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Internet Statistics – Facts and Figures. 1 st Tutorial Session for CEG3180B January 18 th , 2005. First things first: Internet?. Probably the most used example when it comes to Wide Area Networks (WANs) Originally a DoD project [1], it has become the most widely used public internetwork

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internet statistics facts and figures

Internet Statistics – Facts and Figures

1st Tutorial Session for CEG3180B

January 18th, 2005

first things first internet
First things first: Internet?
  • Probably the most used example when it comes to Wide Area Networks (WANs)
  • Originally a DoD project [1], it has become the most widely used public internetwork
  • It is the most technologically heterogeneous network ever to exist, short for one aspect: TCP/IP
why internet statistics
Why Internet Statistics?
  • Question: Why would we be interested in the Internet host count trends?
  • Several pertinent answers:
    • Curiosity 
    • Bandwidth consumption (i.e., traffic) forecasting
    • Address space usage forecasting
    • … etc.
well how many are they
Well, how many are they?
  • How many what?
    • Hosts
    • Originally, a host was a single computer on the network
    • With the introduction of virtual hosts, however, a single computer could represent more than one host
    • So… should we count virtual hosts too or not?
  • According to the ISC, in June 2004 there were about 300 million hosts in the Internet
what does this survey tell us
What does this survey tell us?
  • Basically, that the number of hosts in the Internet is growing exponentially:
  • This means that the “Internet population” doubles approximately…
  • … every 15 months!
how does the survey work
How does the survey work?
  • It is a Domain Name System (DNS) [3] survey
  • What is the Domain Name System?
    • A hierarchical (i.e., similar to the postal address system) way to name hosts in order to set a correspondence between domain names and IP [4] addresses
    • Top-level domains: .com, .net, .edu, .mil, .gov, .org, .int (and the more recent .biz, .info, .to etc.) and the country top-level domains
    • Second-level domains: usually (but not always) organizations
    • E.g., www.uottawa.ca means ‘the web server’ (www) ‘of the University of Ottawa’ (uottawa) ‘which is in Canada’ (ca)
how does the survey work 2
How does the survey work? (2)
  • Two methods:
    • Walking the domain name tree and doing zone transfers of domain data in order to discover hosts and further subdomains (original method, used until 1997)
    • Walking the reverse delegation zones (i.e., in-addr.arpa) and counting all addresses that have been assigned a domain name (new method, used since 1998)
is the survey accurate
Is the survey accurate?
  • Question: How far can we trust these results?
  • Answer: They will have to do it.
  • Neither of the two survey methods is free of errors – it is virtually impossible to know the exact number of hosts in the internet
  • However, a good approximation should be sufficient
is the survey accurate 2
Is the survey accurate? (2)
  • Reasons for the surveys not being able to provide error-free results:
    • Many DNS servers do not allow for whole zone transfers
    • Not all hosts are registered in a domain name server
    • Poorly configured DNS servers can lead to bogus entries
    • Just because a hostname is assigned an IP address or vice-versa, does not mean that the host actually exists
    • Poor connectivity can pose difficulties to the data collection process
interesting facts
Interesting facts
  • What has the number of hosts in a certain country to do with its economic status?
  • More .net hosts than .com hosts – does this mean that there are more hosts for “infrastructure” than for “services”?
  • The top 2 host names: ~ 1 million www, ~ 400k mail
  • Canada has about 3.5 million hosts in 21k domains
conclusions
Conclusions
  • The “Internet population” is growing at an exponentially rate
  • Keeping track of the number of hosts in the Internet is important, for several reasons
  • However, an extremely accurate counting is virtually impossible
references
References
  • http://www.isoc.org/internet/history
  • http://www.isc.org/ds
  • P. V. Mockapetris, STD0013/RFC1034: Domain names – concepts and facilities
  • J. Postel, STD0005/RFC0791: Internet Protocol
  • S. Deering, R. Hinden, RFC2460: Internet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6) Specification
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