Internet Backbone Index

Jack Rickard jack.rickard at
Fri Jun 27 22:06:15 UTC 1997

I don't think I'm missing it.  I think I'm disagreeing with it in as nice
and nonconfrontational a way as I can given the crappy personality I have
to work from.  Splitting hairs from here to infinity on what "network"
means and what the world wide web is departs rather widely from my mission
here, so I'm giving it short shrift.  If you don't know how ping and
traceroute vary from data flows, I can't help much there either.  

If you want to draw a line of demarcation between a network and its
performance, and a web server and its performance, you're free to do so.  I
just probably won't buy into it.

On the actual concept that changing all the web servers will move the
numbers: It might.  It might not.  I would probably bet at this point that
there will be a lot of that going on among the non-moron crowd.  I'm kind
of hoping for it anyway.  And then we'll see if the numbers move.  My sense
is that they will move some, and not as much as most seem to think.  But
it's true it could go the other way and be dramatic.  I'm open to whatever
results derive.  

Jack Rickard

> From: Justin W. Newton <justin at>
> To: Jack Rickard <jack.rickard at>; Stan Barber
<sob at>; vaden at; SEAN at SDG.DRA.COM; nanog at
> Subject: Re: Internet Backbone Index
> Date: Friday, June 27, 1997 2:50 PM
> Jack,
> 	I believe that you are missing the point that measuring web server
> response time is /not/ the equivalent of measuring backbone performance.
> At 12:45 PM 6/27/97 -0600, Jack Rickard wrote:
> >They could be.  The attempt is to factor that out.  ALL measuring agents
> >applied to ALL the backbones.  And all contributed more or less equally
> >the end numbers.  If a particular agent ran on a Commodore 64 with a
> >copy of KA9Q, and another agent ran on an Sun Solaris, both results
> >go into the result pile for all 29 measured networks.   The net effect
> >would be that the flaw would be in our "footprint" from which the
> >measurements were taken.  This footprint can only be a rough
> >of end user distribution anyway. It would affect absolute values
> >to zero, but the relative indexes between networks should not be
> >Since we're looking at the relative relationship primarily, it wouldn't
> >appear important.
> >
> >
> >Jack Rickard
> >----------
> >> From: Stan Barber <sob at>
> >> To: Justin W. Newton <justin at>; Larry Vaden
<vaden at>;
> >Sean Donelan <SEAN at SDG.DRA.COM>; nanog at
> >> Subject: Re: Internet Backbone Index
> >> Date: Friday, June 27, 1997 1:54 PM
> >> 
> >> Justin writes:
> >> > ObAboutTopic:  This is possibly the most flawed study on the planet.
> >> > Remind me to get a fast web server.  (And to think, we were going to
> >put
> >> > our web server in our office, behind a T-1, instead of in real
> >near
> >> > where the real bandwidth is that could be used for customers.).  
> >> 
> >> There are many studies more flawed. Consider some of the studies that
> >> the Tobacco Institute has released over the years about the affects of
> >> smoking.
> >> 
> >> Concerning Internet performance, there have always been a variety of
> >> of measuring it. It all depends on what you are really trying to
> >> The Keynote study is attempting to measure something to which the
> >
> >> Internet user (not engineers) can relate.  However, There are also
> >clearly 
> >> the possibility of artifacts in the data because of the testing
> >
> >> TCP stack or other issues (Vern Paxson has covered these issues at
> >> and IETF meetings over the last few years). Checking their web site,
> >their 
> >> software appears to run on top of the TCP stacks of many systems, so
> >> known artifacts of some of these platforms could be an issue.
> >> 
> >> -- 
> >> Stan   | Academ Consulting Services        |internet: sob at
> >> Olan   | For more info on academ, see this |uucp:
> >{mcsun|amdahl}!academ!sob
> >> Barber | URL- |Opinions expressed are
> >mine.
> >
> >
> *********************************************************
> Justin W. Newton                  voice: +1-415-482-2840 	
> Senior Network Architect            fax: +1-415-482-2844
> Director At Large, ISP/C 
> "The People You Know.  The People You Trust."
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