Test Circuit Service

ESnet provides layer-2 circuits for testing and network research. These circuits may go between 2 or more ESnet endpoints, and various quality of service (QoS) options are available. The default QoS for test circuits is 1 Gbps of guaranteed bandwidth, with traffic greater than 1Gbps tagged ‘scavenger’. Details on other QoS options are at the bottom of this page.

Approval of test circuit requests is be based on bandwidth availability, the complexity of the circuit setup, and relevance to the DOE SC mission. Requests for point to point circuits may take up to 2 weeks for approval and circuit creation after all required information is provided. Multipoint circuits may take longer. By default, circuits requests are for 6 months, but can be renewed, subject to bandwidth availability. User support for this service is limited to business hours (7am-5pm Pacific Time, Monday-Friday).

Note that we strongly encourage you to place a perfSONAR node at all endpoints of your test circuit to help with troubleshooting. ESnet will also connect one or more of its perfSONAR hosts to the test circuit for you to run tests to.

Requests for test circuits should be emailed to, and should include as much of the following information as possible:

  • circuit endpoints including device, port and vlan information
  • bandwidth, QoS, VLAN IDs and duration of test circuit requested
  • a detailed end to end diagram suitable for debugging the end-to-end path that identifies all potential bottlenecks. At a minimum it must include device names and port names for all inter-domain connections.
  • details about the resources at the ends of the circuit and their expected capabilities, including information on what tests have been done already and what the end hosts are capable of achieving.
  • Information about the PI requesting the circuit, and the operational staff who will be using the circuit, including NOC contacts. In particular, the contact information for all engineers who might be needed to help setup or troubleshoot the circuit
  • addresses for perfSONAR testpoints at each end of the circuit.
  • A paragraph suitable for publication on the ESnet website describing the proposed experiment and the relevance of the proposed experiment to the DOE Science Mission. This paragraph must include specific details about the circuit requested sufficient to evaluate scientific merit and value to DOE.


Supported QoS options

Guaranteed Bandwidth Circuits:

  • Hard policing: Packets exceeding the requested bandwidth is dropped on the ingress to ESnet.
  • Soft policing: Packets exceeding the requested bandwidth is marked as "scavenger" and may be dropped within ESnet if network congestion occurs along the path.
  • Guaranteed bandwidth circuit traffic is forwarded in the "expedited-forwarding-VC" queue.
  • The computed hop-by-hop path of the LSP (used to support the circuit) is explicitly dictated in the setup of the circuit.

Best Effort Circuits:

  • A bandwidth value is required as part of the reservation parameters, but there is no guarantee of bandwidth for traffic in this class.
  • Best effort circuit traffic is forwarded in the "best-effort-VC" queue".
  • The computed hop-by-hop path of the LSP (used to support the circuit) is explicitly dictated in the setup of the circuit.

We also offer these Protection/Restoration options for Circuits (both Guaranteed Bandwidth and Best Effort circuits)

  • When the Protection/Restoration option is selected (for either Guaranteed Bandwidth or Best Effort circuits), a second parallel LSP is create as a hot-standby.
  • The hot-standby circuit has no bandwidth guarantees and is forwarded in the "best-effort-VC" queue".
  • The hop-by-hop path of the hot-standby LSP is not explicitly dictated in the setup of the circuit, but uses in-skin CSPF computations to determine a viable path. This allows the hot-standby LSP to re-route over multiple path failures and ensure connectivity as long as the two requested end-points are not bi-partitioned.