Guidelines for Internet Measurement Activities (RFC1262)
Original Publication Date: 1991-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-11
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This RFC represents IAB guidance for researchers considering measurement experiments on the Internet. This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard.
Network Working Group Internet Activities Board Request for Comments: 1262 Vinton G. Cerf/CNRI, Editor October 1991
Guidelines for Internet Measurement Activities
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
Measurement of the Internet is critical for future development, evolution and deployment planning. Internet-wide activities have the potential to interfere with normal operation and must be planned with care and made widely known beforehand. This document offers guidance to researchers planning Internet measurements.
This RFC represents IAB guidance for researchers considering measurement experiments on the Internet. This RFC does not represent a standard for the Internet but the Internet Activities Board strongly urges that Internet users follow the guidelines out of courtesy and professional consideration for the Internet community.
The Internet has undergone dramatic growth in connectivity, use, and quality of service over the past several years. As this growth continues and the Internet is used for increasingly diverse and demanding purposes, it is vital to collect data about a range of functions, from low-level packet switching services to considerations for the networking expectations of individual applications. Such data is vital to research and engineering planning activities, as well as to ensure the continued development of the operational infrastructure. Yet, it is also important that data collection activities do not interfere with the operational viability and stability of the network, and do not violate considerations regarding privacy, security, and acceptable use policies of the network. In this light, the Internet Activities Board offers the following basic guidelines for network measurement activities.
In general, any data collection activity should be undertaken with professional consideration of its impact on the services and users of the network, and activities should be planned to achieve operational
Internet Activities Board [Page 1]
RFC 1262 Measurement Guidelines October 1991
or research goals with minimal impact. In some cases, data may be collected continuously, for example to measure packet counts or the distribution of use of specific applications. In other cases, the planned investigations will be too demanding to be undertaken continuously, because of the intensity of effort required by the researcher or the traffic load on the underlying network infrastructure. Any data collection activity should be designed with careful consideration of this type of issue, and should be tested thoroughly before being deployed on the Internet. Any individual initiating a network measurement activity should alert the relevant service providers using mechanisms such as bulletin boards, mailing lists and individual mail communications.
Furthermore, the data being collected must not be gathered...