CATNIX hosts an M-Lab node


The Catalonia Neutral Internet Exchange Point (CATNIX) has recently installed an M-Lab node (Measurement Lab) to better prevent and recognize performance-related network problems.

CATNIX has installed this new production pod as a contribution to the Measurement Lab ecosystem, devoted to the open and verifiable measurement of the network. This way, CATNIX users will have a pod for their tests in a neutral location and close to their networks.

The Measurement Lab ecosystem includes all kind of tools to test the network connection, quality and neutrality. One of the most outstanding tools is the NDT Speed Test and Diagnosis, which provides information on the configuration and performance of the user network.

NDT (Network Diagnostic Tool) reports upload and download speeds and attempts to determine what problems limit speeds. It also provides detailed diagnostic reporting on what it finds. While the diagnostic messages are most useful for expert users, they can also help novice users by allowing them to provide detailed trouble reports to their network administrator.

There are two supported ways to run an NDT test: via web page or via a Unix command-line tool. The iframe for NDT measurements can be included in any webpage.

As CATNIX is managed by CSUC, a consortium of universities in Catalonia, one of the good points about the new M-Lab pod is that its tests and results are useful for both the users of the internet exchange and the researchers at the university.

M-Lab performs active measurements, meaning that tests only run when users decide to run them. Tests measure the way in which the network responds to a synthetic stream of data that is generated by the individual test specifically for the purpose of measurement.

All the data collected by M-Lab pods are open, public and available for download and all the measurement tools are also open source.