What is perfSONAR?
perfSONAR is an infrastructure for network performance monitoring,
making it easier to solve end-to-end performance problems on paths
crossing several networks. It contains a set of services delivering
performance measurements in a federated environment. These services act
as an intermediate layer, between the performance measurement tools and
the diagnostic or visualization applications. This layer is aimed at
making and exchanging performance measurements between networks, using
perfSONAR is a services-oriented architecture. That means that the set of elementary functions have been isolated and can be provided by different entities called services. All those services communicate with each other using well-defined protocols. perfSONAR has three contexts:
- A consortium of organizations who seek to build network performance middleware that is interoperable across multiple networks and useful for intra- and inter-network analysis. One of the main goals is to make it easier to solve end-to-end performance problems on paths crossing several networks.
- A protocol. It assumes a set of roles (the various service types), defines the protocol standard (syntax and semantics) by which they communicate, and allows anyone to write a service playing one of those roles. The protocol is based on SOAP XML messages and following the Open Grid Forum (OGF) Network Measurement Working Group (NM-WG).
- Several, interoperable software packages (implementations of various services) that attempt to implement an interoperable peformance middleware framework. Those sets of code are developed by different partners. Some pieces of code are "more important" than others because their goal is to ensure interoperability between domains (e.g. the Lookup Service and the Authentication Service). Different subsets of code are important to each partner, with a great deal of overlap. The services developed acts as an intermediate layer, between the performance measurement tools and the diagnostic or visualization applications. These software packages are available here.
perfSONAR makes it possible to automate monitoring data exchange between networks, to simplify troubleshooting performance problems occurring between sites connected through several networks (e.g. metropolitan networks, national research and education networks, etc.). For example, perfSONAR traceroute can display the used bandwidth on all links of a given path. Bandwidth is retrieved from Measurement Archives, services of the perfSONAR suite that exchange the link utilization on all segments of the path in a standardized way. This tool makes it possible to find, easily, the source of congestions that may cause performance problems. Other performance metrics also can be exchanged with perfSONAR.
Major perfSONAR Services
- Measurement Point Service: Creates and/or publishes monitoring information related to active and passive measurements
- Measurement Archive Service: Stores and publishes monitoring information retrieved from Measurement Point Services
- Lookup Service: Registers all participating services and their capabilities
- Authentication Service: Manages domain-level access to services via tokens
- Transformation Service: Offers custom data manipulation of existing archived measurements
- Resource Protector Service: Manages granular details regarding system resource consumption
- Toplogy Service: Offers topological information on networks