Transitioning to a New Backend Pipeline and Data Availability

M-Lab data is collected from distributed experiments hosted on servers all over the world, processed in a pipeline, and published for free in both raw and parsed (structured) formats. The back end processing component for this has served us well for many years, but it’s been showing its age recently. As M-Lab collects an increasing amount of data thanks to new partnerships, we have been concerned that it will not be as reliable.

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Paris Traceroute Brownout

Summary:

In February 2017, M-Lab was notified of issues with the M-Lab data available in BigQuery. Upon investigation, a problem was identified with the Paris Traceroute collection daemon which resulted in a reduction in Paris Traceroute measurements beginning in June 2016. At the peak of the outage, fourth quarter 2016 - January 2017, approximately 5% of NDT tests had an associated Paris Traceroute test. Additionally, an issue within the data processing pipeline resulted in Paris Traceroute data that was measured and collected, not being inserted into the BigQuery tables and therefore available for use.

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Measurement Lab Launches New Global Data Visualization Tools

The Measurement Lab (M-Lab) global measurement platform contains the largest collection of open internet performance data on the planet. Hundreds of thousands of people (and rising everyday!) test their internet connections on M-Lab and provide that data to the public domain for research, analysis and advocacy. As a consortium of research, industry, and public-interest partners, M-Lab is dedicated to providing an ecosystem for the open, verifiable measurement of global network performance. With an extensive library of data dating back to 2009, M-Lab has over 5 petabytes of information about quality of experience on the internet contributed by people like you.

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BBR TCP and Measurement Lab

What is TCP?

Since the beginning of the its existence, the internet has expanded in scope, traffic, content, and a myriad of other ways. The protocols that make up the internet’s backbone have mostly remained the same since they were developed in the 1980s. The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) was one of the first networking protocols defined during the internet’s development, and specifies how data should be transmitted and received. TCP implementations, initially developed in the 1980’s, attempted to discover the right rate at which to send data by constantly trying to send more until reaching the point that not all of the data arrived at its destination, and then backing off on the amount being sent.

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Showing Missing Data in Line Charts

The M-Lab team has been working with Bocoup’s Data Visualization team to overhaul our visualizations and give all of you better support in exploring all of the Measurement Lab data. Look for more about that soon – and reach out via support@measurementlab.net if you are interested in helping with testing and user feedback!

Line Animation GIF

M-Lab has lots of data, but depending on how you slice the data, you might end up with too small of a sample size on a given day in a given location. As part of designing the Observatory visualization, we came up with the idea of using dotted lines to show that we didn’t have a large enough sample size to assert the data value, but that leaving out the data would be incorrect as well. The Bocoup Team took that further and developed a new d3 plugin, d3-line-chunked, which allows you to easily visualize gaps in your data and has good animation support.

Read More over on the Bocoup blog.

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