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INSTOOLS, Instrumentation Tools

Instrumentation Tools (INSTOOLS) is a network instrumentation and measurement framework designed to make it easy to deploy network measurement infrastructure onto a slice. Once deployed, INSTOOLs allows the user to "see" the network behavior using a standard web browser. From a user's viewpoint, there are basically two steps required to use INSTOOLs:

  • Instrument the Slice: The users runs a script that deploys the necessary network monitoring software into a slice which then begins collecting network traffic measurements for that slice -- see instrumentize
  • Visualize/Graph the Collected Measurements: After instrumenting the slice, the user is given a web page to visit in order to "see" a live view of the network traffic flowing through the slice. Users can either use the Portal View INSTOOLS Portal that shows the slice on a map and allows users to click on any link or node in the slice to see its performance. A second interface INSTOOLS Live View provides a very detailed live view of the links and nodes supported by a particular aggregate.

The INSTOOLS framework is designed to make configuration, deployment, and visualization of measurement data easy. The INSTOOLS user does not need to be an expert in system administration or network management, The goal is not to reinvent the wheel, but, rather develop ways to automatically deploy and leverage existing tools. Network state information is typically more important than packet trace information, therefore many of the tools used measure data such as routing tables, packet counters (e.g., interface counters), cache entries (e.g., ARP, DNS, and NAT tables), processor load averages, memory statistics, host configurations, firewall rules, etc.

Each slice receives its own Measurement Controllers (MCs). These machines are responsible for capturing the data. Currently the slice has at least one MC per aggregate. This ensures scalability and efficiency since each set of instrumentation tools is tailored to capture, record, and display only the desired information associated with that slice.

The MC's create a measurement plane which is separate from the data plane. This minimizes interference with the slice caused by the various measurement tools.


Protogeni Tutorial: USING INSTOOLS GEC9

GEC7 Conference slides March, 2010

GEC6 Conference slides November, 2009

Instrumentation Tools for a GENI Prototype, GEC3 Conference, 2008 (outlines the project goals and relationships with other projects).

An Instrumentation Approach for ProtoGENI-based Edulabs, GENI Measurement Workshop (June, 2009)

Kentucky INSTOOL update and proposed Shadowbox projects, GEC6 Conference, November 2009

INSTOOLS: Instrumentation Tools for a ProtoGENI Prototype, GEC6 Conference, November 2009

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