Announcing Project BISMark: ISP Performance Measurements from Home Routers

Mikael Abrahamsson swmike at
Tue Jun 28 10:13:04 UTC 2011

On Mon, 27 Jun 2011, Nick Feamster wrote:

> We've launched Project BISMark, a project that performs active 
> performance measurements of upload and download throughput, latency, 
> etc. from OpenWRT-based routers running inside of homes.  We have tested 
> our OpenWRT image on the NetGear WNDR 3700v2 and are currently shipping 
> out NetGear routers with the BISMark firmware to anyone who is 
> interested.

Please, pretty please, with sugar on top, don't just do active 
measurement, but also do passive measurement of real traffic. Doing 
test traffic is one case, but the really important thing to look at is 
real traffic. I tried to get traction for this on IETF75, but there seems 
to be little interest.

On a NAT router there is a state table, what would the performance 
penality be to look at TCP sequence numbers, RTTs (TCP timestamps) to be 
able to discern PDV and loss of the actual traffic the customer is doing?

There are a lot of test suites, they solve one problem, but a passive 
monitoring system that would show how the real traffic is behaving would 
yield a lot more valuable information that just relying on active testing 
(which will cause harm to customer traffic when the test is run).

Mikael Abrahamsson    email: swmike at

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