Network Performance and Troubleshooting (perfSONAR)

perfSONAR: Comprehensive monitoring and
measuring of network resources



perfSONAR is a tool for end-to-end monitoring and troubleshooting of multi-domain network performance. perfSONAR provides network engineers with the ability to test and measure network performance, as well as to archive data in order to pinpoint and solve service problems that may span multiple networks and international boundaries. perfSONAR is currently deployed at over 2000 locations around the world, and is extremely valuable when doing network troubleshooting. perfSONAR has been developed through an international collaboration led by Internet2, ESnet, Indiana University, and GEANT. 

perfSONAR Overview
Current list of global perfSONAR services
Download the latest version of the perfSONAR Toolkit
ESnet's perfSONAR Dashboards

Why use perfSONAR?

Efficient and reliable exchange of data is necessary for world-class scientific collaborations. The networks that connect scientific teams need to handle increasing amounts of data and convey it across multiple networks around the world. However, end users only care about end-to-end performance, not everything that happens at points between.

When a network is underperforming or errors occur, it can be difficult to identify and correct the source of the trouble, as problems can occur across multiple networks. Local testing will often not flag the cause, as errors can occur anywhere within a network, or anywhere on the path of data as it travels and is transferred between multiple networks. While hard failures are relatively easy to detect and fix, soft failures where a network continues to function but has compromised performance, can go undetected for years.

This is where perfSONAR comes in. perfSONAR automatically tests and monitors networks, looking for sluggish performance. It provides network users and operators with an efficient way to troubleshoot network performance problems, automatically monitor paths of interest, and collect and archive information on network performance. perfSONAR identifies areas of low performance, both by their location on the network and by the time window in which they occur, and flags these trouble spots. 


How to effectively use perfSONAR

If you don’t know what your network is capable of doing, you may not know when it is underperforming. ESnet is working with users to better characterize their networks and measure performance to more effectively root out incipient problems that can impair performance. For a guide on how to use perfSONAR to troubleshoot network performance issues, check out our fasterdata knowledge base.

Future directions

Our goals for PerfSONAR are to make it increasingly easier for users and network engineers to detect and troubleshoot network performance issues.

Contact perfSONAR

If you are a scientist or site coordinator and are interested in getting help configuring perfSONAR to help you find problems in your network contact:

Additional Information