Netest: A Tool to Measure the Maximum Burst Size, Available Bandwidth
and Achievable Throughput
Distinguishing available bandwidth and achievable throughput is essential for improving network applications' performance. Achiveable throughput is the throughput considering a number of factors such as network protocol, host speed, network path, and TCP buffer space, where as available bandwidth only considers the network path. Without understanding this difference, trying to improve network applications' performance is like "blind men feeling the elephant" . In this paper, we define and distinguish bandwidth and throughput, and debate which part of each is achievable and which is available. Also, we introduce and discuss a new concept - Maximum Burst Size that is crucial to the network performance and bandwidth sharing. A tool, netest, is introduced to help users to determine the available bandwidth, and provides information to achieve better throughput with fairness of sharing the available bandwidth, thus reducing misuse of the network.