In 2004-2005, as a lark, I created my own Web performance measurement system, using PERL, PHP and MySQL. In August 2005, I managed to figure out how to include remote agents.
I dubbed it…GrabPERF. An odd name, but an amalgamation of “Grab” and “Performance” that made sense to my mind at the time. I also never though that it would go beyond my house, a couple of basement servers, and a cable modem.
In the intervening three years, I have managed to:

  • scale the system to handle over 250 individual measurements
  • involve nine remote measurement locations
  • move the system to the Technorati datacenter
  • provide key operational measurement data to system visitors

Although the system lives in the Technorati datacenter and is owned by them, I provide the majority of the day-to-day maintenance on a volunteer basis, if only to try and keep my limited coding skills up.
But this post is not about me. It’s about GrabPERF.
Thanks to the help of a number of volunteers, I have measurement locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington DC, Boston, Portugal, Germany and Argentina.
While this is a good spread, I am still looking to gather volunteers who can host a GrabPERF measurement location. The areas where GrabPERF has the most need are:

  • Asia-Pacific
  • South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh)
  • UK and Continental Europe
  • Central Europe, including the ancestral homeland of Polska

It would also be great to get a funky logo for the system, so if you are a graphic designer and want to create a cool GrabPERF logo, let me know.
The current measurement system requires Linux, cURL and a few add-on Perl modules. I am sure that I could work on other operating systems, I just haven’t had the opportunity to experiment.
If you or your organization can help, please contact me using the GrabPERF contact form.