perfSONAR is an integral part of the cyber-infrastructure for a scientific facility, campus, laboratory, network provider, or exchange point. A component of ESnet’s Science DMZ strategy, perfSONAR provides crucial information on network performance between facilities, an area that traditional monitoring solutions cannot address. Collaboration is inherently a cross-domain activity, and ensuring this works for organizational stakeholders means having perfSONAR deployed, and used, to provide network reliability information.
Ensuring that networks are functioning in an optimal manner is critical for network engineers. Traditional passive monitoring tools, such as SNMP, provide crucial insight into availability of resources but cannot deliver a notion of end-to-end performance that stretches past a single domain. Deploying perfSONAR in key locations of your network, such as where demarcations occur with other domains, provides insight into active traffic patterns and helps to pinpoint trouble areas. perfSONAR is a part of ESnet’s Science DMZ strategy, and works hand in hand with other solutions to facilitate friction free scientific network use.
Networks are critical part of world, and most people interact with them on a daily basis, perhaps without realizing or caring about lower level details. If problems are experienced, e.g. expectations of speed or quality are not realized, we often “blame the network” for not behaving as it should. perfSONAR gives visibility into network performance, and helps to isolate where “slowness” can be found, and helps to find and amicable solution for the benefit of all.
Organized activities between distributed groups of users rely on stable, well maintained, network infrastructure. Groupings of scientists, performers, or policy makers, have a critical reliance on network infrastructure to facilitate knowledge transfer, audio and video transmission, or real time data mobility. Virtual Organizations (VOs) using perfSONAR have invested time and effort to create meaningful simulations of network activities. With this data, they can communicate with providers to ensure that things are operating as they would expect, or judge if certain activities will or will not be possible. perfSONAR provides deeper insight into network use cases than is possible with traditional monitoring tools.
Software & Service Developers
perfSONAR is middle-ware between network monitoring tools and higher level services such as visualizations and workflow managers. Using perfSONAR APIs, it is possible to unlock data gathered from 1000s of networks, and design more intelligent “above the network” services. Developers of lower level measurement and monitoring tools can use similar APIs to facilitate the deployment, sharing, and location of new products.
perfSONAR data, gathered from numerous locations around the world, can provide untapped knowledge related to the performance of networks. Using a set of APIs, it is possible to retrieve and study this data, further advancing the understanding of computer and information sciences.
Finding perfSONAR Hosts
perfSONAR tools are deployed on over 2,000 registered hosts in over 300 top-level domains and more than 1,000 organizations around the world. Based on discussions with the user base, it is believed that there are at least that many private, unregistered perfSONAR installations.