PERT - Performance Enhancement and Response Team

SURFnet is examining the possibilities for setting up a PERT: Performance Enhancement and Response Team. A PERT helps ICT departments and end users when the network isn’t providing optimum performance. It supports the optimisation of end-to-end performance, dealing with problems such as slow connections, low bandwidth and excessive delay or jitter.

Demanding applications

The education and research sector is using increasingly demanding as well as a wider variety of applications. This presents challenges to the underlying network when it comes to things like data streaming, real-time media and the transport of large datasets or a huge number of small datasets where packet loss must be avoided.

Network chains are growing longer

Sometimes institutions outsource specific ICT services, leading to data centres being located outside their own networks. As a result, network chains are growing ever longer, which in turn affects end-to-end network performance. This is also a factor when exchanging large datasets over long distances, such as when collaborating with researchers in other countries.

Working together to solve problems

The root causes of performance issues are often difficult to identify because more and increasingly complex equipment is being used and multiple network domains are connected to the total network. Moreover, they often cannot be pinned down to just one location, but concern a combination of factors. As a result, end users and ICT support staff often don’t know what the cause of performance problems is and are unsure about who to turn to for help.

Performance Enhancement and Response Team (PERT)

A PERT can provide the solution, helping ICT departments and end users with these end-to-end performance problems. Working in conjunction with the parties concerned, a PERT searches the entire network chain to identify the cause of the problem and can then advise on a solution. As well as providing advice on technical solutions, a PERT also exchanges knowledge. By building up case knowledge and making this information available, a PERT can create and share expertise, enabling future performance problems to be solved more quickly and effectively. 

Since performance problems often involve multiple network domains, it is important that problems are investigated in collaboration with all parties concerned. The PERT will therefore involve not only institutions in the search for a solution, but relevant service providers as well. 

PERT or the SURFnet helpdesk?

The role of the PERT is to tackle performance problems affecting a working network connection. Such performance problems can involve things like slow connections, low bandwidth and excessive delay or jitter. For advice on a performance problem and for questions/comments about PERT, please contact PERT via pert@surfnet.nl

If the network is hit by a full outage then please contact the SURFnet helpdesk via helpdesk@surfnet.nl.

Who is it for?

The PERT is chiefly intended for ICT departments of SURFnet member institutions. Researchers at these institutions who are not achieving satisfactory performance in the transport of their datasets can also contact the PERT.

More information

Status
Active
Start date
01 Nov 2015