Testing the Feasibility of a Low-Cost Network Performance Measurement Infrastructure:
Todays science collaborations depend on reliable, high performance networks, but monitoring the end-to-end performance of a network can be costly and difficult. The most accurate approaches involve using measurement equipment in many locations, which can be both expensive and difficult to manage due to immobile or complicated assets. The perfSONAR framework facilitates network measurement making management of the tests more reasonable. Traditional deployments have used over-provisioned servers, which can be expensive to deploy and maintain. As scientific network uses proliferate, there is a desire to instrument more facets of a network to better understand trends. This work explores low cost alternatives to assist with network measurement. Benefits include the ability to deploy more resources quickly, and reduced capital and operating expenditures. We present candidate platforms and a testing scenario that evaluated the relative merits of four types of small form factor equipment to deliver accurate performance measurements.