the Megaconferences. The goal of the Megaconferences are to connect people together everywhere on Earth where someone chooses to participate, in order to further the use of videoconferencing in education and research and to advance of the state of the art in videoconferencing technology. On the chosen date, speakers from across the globe share their latest real-world uses of H.323 videoconferencing and other compatible systems, while using these videoconferencing systems to do so. The audience consists of: (a) Active participants who have access to advanced Internet connectivity and an H.323 or other compatible videoconferencing endpoint, and (b) Observers who watch the simultaneous stream using a web browser and freely available stream players.
For more information please see http://www.megaconference.org.
Beta Testing Projects
ITEC-Ohio is continually engaged in Beta testing of advanced networking products when requested by Vendors. Earlier Beta testing activities have been performed for products of vendors such as Polycom, Starbak, Cisco, Juniper, Lifesize, AppareNet, Spirent, Ixia, Websprocket, etc.
ActiveMon is an extensible and customizable open-source software framework for generating and analyzing of active measurements that can be used for routine network health monitoring. It supports various tools that measure network health metrics such as route changes, delay, jitter, loss, bandwidth and MOS. ActiveMon has been deployed on a testbed that includes OARnet, Abilene and ADECnet. Applying advanced data mining techniques on the network measurements data collected from the measurement testbed, we have studied issues relating to empirical correlation of network events in a routine monitoring infrastructure. We have also used the measurement testbed data to analyze long-term network end-to-end performance trends and have quantified end-to-end network performance stability in academic network backbones. ActiveMon is currently under active development and is being enhanced with additional functionality based on the testbed deployment experiences.
For more information please see http://www.itecohio.org/activemon.
OSCnet Measurement Project
The OSCnet Measurement project, funded by the Ohio Board of Regents, is focused on the building of a testing and evaluation infrastructure for the emerging OSCnet backbone. In particular, we are preparing for the broader use of voice and video technologies, the transfer of large datasets, and the use of other high-performance applications that will make extensive use of network bandwidth. The main goals of the project are as follows:
- Identify end to end performance bottlenecks in the OSCnet backbone by building a comprehensive Network Measurement Infrastructure (NMI).
- Test new and advanced technologies (H.323/SIP based Voice and Videoconferencing, MPEG3, HDTV, Multicast, Bulk FTP) and equipment (Video streaming Caches, Firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems, Traffic shapers) before wide-scale adoption in the OSCnet Higher Education communities.
- Bring awareness and also train campus-networking professionals to make optimum use of the capabilities of the OSCnet, so their campus network infrastructure can be upgraded suitably.
For more information please see http://www.oar.net/initiatives/research/measurement/.
Voice and Video over IP Traffic Studies
We built a testbed, which included the H.323 Beacon, to collect over 300 videoconferencing traffic traces involving 26 sites in 14 countries to characterize and model the performance of Voice and Video over IP (VVoIP) traffic over the Internet. Our results demonstrated the impact of various voice and video end-point codecs, voice and video packet size distributions, network jitter and lost and re-ordered packets on the end-user perception of audiovisual quality in Internet voice and video conferences. Our VVoIP model is currently being used to develop a novel technique called “E-Model XT” which can automatically and effectively determine if a network path is capable of supporting high-quality Voice and Videoconferencing. We also are studying the challenges in supporting high-speed interactive audiovisual streams such as MPEG-based interactive Videoconferencing and IPTV for delivering Television content over the Internet.
For more information please see:
Transportable Satellite Internet System (TSIS) Project
ITEC-Ohio is one of the primary developers and partners of the Transportable Satellite Internet System (TSIS). The TSIS includes a local wireless capability, which can penetrate the wall of a nearby building, and provide normal 802.11b connectivity inside the building. It also includes a generator and batteries so it is totally self-contained and can run for more than 24 hours unattended. The system is designed so that it can be set up and operated by one person. This system is being used for distance learning and special events in rural areas, and at conferences where good, terrestrial Internet connectivity is not available.
For more information please see http://www.oar.net/services/tsis.shtml.
The open-source flow tools software creates a record when a Cisco router or a switch that is configured for the NetFlow services, first sees traffic. Flows are identified by characteristics of the traffic that they represent, including the source and destination Internet Protocol (IP) address, IP type, source and destination Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or User Datagram Protocol (UDP) ports, type of service and a few other items. The records are then sent to the logging host. Each record contains data about the packets that are represented in that flow in addition to the unique identifiers listed above. These data include the start and end times for the flow, the number of packets and octets in the flow, the source and destination Autonomous System (AS) numbers, the input and output interface numbers for the device where the record was created, the source and destination net masks and, for flows of TCP traffic, a logical or of all of the TCP header flags seen. The flow tools software is being used to collect NetFlow reports on a daily basis on Abilene.
For more information please see http://www.splintered.net/sw/flow-tools.
Bulk-data Transfer Measurements for Disaster Recovery Data backup
To understand limiting factors that hinder large-scale data transfers over the Internet, we have conducted studies that measured data throughput performance while transferring bulk FTP data using various tuned application and network configurations. Our studies used automated scripts, developed by us, that can perform bulk FTP tests using multiple TCP Window Sizes (RTT*BW± ), specialized TCP stacks (Reno, Fast TCP, HS TCP, BIC TCP) with various popular Bulk FTP applications (FTP, SCP, BBFTP, Iperf) and with different application buffer/file sizes. These scripts have been currently deployed between Wright State University, SOCC and our Lab at OARnet. The performance reports generated by the above test case iterations are being used by OARnet in the “ Remote Backup of Critical Administrative Data for Disaster Recovery” project.
H.323 Performance Testing for ADEC
ITEC-Ohio conducted experiments to study behavior of H.323 traffic under different network conditions of delay, jitter and loss. The experimental setup included single and cascaded MCUs as well, to determine factors that affect H.323 traffic characteristics. Based on the experimental results, recommendations were developed to better support large-scale Videoconferencing infrastructures.
For more information please see:
A-Team Consortium Testing
ITEC-Ohio was associated with the A-Team Consortium testing projects that involved Ohio, North Carolina and SDSC ITECS, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM).
Internet2 MPLS Testing
ITEC-Ohio participated in testing various MPLS signaling standards for setting up “Virtual Wires”. Many interesting insights and recommendations were developed in addition to feasibility studies as part of the above testing. The results were published as part of the Abilene QoS project accomplishments. This work was also the basis for an early proof of concept report that led to RFC 3270.
For more information please see http://www.itecohio.net/mpls/.