Performance Assurance Service

Advanced, Comprehensive, End-to-End Testing

An operational monitoring framework for network services based on perfSONAR.

Internet2’s Performance Assurance Service provides a framework for operational monitoring of network services based on the community-developed, open-source perfSONAR toolkit.

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  • Not all network failures are obvious: networks fail in ways that can be difficult to detect. The control plane cannot always provide reliable information about the state of the network or the services it provides; only active, end-to-end monitoring of the connectivity and performance of the data plane can provide this assurance.

    The Performance Assurance Service provides a framework for operational monitoring of network services, based on the community-developed, open-source perfSONAR toolkit. It can detect hard and soft failures of the network itself, and ensure the correct functioning of both high- and low-level services, from provisioning Layer 2 VLANs to accessing NET+ cloud solutions. It continues Internet2’s tradition of transparency, providing visibility into network service performance and availability metrics.

    See for yourself! Visit the Internet2 Performance Assurance Service dashboard.

    Continuous Measurement

    The Performance Assurance Service helps characterize the operations of Internet2’s Layer 2 Service and Layer 3 Service networks by continuously measuring achievable end-to-end network throughput and packet loss. The figures show what is available on the Internet2 Performance Assurance Service dashboard.

    Figure 1 – Layer 3 Service packet loss matrix

    Figure 2 – Layer 2 Service throughput between Phoenix, AZ, and Salt Lake City, UT

    Figure 3 – Full bandwidth matrix for  Layer 2 Service transit paths

    As well as providing visibility into the network for members and end-users, Performance Assurance Service measurements are continuously monitored by the Internet2 Network Operations Center. Whenever network throughput or packet loss drops below acceptable thresholds, alarms are generated so the engineering staff can move quickly to resolve the problem.

    Ad-Hoc Testing

    The Layer 2 and Layer 3 core meshes of continuous measurement demonstrate and help ensure that Internet2’s networks are performing as expected, by continuously testing and verifying achievable bandwidth and detecting packet loss events. However, ad-hoc testing may be useful:

    • to aid in troubleshooting cross-domain network issues
    • to verify expected inter-network performance

    To these ends, perfSONAR nodes dedicated to ad-hoc bandwidth and latency testing are available at Internet2’s Chicago, Seattle, and New York sites, with 10 Gbps connections to Internet2’s core routers. Note that as of Fall 2020 Internet2 is about to refresh its Layer 3 and Layer 2 Service platform. With that refresh ad-hoc test points that have 100 Gbps interfaces are planned.

    The current test point host names are:

    • Located at Chicago, IL:
    • Located at Seattle, WA:
    • Located at New York, NY:

    In order to help ensure that test results are accurate and meaningful, testing to these nodes must be performed with pScheduler.   More information on obtaining and installing perfSONAR is available; the easiest way to get pScheduler is to install the perfSONAR-testpoint bundle, which would allow you to run tests from the machine where it is installed, between it and other pScheduler nodes or between any other perfSONAR nodes (including the test points above). 

    If you desire regularly scheduled, ongoing, inter-network tests, please contact the Internet2 network operations center. While the ad-hoc test points are open for anyone to use, they should not be the basis of an automated test scheme.

    If you are interested in the internal performance of Internet2’s network, see the Performance Assurance Service continuous measurement services.

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