Network traffic generators are invaluable tools that allow for applied experimentation to evaluate the performance of networks, infrastructure, and security controls, by modelling and simulating the communication packets and payloads that would be produced by machines and devices on the network. Specifically for security applications, these tools can be used to consistently simulate malicious activity on the network and test the components designed to detect and mitigate malicious activities, in a highly reliable and customisable way. However, despite the promising features, most of these tools have some problems that can undermine the correctness of experiments. The accuracy of the simulation results depends strongly on the performance and reliability of the used generator. Thus, in this paper, we investigate the performance and accuracy of three of the most reviewed network traffic generators in literature, namely Cisco TRex, Ostinato and Genesids. Mainly, the comparative experiments examine the strengths and limitations of these tools, which can help the research community to choose the most suitable one to assess the performance of their networks and security controls.

Authors: Matthew Swann, Joseph Rose, Gueltoum Bendiab, Stavros Shiaeles, Nick Savage

Published in: World Congress on Internet Security (WorldCIS-2020)

  • Date of Conference: 8-10 December 2020
  • DOI: 10.20533/WorldCIS.2020.0003
  • ISBN: 978-1-913572-24-2
  • Conference Location: London, UK