The network performance advisor
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The Network Performance Advisor. J. W. Ferguson NLANR/DAST & NCSA. Acknowledgements. NLANR/DAST does its work on ‘The Advisor’ under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation

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The Network Performance Advisor

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The Network Performance Advisor

J. W. Ferguson



  • NLANR/DAST does its work on ‘The Advisor’ under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation

  • The Internet2 E2E Initiative and the piPEs project have provided support and encouragement throughout

  • The Network Measurement Working Group of the Global Grid Forum, for the schema work being done to allow data sharing between measurement projects

Advisor Overview

Targeted for end users & network, the Advisor measures, displays, and analyzes network metrics

  • Uses existing diagnostic tools by integrating them into a common framework

  • For network engineers & administrators, provides an easy to use interface to view network metrics, and customize which metrics you like to monitor

  • For end users, Advisor attempts to emulate a junior-level network engineer with its Analysis Engine

  • Uses the schema in development by the GGF’s Network Measurement Working Group. Will use newest version of this schema—demo at Boston GGF meeting in October.

  • Additional tools and analyses can be added easily


Current Status

  • Version 2.1 released September 2005!

  • ‘Bundles’ included in release include Iperf, OWAMP, ping, top, pathchar, ifconfig, traceroute, netstat, and pathload

  • All code is accessible via anonymous CVS.


Performance Data Collector (PDC)

  • Gathers network performance data

    Performance Data Historical Archiver (PDHA)

  • Archives network performance data

    Analysis Engine

  • Analyzes network data

  • Provide plain text advice to solve problems or increase performance

  • User Interface

    • Expert Interface: table & tree of metrics

    • Map Interface: graphical display of network

    • Analysis Interface: interact with Analysis Engine

  • All components written in Java and use XML-RPC

Performance Data Collector (PDC)

  • Designed to be stand-alone, extensible, and portable

  • Elegantly handles platform differences and unavailability of any given measurement

  • Overview of Features

    • Uses bundlesto facilitate integration of performance data measurement tools

      • A collection of scripts or Java classes that describe:

        • How to invoke a measurement tool

        • What metrics the measurement tool measures

        • How to parse the measurement tool's output

    • Implements an XML-RPC interface

      • getAllMetrics: returns the list of metrics that may be measured

      • getMeasurement, getMeasurements, getAllMeasurements: returns an individual, a list, or all measurements given a remote host

PDC Features

  • All requests are fulfilled immediately without any caching

  • Activation

    • Allows cooperation of both ends through a mechanism called activation (i.e. for tools such as Iperf)

  • Security

    • Using SSL and username/password (more to come)

  • Autoupdating

    • Periodically updates the bundles (automatically)

    • User can set how often to check for updates

    • All system bundles updated

    • Tool to update bundles on demand

  • Global Grid Forum NM-WG Response Schema

    • Full Java class support for reading and writing in the schema

  • Bundle support for NM-WG Response Schema

  • New Version 2 of Schema necessitates code changes

Performance Data Historical Archiver

Short to medium-term storage of PDC measurements

  • Overview of Features:

    • Act as a caching proxy for the PDC

      • Specify how much data to store, and for how long.

    • Utilizes an XML-RPC interface to retrieve data

      • Clients can retrieve old measurement results and the latest measurement results

      • Clients can force PDHA to request new measurements from PDC

    • To retrieve archived measurements specify an

      • interval: returns all measurements taken during the specified interval

      • list of timestamps: returns all measurements that match a timestamp in the list, with some amount of error allowed.

    • Allow different measurements to have different “lifetimes”

    • Stores data locally in an XML file

    • Ability to query third party databases with the NM-WG Request schema

    • Will support Version 2 of schema, demo at GGF in October

Analysis Engine

Analyze metrics for a specific end-to-end path and give advice to solve performance or connectivity problems

  • Features:

    • “Test Definition Files” (TDFs) similar to PDC’s ADFs

      • TDFs consist of

        • detection rules: simple binary operations (AND, OR, NOT, etc)

        • synthetic metrics file name

        • problem descriptions, and solutions

      • Synthetic Metrics

        • operations on base metrics

        • may be written in any scripting language (and eventually Java)

    • Constructs a decision tree for each problem

Analysis Engine

  • Example TDFS include:

    • Duplex mismatch, incorrect buffer sizes, incorrect settings, congestion, general connectivity issues.

  • Future Development:

    • Modify Analysis Engine to use historical data

    • Engage the network engineering community to obtain more analysis test cases

Advisor GUI

Displays Advisor’s collected network metrics and is capable of displaying outside metrics acquired in the GGF NM-WG schema.

  • Three main graphical displays

    • Metric Display GUI: Displays all metrics

      • uses a tree to organize metrics

      • uses a table to display metrics and corresponding information

    • Analysis GUI: Displays advice reported from the analysis engine

      • text display of analysis and advice

    • Map GUI: Visual display of the network and trouble spots

      • users will be able to click on a map to view measurements for specific areas along the path

Thank You !

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