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Beacon Sites

Les Cottrell and Warren Matthews. Last updated May 18, 1998

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As we start to have data available on over 550 monitor site/remote site pairs, from 14 monitoring to about 350 remote sites in 25 countries on 6 continents, we are working on improved ways to group the data. For comparison purposes we are finding a need for each monitoring site to monitor a complete set of Beacon sites.

Beacon sites are supposed to be representative of the various affinity groups we are monitoring. Ideally the beacon host at each beacon site should be carefully selected according to the guidelines in Requirements for WAN Hosts being Monitored. By default the beacon list includes a host for each monitoring site. Other factors determing the selection of a beacon site include it's importance to HENP, its physical location, and which ISP backbone it is connected to. For larger affinity groups we need 2 hosts so we can do pair-wise comparisons. It was also been suggested that the DNS root servers or NAP route servers should be included in this list. They are critical pieces of the Internet infrastructure. On the other hand they may not welcome the extra measurement traffic, though it should be pretty minimal (i.e. on average about 100bps for each monitoring site (14) will be added to each route server's traffic). After some discussion it was decided not to include the root name servers in our beacon list. This was since we are focussing on end-to-end performance monitoring and not the internals of the Internet.

The idea is that all monitoring sites monitor all beacon sites. Thus the beacon sites will be a subset of all the hosts a given monitoring site pings. As monitoring sites add beacon sites it is expected that older "duplicate" remote sites (e.g. other hosts at a Beacon site) will be removed.

At the moment BNL (US/ESnet), Carleton (CA), CERN (CH), CMU (US/vBNS), DESY (DE), DOE (US/ESnet), HEPNRC (US/ESnet), INFN (IT), KEK (JP), NBI (5/26/98), RAL (UK), RMKI (HU), SLAC (US/ESnet) and TRIUMF (CA) have agreed to monitor all beacon sites.

As of 5/22/98, BNL (15:25 EDT 5/11/98), Carleton (5/20/98), CERN (5/16/98), CMU (5/16/98), DESY (5/19/98), DOE-HQ (5/18/98), HEPNRC (5/22/98), INFN (5/15/98), KEK (5/26/98), NBI (5/26/98), RMKI (5/16/98), SLAC & TRIUMF are monitoring the beacons.

There is a list of the beacon sites and the rationale for each. There is also a map of the beacon sites. Moving the mouse over each dot will display the host name and the rough longitude/latitude of each site.

Comments, Questions to Les Cottrell