As the WACREN network is being deployed we want to make sure it performs at the speed and capacity it was planned for, to make sure that the links provided are reliable to serve our users with the service quality they need. To verify that, a perfSONAR deployment was designed to go hand in hand with the network: each major network PoP is hosting a primary measurement point (MP), secondaries are in the other PoP and more MP can be located in the members’ networks at will. A data archiver and a dashboard, also run by WACREN, will complete this performance monitoring setup.
This deployment is being rolled out at the same time the network is made available. Even with only a few MP available, the measurements are already showing their value and proving useful, recording service availability and catching performance drops. As new links are being established, new MP will be deployed and more measurements will be taken.
This WACREN perfSONAR mesh is also establishing new targets for measurements for the Research and Education community worldwide. Network operators from West Africa, but also from anywhere in Africa and the world are able to use these MP to verify network performance end to end. Network engineers are now able to ensure the end-users, from researchers to students, are served with the proper quality of service on the full data path from source to destination. To help to reach this goal, the NEAAR project has co-organized, with partnering REN, perfSONAR workshops across the continent. Building on the freshly deployed perfSONAR nodes following those workshops, NEAAR also runs a collective performance dashboard, centralizing measurements across three continents: North America, Europe and Africa.
At the same time this infrastructure is being deployed, the perfSONAR software itself continues evolving. The latest versions, 4.3.3 at this date, brought pSconfig, the perfSONAR orchestrator and more measurement types and possibilities. As the single source of truth in your perfSONAR deployment, PWA, the pSconfig Web Admin, is where you define all your MP, archivers and your set of performance measurements. With a visual interface, PWA makes for an easier way of managing your perfSONAR deployments through pSconfig.
PWA is not the only addition to a user-friendly operation of perfSONAR. The developers are currently working on a new graphical user interface (GUI) tools to enable NOC engineers to troubleshoot performance issues faster and more easily. One tool is a graphical frontend to pScheduler, the perfSONAR scheduler that ensures measurement tasks are not stepping on each other. The second one is an overhaul of the graphing and plotting capabilities of perfSONAR with improved openness to visualisation platforms like Kibana and Grafana, through the use of a data pipeline based on ElasticSearch and Logstash, i.e. the ELK stack.
With this presentation, we will first show the current and future perfSONAR deployments and performance measurements on the WACREN network and in the NEAAR project area. We will demonstrate the value they bring to the operation of the networks. We will also present the latest perfSONAR software features and its development roadmap going forward, including a preview of the two new GUI tools mentioned above.