New Version of perfSONAR Network Measurement Software Released

Updated version adds extensible test scheduling and improved results presentation

April 26, 2017

During the advanced technology demonstrations segment at the Internet2 Global Summit meeting in Washington, D.C., the Department of Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), Indiana University, Internet2 and GÉANT announced the release of a new version of the open-source tool perfSONAR, which stands for Performance Service Oriented Network Monitoring Architecture.

 The updates in version 4.0 include:

  • new scheduling software called pScheduler that supports community-developed test tools
  • results archiving and analysis
  • new interactive time-series graphs for improved human analysis
  • support for email alerting in MaDDash

perfSONAR is a jointly developed and widely deployed test and measurement infrastructure that is used by science networks and facilities around the world to measure and ensure network performance. As research and education institutions are increasingly reliant on networking, open-source tools like perfSONAR allow network engineers to test and measure network performance, with the ability to archive data in order to pinpoint and solve service problems that may span multiple networks and international boundaries

"As research is becoming increasingly data-intensive, the ability to pinpoint and eliminate network bottlenecks is critical in order to make the most effective use of networks," said Inder Monga, ESnet director. "This new release leverages an open-source, time-series graphing package developed by ESnet that allows for easy exploration of measurement data."

 First released in 2006, perfSONAR provides federated coverage of network paths and helps establish end-to-end usage expectations in a global research and education network ecosystem, comprising hundreds of international, national, regional, and local-scale networks. perfSONAR is currently installed at more than 2,000 sites around the world.

“The new scheduler feature is a major step toward making perfSONAR more flexible for an increasingly complex set of research networks,” said Rob Vietzke, Internet2 vice president for network services. “It allows the community to extend the current deployed infrastructure, and perfSONAR to easily adopt tools and analyses created by our community. Congratulations to the Development team on a really important new set of capabilities!”

 At the same time that networks have become more critical and interconnected, performance issues can be more difficult to diagnose. A community-based tool like perfSONAR is extremely valuable as information gleaned by users is generally shared with others.

 “We’re excited about the 4.0 release of perfSONAR and the introduction of key new features that will increase the utility of perfSONAR nodes deployed around the globe,” said David E. Jent, Indiana University associate vice president of networks. "The new graphs provide a streamlined interaction for analysts. The new scheduler will help virtual organizations support the tests they need. Support for email alerts in testpoint meshes broadens the community that can take advantage of perfSONAR for quality assurance.”

As the number of perfSONAR deployments grow, the software becomes even more effective by offering better coverage across multiple network paths. With enough monitoring points, users can collaborate to triangulate problems and narrow down the possible bottlenecks.

“Today, when bandwidth for most networks is no longer an issue, performance concerns stand between the user's satisfaction and services provided. Fortunately, we have perfSONAR to bridge the gap, as it helps to better understand the end-user’s experience and brings insight into their view of the network,” said Steve Cotter, GÉANT CEO. "perfSONAR is simple to use and is the result of a strong, active, and enthusiastic cooperation of teams from all over the globe."

The perfSONAR collaboration over the past 11 years has also included participation by Fermilab, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Georgia Tech, University of Delaware, ATLAS Great Lakes Tier 2 team at the University of Michigan, and Brazil's National Education and Research Network.

Technical information about perfSONAR is available at and specific perfSONAR 4.0 documentation is available at

About perfSONAR

The global Research & Education (R&E) network ecosystem is comprised of hundreds of international, national, regional and local-scale networks. While these networks all interconnect, each network is owned and operated by separate organizations (called “domains”) with different policies, customers, funding models, hardware, bandwidth and configurations. This complex, heterogeneous set of networks must operate seamlessly from “end to end” to support science and research collaborations that are distributed globally.

perfSONAR is an open source network measurement toolkit designed to provide federated coverage of paths, and help to establish end-to-end usage
expectations. There are over 2000 of perfSONAR instances deployed world wide, many of which are available for open testing of key measures of network performance. This global infrastructure helps to identify and isolate problems as they happen, making the role of supporting network users easier for engineering teams, and increasing productivity when utilizing network resources.

perfSONAR provides a uniform interface that allows for the scheduling of measurements, storage of data in uniform formats, and scalable methods to retrieve data and generate visualizations. This extensible system can be modified to support new metrics, and there are endless possibilities for data presentation. To learn more, visit