Few studies on national backbone traffic characteristics [7,9,10,11,12,13] exist, limiting our insight into the nature of wide area Internet traffic. We must rely on WAN traffic characterization studies that focus on a single or a few attachment points to transit networks to investigate shorter-term aspects of certain kinds of Internet traffic, e.g, TCP , TCP and UDP , dns .
The authors have devoted much attention in the last two years to investigating the usefulness, relevance, and practicality of a wide variety of operationally collected statistics for wide area backbone networks. In particular, we have undertaken several studies on to what extent much of the statistics that the NSFNET project has collected over the life of the NSFNET backbone are useful for a variety of workload characterization efforts. As the NSFNET service agreement ends, leaving the R&E portion of Internet connectivity in the hands of the commercial marketplace, we are without a common set of statistics, accessible to the entire community, that can allow even a rough gauge of Internet growth. We consider it important to establish a community-wide effort to support the aggregation of such network statistics data from multiple service providers, such as that being developed in . We view a consensus on some baseline statistics collection architecture as critical to Internet long-term stability.