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Let's Deploy Together: RIPE Atlas Software Probes Deployathon

Vesna Manojlovic — 24 Nov 2020
Deploying software is fun when we can do it together, through a virtual deployathon, guided by mentors! Join us on 25 November 2020 to help us celebrate 10 years of RIPE Atlas by adding 10x10 software probes over 10 hours!

RIPE NCC has been organising interactive, group-energised, mutual-learning, multidisciplinary, face-to-face events called hackathons since 2014. 

RIPE Atlas is "a global network of thousands of probes that measure Internet connectivity and reachability in real time".  Most of the vantage points are physical devices: probes and "anchors". This year we have introduced "software probes" that you can install yourself, at home, on any (compatible) device you have.

We’re bringing together two of our favourite things – getting more people involved in RIPE Atlas, and bringing out the collaborative hackathon spirit. COVID-19 pushes us to be creative about how we will run this event. We’re counting on you to be our virtual co-hosts as we in effect run a global distributed deployathon in your living rooms, with the same goal: deploying RIPE Atlas software probes!

 Register now

Update: 24 November 2020

  • We have 111 registrations from 20+ countries, and 10+ mentors, plus 3 hackathon projects! 
  • The Deployathon will take place using:
    • Zoom, for presentations, Q&As and to share screens as needed.
      • There are two Zoom spaces: ‘Living Room’ is open all day and is in English.
      • The ’Sun Room’ will be open periodically and is in Russian in the morning, and Spanish in the afternoon.
    • SpatialChat for social interactions & hacking
    • Slack for chat and technical / code sharing
    • GitHub for uploading slides, documentation, software 

Access Links

 

Important Information

Date: Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Time: 09:00 - 18:00 CET (UTC+1) 

  • 3x one-hour session in English
    • (in time-zones suitable for Asia, Europe/Africa and the America's) 
  • "East" session in Russian 
  • "West" session in Spanish

Place: CyberSpace (Zoom, Slack, GitHub) 

The Challenge: Deploying RIPE Atlas software probes 

Register now

Goals

The goals of this virtual hackathon are: 

  • To encourage new (potential) RIPE Atlas hosts to install software probes
  • To provide step-by-step help for participants 
  • To allow experienced probe hosts to offer mentorship to others 
  • To facilitate human connections (online) between RIPE Atlas users 
  • To offer guidance, answers and tips from the RIPE Atlas developer team and other experts/RIPE Atlas ambassadors
  • To collect feedback on the installation process, measurements, software, and RIPE Atlas architecture - feature requests, bug reports, wishes...
  • To have fun while working together!  

The Deployathon Challenges

Together, we want to deploy 100 new probes on Wednesday, 25 November!  Your challenge is to have one software probe running by the end of the day 

  • Installed
  • Initiated
  • Registered
  • Up and running

Bonus points for: 

  • Multiple probes (in different ASNs) 
  • Starting your first measurement
  • Someone else starts using your probe for their measurements!  

Our logistical challenges 

  • Ensure the deployathon covers in five different time zones! 
  • Have our first (virtual) hackathon/deployathon in multiple languages! 

Never a dull moment (smile) 

We're Looking for You!

You can take part in this event in one of three roles:

  • As a participant who wants to host a probe
  • As a mentor
  • Or drop in for a bit as a visitor.  

Probe Hosts

Curious about RIPE Atlas? Passionate about Internet measurements? We're looking for network operators and equipment vendors, software developers and journalists, as well as general web, privacy, and cryptography enthusiasts (students, researchers, industry professionals) who are interested in Internet technology to participate in this event.

The level of technical knowledge required is more than 'basic', but less than 'ninja' or 'cyber-mermaid': you are expected to have some knowledge of:

  • Using command line interface
  • Installing software packages on your device 
  • Maintain and have admin access to own infrastructure (virtual machine, home router, existing server, etc) 
  • Basics of TCP/IP 
  • Interest in Internet measurements 

You also have to be aware of and accept the RIPE Atlas Service Terms and Conditions

System technical requirements:

  • A stable environment where the probe software can run ideally 24/7 (i.e. NOT your laptop, but some kind of 'server')
  • You can get the install package from GitHub Repository
    • Currently we provide packages for CentOS, and it's possible to install on Debian, Raspbian, Turris Routers and under Docker
    • If you want to deploy on a different platform, please join the discussion list! (In particular, Windows platforms are next to impossible, and BSD versions may be a good challenge!)

Mentors

We are also looking for more experienced people, who can act as mentors. Your tasks will be to: 

  • Share your experiences of RIPE Atlas with others
  • Guide the participants through the installation process
  • Answer questions about RIPE Atlas 
  • Possibly do all of the above in your native language, if it's a language other than English! 
  • Bonus points for experience with the "exotic" platforms
  • Bonus points for updating documentation in a non-English language 

If you are interested in being a mentor, please specify that in the registration form. We will contact you to schedule extra sessions with other mentors and RIEP NCC staff, once before the deplyathon and once after the event. 

Visitors Welcome

Since this is a virtual event, we are not limiting the number of participants - but the registration is required. However, if you do install a software probe you will have a chance to win (symbolic) rewards. 

