Accurate and efficient SLA compliance monitoring Academic Article uri icon


  • Service level agreements (SLAs) define performance guarantees made by service providers, e.g , in terms of packet loss, delay, delay variation, and network availability. In this paper, we describe a new active measurement methodology to accurately monitor whether measured network path characteristics are in compliance with performance targets specified in SLAs. Specifically, (1) we describe a new methodology for estimating packet loss rate that significantly improves accuracy over existing approaches; (2) we introduce a new methodology for measuring mean delay along a path that improves accuracy over existing methodologies, and propose a method for obtaining confidence intervals on quantiles of the empirical delay distribution without making any assumption about the true distribution of delay; (3) we introduce a new methodology for measuring delay variation that is more robust than prior techniques; and (4) we extend existing work in network performance tomography to infer lower bounds on the quantiles of a distribution of performance measures along an unmeasured path given measurements from a subset of paths. We unify active measurements for these metrics in a discrete time-based tool called SLA M . The unified probe stream from SLA M consumes lower overall bandwidth than if individual streams are used to measure path properties. We demonstrate the accuracy and convergence properties of SLA M in a controlled laboratory environment using a range of background traffic scenarios and in one- and two-hop settings, and examine its accuracy improvements over existing standard techniques.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Sommers, J., Barford, P., Duffield, N., & Ron, A.

citation count

  • 30

complete list of authors

  • Sommers, Joel||Barford, Paul||Duffield, Nick||Ron, Amos

publication date

  • October 2007