Since it was first deployed as a prototype in December 2005, the perfSONAR toolkit has provided the research and education networking community with tools for end-to-end monitoring and troubleshooting of multi-domain network performance. And over the years, this ability to diagnose network problems has become increasingly important as research is increasingly collaborative and dependent on sharing large data sets.
Currently a joint effort between ESnet, Internet2, Indiana University and GEANT, the pan-European research network, perfSONAR is now deployed at more than 1,700 public sites around the world, as well as at many private sites. About 40 percent of the public sites are at educational institutions. Among the major users is the Large Hadron Collider collaboration with users at hundreds of institutions.
“Although it started out with just one of two metrics of network performance, it’s now a menagerie of tools in one easy-to-install package with not a lot of steps required to install and configure,” said Jason Zurawski of ESnet’s Science Engagement Team. “At its core, perfSONAR is software to fix your network, whether it’s broken or improperly tuned. We find that many new users are tired of poor performance and want to fix it, or they are looking to upgrade their network and want to benchmark the current system to document improvement.”
(Editor’s note: This is the first of a series highlighting ESnet’s contributions to the global networking community as ESnet marks its 30th anniversary.)