SCIENCE & ENGINEERING NEWS
San Diego, CA — The San Diego Supercomputer Center’s (SDSC) Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) has announced the licensing of certain results of its research efforts to Caimis, Inc., a new start-up company developing commercial Internet monitoring and network management tools, and Caimis Geo, Inc., an affiliated start-up focusing on the development of geographic location services. Caimis, Inc., and Caimis Geo, Inc., will build products based upon prototypes from CAIDA, further enhancing the research models to provide the Internet community with “industrial-strength” applications.
“Service providers face many challenges today, not least of which are inter-ISP traffic engineering, analysis, and problem resolution,” said K.C. Claffy, CAIDA principal investigator. “CAIDA has developed a number of research tools to promote the engineering and maintenance of a robust, scalable Internet infrastructure. CAIDA has also been a leader in mapping and visualizing the Internet – both logical relationships among networks and identifying their geographic locations. The timing is ripe for Caimis to offer commercial solutions to address challenges in both of these areas.”
The UCSD Office of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Services approved the licensing of CAIDA programming code to Caimis earlier this month. Technologies licensed to Caimis, Inc. include skitter ( http://www.caida.org/tools/measurement/skitter/ ), an application for macroscopic mapping and analysis of the Internet infrastructure, and CoralReef, a tool for passive monitoring and analysis of traffic on OC3/12 links. NetGeo ( http://www.caida.org/tools/utilities/netgeo/ ), a tool for determining geographic locations of entities on the Internet, was licensed to Caimis Geo, Inc.
“Caimis’ ultimate goal is to provide integrated solutions for providers and enterprises enabling them to acquire and correlate routing, performance, and utilization data to better plan and manage their networks,” said Caimis Director of Network Management Systems Mark Davisson.
The first commercial product distributed by Caimis is a refined version of CAIDA’s skping, a UNIX-based graphical tool for measuring round trip time and packet loss to a single designation. Developed by former CAIDA Network Engineer and Caimis Chief Architect Daniel McRobb, skping is based on the popular utility known as “ping.” Unlike ping’s text-based interface, skping provides graphic visualization of both historic and real-time views of performance to and from specific network destinations; skping is also capable of recording data for later analyses.
“Regular ping only provides summary information after the command is terminated – making it difficult to determine the time frames when a performance problem may have occurred,” explained Caimis President and CAIDA co-founder Tracie Monk. “With skping, the user can quickly display a graphic with up to 15 minutes of summarized data. For providers and enterprises, the distributed skpingd monitor will be able to simultaneously measure paths to more than 100,000 target destinations and store months worth of historical data.”
Skping and skpingd are only two of the products emerging from CAIDA’s skitter code library that aim to depict more insightful measures of macroscopic Internet connectivity; another skitter-based product is sktrace. While skping provides a quick, intuitive summary of network performance, the desktop sktrace and distributed sktraced pursue a “hop-by-hop” analysis of an entire path from source to destination. sktrace and sktraced are also dynamic (changes as the route changes mid-measurement) and displays a scatter plot of the round trip time, as well as a listing of each hop in the path.
In addition to skping, Caimis will release commercial versions of sktrace and skpingd in September 2000 and sktraced in October 2000. The company will also develop tools for traffic characterization and profiling for capacity planning and operational purposes, as well as utilities for domain name service stability, network configurations, and routing behavior. Demo versions of Caimis’ skping are available at http://www.caimis.com/products/skping/ .
Early prototypes for several of Caimis’ initial products were developed by Caimis founders while serving as CAIDA researchers. As a CAIDA spin-off, Caimis will make its tools available to CAIDA researchers in support of their analyses of the Internet infrastructure and performance. Public source code still maintained by CAIDA to which Caimis personnel will contribute include cflowd, for analysis and reporting of workload data from routers, and arts++, an efficient binary file format for storage and analysis of Internet data. Daniel McRobb authored both tools while employed with CAIDA. Caimis and CAIDA are both committed to ensuring the continued public availability of fundamental tools to the Internet community. For more information on Caimis, refer to http://www.caimis.com/ .
Formed in 1997, CAIDA is a collaborative undertaking among organizations in the commercial, government, and research sectors aimed at promoting greater cooperation in the engineering and maintenance of a robust, scalable global Internet infrastructure. CAIDA provides a neutral framework to support cooperative technical endeavors. Support for CAIDA’s skitter initiative is provided by DARPA’s Next Generation Internet program, the National Science Foundation, and CAIDA membership. For more information regarding CAIDA, refer to http://www.caida.org/ .
SDSC is an organized research unit of the University of California, San Diego, and the leading-edge site of the NPACI ( http://www.npaci.edu/ ). SDSC is funded by the National Science Foundation through NPACI and other federal agencies, the State and University of California, and private organizations. For additional information about SDSC and NPACI, see http://www.sdsc.edu/ .