Overall Netflix bandwidth usage numbers on a network?

Jonathan Towne jtowne at slic.com
Sat Dec 3 00:47:34 UTC 2011

Been lurking for a while and posed a question to a few folks without much
response, figured someone here might've done something like this already.

So, before I go about building wheels that already exist:

I'm interested in doing a bit of a passive survey of bandwidth usage on
my network (smallish isp, a few thousand DSL/FTTx customers) to understand
the percentage of average/overall traffic generated by Netflix streaming.

What I have available is a few gigabit transport switches providing me with
mirror ports, a juniper MX series router running 10.4 code, plenty of BSD
machines and libpcap-fu.

What I'm looking for is either a timed-average or moments-glance number
of the traffic.  For instance, on an interface moving 150mbit/sec total,
50mbit/sec of it is attributed to Netflix right now.  I'm pretty handy with
RRDtool, so that isn't out of the question, either.

I've really only spent dinnertime considering this, but have come up with
two potential approaches so far, and haven't actively investigated either
of them:

* firewall terms and counters on the MX router + snmp
* writing a quick libpcap application to filter and count in a completely
  out-of-band way on one of my monitoring hosts

Some challenges I can see:

* Nailing down the streaming source for Netflix, that is, IP ranges etc.
* Making assumptions about CDN source IPs that could be used for something
  else, and further, should I care?

Happy to hear thoughts about this, helpful or not!  I know Netflix themselves
have probably done plenty of studies like this, but pretty likely not limited
to my customer base.  Not aiming for anything creepy or crazy, just some
vague understanding of what's going on, and the ability to do some trending
for future planning.

-- Jonathan Towne

More information about the NANOG mailing list