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Impact of Evolving Protocols and COVID-19 on Internet Traffic Shares

by   Luca Schumann, et al.

The rapid deployment of new Internet protocols over the last few years and the COVID-19 pandemic more recently (2020) has resulted in a change in the Internet traffic composition. Consequently, an updated microscopic view of traffic shares is needed to understand how the Internet is evolving to capture both such shorter- and longer-term events. Toward this end, we observe traffic composition at a research network in Japan and a Tier-1 ISP in the USA. We analyze the traffic traces passively captured at two inter-domain links: MAWI (Japan) and CAIDA (New York-Sao Paulo), which cover 100GB of data for MAWI traces and 4TB of data for CAIDA traces in total. We begin by studying the impact of COVID-19 on the MAWI link: We find a substantial increase in the traffic volume of OpenVPN and rsync, as well as increases in traffic volume from cloud storage and video conferencing services, which shows that clients shift to remote work during the pandemic. For traffic traces between March 2018 to December 2018, we find that the use of IPv6 is increasing quickly on the CAIDA monitor: The IPv6 traffic volume increases from 1.1 6.1 dataset at around 9 application layer, 60 traffic, out of which two-thirds are encrypted; for the MAWI link, more than 90 previous studies, this depicts a larger increase in encrypted Web traffic of up to a 3-to-1 ratio of HTTPS to HTTP. As such, our observations in this study further reconfirm that traffic shares change with time and can vary greatly depending on the vantage point studied despite the use of the same generalized methodology and analyses, which can also be applied to other traffic monitoring datasets.


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