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8/24
2007
Terry Slattery

The Origin of TTCP (Test TCP)

TTCP (Test TCP, see www.netcordia.com/resources/tools.asp) gets a large number of hits on our web site. It is a free throughput testing program that has been used for many years. I obtained it from someone at Excelan, a network interface card vendor, while working at the US Naval Academy in the mid-1980s. I don’t know who wrote the initial version. I was working on PDP11 Unix and needed a testing tool that wasn’t limited by disk I/O bandwidth, which is the problem with using something like FTP for testing. I, along with Mike Muuss, modified TTCP to incorporate other features like UDP testing. [Note: Mike worked at the Ballistic Research Lab, Aberdeen Proving Grounds and was the author of the original version of Ping, the network round trip and reachability test tool – see ftp.arl.mil/~mike/ping.html.]

I shared the modified version with other people, some of whom made other improvements (see the source file header comments for who did what). Later, at Chesapeake Computer Consultants, I created a Java version, which ran surprisingly fast. (See The Network Monitor, www.netcordia.com/resources/network-monitor.asp, issue 3-2.)

TTCP sends or receives a data stream from in-memory buffers, so there is no disk I/O to limit its throughput, making it a useful tool for checking network throughput. Cisco has incorporated it into IOS (see The Network Monitor, www.netcordia.com/resources/network-monitor.asp, TNM 3-1). [While writing this, I realized that a useful extension would be to add the ability to set the DSCP value of the packets.]

TTCP has been a true community development and has been widely used. It is heart-warming to find someone using it for network testing.

-Terry

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Re-posted with Permission 

NetCraftsmen would like to acknowledge Infoblox for their permission to re-post this article which originally appeared in the Applied Infrastructure blog under http://www.infoblox.com/en/communities/blogs.html

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Terry Slattery

Terry Slattery

Principal Architect

Terry Slattery is a Principal Architect at NetCraftsmen, an advanced network consulting firm that specializes in high-profile and challenging network consulting jobs. Terry is currently working on network management, SDN, business strategy consulting, and interesting legal cases. He is the founder of Netcordia, inventor of NetMRI, has been a successful technology innovator in networking during the past 20 years, and is co-inventor on two patents. He has a long history of network consulting and design work, including some of the first Cisco consulting and training. As a consultant to Cisco, he led the development of the current Cisco IOS command line interface. Prior to Netcordia, Terry founded Chesapeake Computer Consultants, which became a Cisco premier training and consulting partner. At Chesapeake, he co-invented and patented the v-LAB system to provide hands-on access to real hardware for the hands-on component of internetwork training classes. Terry co-authored the successful McGraw-Hill text "Advanced IP Routing in Cisco Networks," is the second CCIE (1026) awarded, and is a regular speaker at Enterprise Connect and Interop. He currently blogs at TechTarget, No Jitter and our very own NetCraftsmen.

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