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The European Internet Traffic Observatory

The Evergrow Traffic Observatory Management Infrastructure Centre (ETOMIC) is to be installed at the Public University of Navarre, as a result of the participation of the Telematic Networks, Systems and Services Research Group of the university, in a European project the ultimate aim of which is to predict how Internet traffic will function in 2025.

The ETOMIC Traffic Observatory is made up of 50 nodes or traffic-measurement sondes distributed throughout Europe. These sondes are computers fitted with traffic generation cards, synchronised via satellite and which send traffic between them with the aim of measuring features such as the time lag or the transfer speed of web pages. Thus, quality, as perceived by the net user, can be observed and its evolution tracked, with the aim of enabling the prediction of unwanted saturation situations. Specifically, the Telematic Networks, Systems and Services Research Group of the Public University of Navarre is to develop in Pamplona a control centre to manage this Traffic Observatory. They have a budget of 120,000 euros to this end. The development of this Observatory is taking place under the auspices of the Evergrow project, with a funding of a total of 5.5 million euros by the VI Framework Programme for Technological Research and Development of the European Union and involves the participation of more than twenty universities and institutes throughout Europe and from Israel and Egypt, as well as companies such as Ericsson, IBM, TeliaSonera and France Telecom. The future of Internet Networks will soon be offering, not only access to all world knowledge, but also a situation where all society will be based on nets, from private life to business life, from company activity to political administration. So, the exigencies demanded of the future development of Internet will be very high. It already can be seen that complexity is constantly increasing so the problems concomitant with this complexity can be anticipated. But, apart from the future development of Internet, many of the processes that are today manual, such as management and the provision and maintenance of networks at all levels, will be automated. To provide an answer to these questions, the European Evergrow project has brought together the best research groups in three areas: complex systems, extreme-to-extreme applications situations such as the current Napster- and experimental networks. During the first meeting of this team, which took place recently in Stockholm (Sweden), the participating researchers outlined the tools they will use and the plans of action to be carried out in order to characterise the topology and traffic patterns on the Internet network in Europe. One of these tools is the ETOMIC traffic observatory.