Lightweight and informative traffic metrics for data center monitoring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In recent years, thousands of commodity servers have been deployed in Internet data centers to run large scale Internet applications or cloud computing services. Given the sheer volume of data communications between servers and millions of end users, it becomes a daunting task to continuously monitor the availability, performance and security of data centers in real-Time operational environments. In this paper, we propose and evaluate a lightweight and informative traffic metric, streaming frequency, for network monitoring in Internet data centers. The power-series based metric that is extracted from the aggregated IP traffic streams, not only carries temporal characteristics of data center servers, but also helps uncover traffic patterns of these servers. We show the convergence and reconstructability properties of this metric through theoretical proof and algorithm analysis. Using real data-sets collected from multiple data centers of a large Internet content provider, we demonstrate its applications in detecting unwanted traffic towards data center servers. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first to introduce a streaming metric with a unique reconstruction capability that could aid data center operators in network management and security monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-243
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Network and Systems Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012


  • Cloud computing
  • Data center traffic
  • Streaming frequency
  • Unwanted traffic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Strategy and Management


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