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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 well-defined protocols.

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:


An Example

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