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Network Performance Monitoring

The SCinet architecture incorporates a number of features that support network monitoring. Monitoring will be used both to watch the internal network for operational purposes and to characterize the high-performance network applications that traverse SCinet, in particular for the Bandwidth Challenge.

Utilization and errors for all external links and all major SCinet internal links will be monitored for operational purposes.

Active techniques will be used to monitor reachability over the external links and latency to key sites. One-way delay testing will be done with OWAMP technology developed by Internet2 and partially funded by NSF. Throughput tests will use BWCTL, developed by Internet2, as well as Iperf, developed by NCSA and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of the NSF-funded Network Laboratory for Applied Network Research (NLANR) Distributed Application Support Team.

Internet2, in conjunction with SCinet, will provide a "weather map" showing current utilization on all SCinet external links, based on the technology used for the Abilene NOC weather map developed by the Abilene NOC at Indiana University.

The Network Diagnostic Tool (NDT), is a web based tool that allows SC06 users to self-test their end systems and the "last mile" network infrastructure. It detects common infrastructure problems (e.g., duplex mismatch condition) and common performance problems (e.g., incorrect TCP buffer size). The NDT is currently being developed by Internet2, with additional funding from Cisco, Argonne National Laboratory and the National Library of Medicine.

Spirent Communications will provide Adtech AX/4000s to passively monitor wide area connections and collect statistics. These statistics will include total aggregate traffic counts on each of the connections and total instantaneous traffic counts for use in judging the Bandwidth Challenge. Code developed by both Spirent's Advanced Test Program and the San Diego Supercomputer Center will visualize the AX/4000 statistics.

Flow data (e.g., sFlow, NetFlow, cflow) will be collected from routers and switches. This data will be analyzed and visualized with software from InMon Corporation. This will provide detailed real-time information as to which users and applications are consuming the bandwidth. The information will be used for assessing the Bandwidth Challenge and network operations.

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