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Performance of a Linux-based Network Router

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

A Technology Potpourri I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


David Border Bowling Green State University

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David A. Border, Ph.D., holds a principle research interest in electronic information systems. This field includes digital communication and networking and intelligent networked devices. His work includes wireless sensor networks. Prior research included work on signal bandwidth compression and signal specific data encoding techniques. His technology application interest includes networked systems. Typical teaching duties include junior- and senior-level courses in the Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology (ECET) program. Within this course set are the curriculum’s networking and communication courses. As is true with his ECET faculty colleagues, Border supports the program with teaching assignments, as needed, in freshman- and sophomore-level courses offerings. Examples of these include the sophomore level electric circuits and digital electronics courses. Border teaches a digital communication graduate course within a Ph.D. Consortium Technology Management program, as well as other graduate level courses at BGSU.

Border served as interim department chair of the Engineering Technologies department. He served as chair of the university Faculty Senate curriculum and academic affairs committee. He is chair of the University Faculty Senate.

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Today’s routers have increasingly short life cycles. The short life cycle is due to the growing demand for bandwidth by users. High traffic under limited bandwidth conditions results in a significant number of dropped connections and excruciatingly slow speeds. Coupled with the practice of sporadic firmware updates for the majority of commercial routers, consumers usually have to purchase new hardware every two years to maintain consistent speeds. This project explores an alternative, building a home built router suitable for use in senior projects and special projects. While our lab has made use of a “specimen” router built from an aging Dell Computer in the past; while this router has worked quite well when needed; it was decided to initiate a formal work that built home-built routers. The hardware basis of these is the PC. The PC runs a Linux distribution OS. The paper reports the building and configuration steps. The performance of the router is compared to existing devices and reported.

Objective test measurements include total transaction size, transaction rate, throughput, total elapsed time, response time and the number of failed transactions. Test conditions vary by changing the number of “data” sources. The router is increasingly stressed as the number of sources rise. Tests of the networks containing the home-built routers and commercially built routers were done and reported.

Real traffic testing was also done, with clients establishing data streams between themselves and multiple in-house web servers. This test-bed provided a test bed for subjective testing. A Likert scale was proposed and implemented for the study. Tests of the networks containing the home-built routers and commercially built routers were done and reported.

The work also reports the cost of material for the home-built routers. Since the home-built routers do not implement a pseudo-Cisco IOS, they are not suitable for teaching Cisco Academy content. However, the home-built routers do implement well-understood router functions and capabilities. A review of these appears in the paper for completeness.

Border, D. (2018, June), Performance of a Linux-based Network Router Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30872

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