Dasu: A measurement experimentation platform at the Internet’s edge

Mario A. Sánchez*, John S. Otto*, Zachary S. Bischof*, David R. Choffnes†, Fabián E. Bustamante*, Balachander Krishnamurthy‡ and Walter Willinger‡.
(*) Northwestern University (†) U. of Washington (‡) AT&T Research Lab

Tech. Report NWU-EECS-13-09, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Northwestern University, 2013.

Department of Computer Science
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL 60208, USA


Poor visibility into the network hampers progress in a number of important research areas, from network troubleshooting to Internet topology and performance mapping. This persistent well-known problem has served as motivation for numerous proposals to build or extend existing platforms by recruiting larger, more diverse vantage points. However, capturing the edge of the network remains an elusive goal. We argue that at its root the problem is one of incentives. Today’s measurement platforms build on the assumption that the goals of experimenters and those hosting the platform are the same. As much of the Internet growth occurs in residential broadband networks, this assumption no longer holds. We present Dasu, a measurement experimentation platform built on an alternate model that explicitly aligns the objectives of the experimenters with those of the users hosting the platform. Dasu is designed to support both network measurement experimentation and broadband characterization. In this paper, we discuss some of the challenges we faced building a platform for the Internet’s edge, describe our current design and implementation, and illustrate the unique perspective our current deployment brings to Internet measurement. Dasu has been publicly available since July 2010 and is currently in use by over 95,000 users with a heterogeneous set of connections spreading across 1,802 networks and 151 countries.