Posted by: Anil | October 16, 2007

Distributed Speed Test & Monitoring

The problem
How fast is one network or server over another? There are lots of sites out there now that do speed tests to showcase a network operator’s speed. These speed tests (using flash enabled speedometers) attempt to show how fast data can be uploaded and downloaded to the user, from the server or website. However, these speed tests are meaningless and providing nothing more than a little entertainment.

The fact is, there are a lot of variables that contribute to how fast a site is to the perspective website visitor. The visitor’s computer performance, DSL or Cable usage in the neighborhood, an Internet Provider’s network capacity, the time of day, number of people visiting the same site at the same time, etc. The point here is, all of these factors impact how long it takes to download that 1Gb file from that web site. So, how can a single visitor looking at these speedometers really know how good a network is? You can’t! The network being speed tested is different for different people.

The solution
This is where we developed the Distributed Network Speed Test and Monitoring, which we call Speed Test and Monitoring 2.0 Similar to SETI@Home, the Distributed Network consists of people all over the world who run a small Java client that basically just sits in the background and collects speed/performance metrics to sites in our database.

For example, the site is pinged from all of the people running this Java client. The aggregate data is collected and then published on a Google map mashups. Adding these Hosts to the basket, and then comparing them, will show comparison Reports that help to determine how fast and how reliable a network/site is compared to another.

Similar in concept to sites like, we believe our Distributed Networking concept is better. The data collection nodes on sites like these are sitting in a data center somewhere with low latencies, which don’t accurately demonstrate a site’s performance. In comparison, Our Distributed Network comprises of users running Java clients on their PC at home, which is based on more factual speed tests.

The same concept used to determine speed tests in our Distributed Network is also used for doing distributed monitoring with better accuracy rates from real users across the globe. More on the monitoring piece in another blog. This one is more geared for speed tests…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: