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Impact of Peer-to-Peer Applications on Wide Area Network Traffic: An Experimental Approach

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Executive Summary

To evaluate the impact of peer-to-peer applications on traffic in wide area IP networks, authors analyze measurements from a high speed backbone link carrying TCP traffic towards several ADSL areas. The first observations are that the prevalent part of traffic is due to peer-to-peer applications (almost 80% of total traffic) and that the usage of network becomes symmetric in the sense that customers are not only clients but also servers. This latter point is observed by the significant proportion of long flows mainly composed of ACK segments. When analyzing the bit rate created by long flows, it turns out that those TCP connections due to peer-to-peer applications have a rather small bit rate and that there is no evidence for long range dependence.

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