Synthetic Packet Pairs (SPP) - Tool for passive round trip time measurement

Overview

Regular and frequent measurements of round trip time (RTT) are important in test networks or overlay networks (e.g. to evaluate network protocols), and they are also becoming increasingly important in operational networks, such as the Internet (e.g. to assess the quality of service for highly interactive real-time applications). Active probing techniques are possible but problematic. The extra packet traffic imposed by active probes along a network path can modify the behaviour of the network under test. In addition, estimated RTT results may be misleading if the network handles active probe packets differently to regular IP packets.

In contrast, SPP provides frequently updated RTT measurements using IP traffic already present in the network. SPP measures the RTT between two measurement points without requiring precise time synchronisation between each point. SPP accurately measures the RTT experienced by any application's traffic without needing modifications to the application itself or the routers along the path. In addition, SPP works with applications that do not exhibit symmetric client-server packet exchanges (such as many online multiplayer games) and applications generating IP multicast traffic.

This website provides a standalone open source implementation of SPP in C, which works on Linux and FreeBSD. Also, SPP is now in the FreeBSD ports tree.

Program Members

(Alumni: Lutz Mark, Thuy Nguyen, Brandon Tyo, Amiel Heyde, Atwin O. Calchand, David Hayes)
Last Updated: Friday 19-Apr-2013 15:00:54 EST | Maintained by: Sebastian Zander (szander@swin.edu.au) | Authorised by: Grenville Armitage ( garmitage@swin.edu.au)