 Register now

Learn More 

Learn more about RIPE Atlas

Learn more about RIPE NCC hackathons 

Five years after the first RIPE NCC hackathon, we're going back to our first topic: RIPE Atlas! Since then, in addition to more than ten "real-life" hackathons, we have hosted a range of events: hybrid, online and distributed!  

  • This will be our second Working-From-Home hackathon in 2020!
  • We had our first deployathon in 2019. 
  • Last year, we held a hybrid event: virtual connections between six "face-to-face" hackathons: the Pan-European Quantum Internet Hackathon! 

 

Hackathon Principles

Our hackathons are:

  • Non-commercial; we are a not-for-profit organisation and have no monetary prizes
  • All resulting software and tools are released under non-commercial licenses
  • Non-competitive; we prefer cooperation and teamwork

We are aiming for the inclusive, friendly, respectful atmosphere at our events. We are against behaviours that offend based on gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or ethnic origin, or other perceived social, cultural, or personal differences. We are guided by the RIPE Code of Conduct.

By attending the event you are bound by these recommendations, by legal terms and conditions and by policies for online participation.

Practical Event Information

Important Dates

  • 22 October 2020: Registration opens
  • 18 November 2020:  RIPE NCC Open House: RIPE Atlas
  • 25 November 2020: We deploy RIPE Atlas Software Probes together, around the world!

Day Schedule, Rooms and Languages

The event will last for 10 hours on Wednesday, 25 November 2020.

We are offering these five scheduled sessions and two rooms (Living Room and Small Room)

The Living Room, open all day:

Three one-hour guided installation + Q&A sessions, in English

Asia: 12:00 Dubai time (GST) | 13:30 Mumbai time (IST) | 17:00 Tokyo time (JST) | 09:00 Amsterdam time (CET)

Europe & Africa: 14:00 Nairobi (EAT) | 12:00 (noon) Amsterdam time (CET) | 11:00 London (GMT)

The Americas: 10:00 New York (EST) | 12:00 Buenos Aires (ART) | 16:00 Amsterdam time (CET)

Living room: Closing ceremony, 17:00 Amsterdam time (CET)

 

The Small room, open all day:

Russian: 12:00  Moscow (MSK) | 15:00 Almaty (ALMT) | 10:00 Amsterdam time (CET)

Spanish: 11:00 Rio de Janeiro (BRT) | 09:00 Lima (PET) | 15:00 Amsterdam time (CET)

 

More languages? 

In addition to introducing Russian and Spanish guided sessions and Q&A "room", we are also open to experiment with other languages. Currently we do not have capacity to cover more languages with RIPE NCC staff, but we are looking for mentors who can do that. 

Please indicate in the registration form if you are interested in participating in a section in another language - or if you want to be a mentor and provide guidance in your native language. 

We will create additional Zoom spaces/rooms for other languages, and we will publish an adjusted schedule if there are more languages offered. 

Event Time Line

One Week Before the Event

It's nice to start connecting with the community before we meet virtually. You can use the discussion mailing list, EtherPad and the designated Slack workspace to connect with the like-minded people who share your love for technology and Internet measurements. 

How the deployathon will work

We will do things a bit differently in this cyberspace deployathon: 

  • You will work on your own, in your home, a cafe, an office or hackerspace... or in corona-safe small groups, organised at your own responsibility! 
  • We will use Zoom to run the event. You can choose the video-chat, or audio-only, or just typing in the text window.
  • During the guided sessions (see schedule), there will be a short introduction, and time to share experiences, questions and discussion 
    • You can request demo of the installation process, and if someone is available to help, you can go to the Small Room 
    • After you have finished with installation, if you have advanced questions, mentors and RIPE NCC staff will do our best to organise alternative spaces - or use a Small Room if available - to help you out.
  • You can use Zoom to ask questions at any point of the deployathon day, share your experiences, chat, sing, dance, show us a magic trick...  
  • We will use Slack as the alternative communications option, meant mostly for weeks before and after the event. 
  • At the opening and closing ceremony, we will... 

At the end of the day

During the closing session, we will showcase all the day's achievements: 

  • Total number of participants 
  • Total number of probes deployed
  • Funny moments and/or things that went wrong 
  • Total number of cats, dogs, goldfish, children and other "alternative" participants we had on video

And we will have a surprise FUN ACTIVITY! 

Rewards

Since we want to focus on collaboration and not on competition, there will be no monetary prizes given.

Each participant will receive some credits for scheduling RIPE Atlas measurements

  • For participating: 1,000,000 credits
  • For having completed the deployment during the day: 5,000,000

There will be symbolic prizes given for these achievements - or for other most impressive achievements. You can earn the bragging rights for:   

  • The quickest installation
  • The most enthusiastic mentor
  • The busiest alternative language room 
  • The first probe in a country that was not "covered" before 

For example, these countries would benefit from having a probe:

Summary 

We are celebrating 10 Years of RIPE Atlas, and channeling the power of community and a bit of the DIY spirit, to learn how to deploy these measurement vantage points and so that we can grow RIPE Atlas together. 

 

 

 

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