Measuring Network Performance with M-Lab

Measurement Lab is an open platform for researchers to deploy Internet measurement tools. By enhancing Internet transparency, M-Lab helps sustain a healthy, innovative Internet. What this explanatory video to learn why M-Lab is important to researchers, network engineers and policy makers. M-Lab is a collaborative effort founded in 2009 by Googler Vint Cerf and a number of network researchers and industry partners, including Google.

M-Lab’s goal is to provide researchers, consumers, policymakers, and anyone else who wants good, intelligible information about the Internet,  with open data about network performance.

The nuts and bolts of M-Lab start with a widely-distributed server platform maintained and managed by the M-Lab Collaborative. These servers are purpose-built to support broadband measurement, and are consistently deployed to exact specifications. This means that the data they collect is consistent — important when you’re contrasting global network performance. Researchers host open-source, active broadband measurement tools on these servers, and users access these tools, run tests, and get real-time information on their network performance. Each time a user runs a test (about 200,000 times a day), data is collected and put into the public domain. So far, it’s 516 terabytes and growing.

M-Lab is a head-to-tail solution for high quality, open data. And the best part is that it’s all open. From the testing methodology described in the open source code of the tools, to the server documentation, to the data collected, scientists and others can vet exactly what is being measured, how it’s measured, and what precisely this says about networks and performance. M-Lab’s momentum is generated by working together from a shared source of data to progress the state of networks.