An Evaluation of Software-Based Traffic Generators using Docker

University essay from KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Abstract: The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry and network researchers use traffic generator tools to a large extent to test their systems. The industry uses reliable and rigid hardware-based platform tools for high-performance network testing. The research community commonly uses software-based tools in, for example, experiments because of economic and flexibility aspects. As a result, it is possible to run these tools on different systems and hardware. In this thesis, we examine the software traffic generators Iperf, Mausezahn, Ostinato in a closed loop physical and virtual environment to evaluate the applicability of the tools and find sources of inaccuracy for a given traffic profile. For each network tool, we measure the throughput from 64- to 4096-byte in packet sizes. Also, we encapsulate each tool with container technology using Docker to reach a more reproducible and portable research. Our results show that the CPU primarily limits the throughput for small packet sizes, and saturates the 1000 Mbps link for larger packet sizes. Finally, we suggest using these tools for simpler and automated network tests.

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