Alun Davies

An Eventful Ten Years in RIPEstat

Alun Davies
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Since its inception, RIPEstat has been helping network operators and end users monitor the state of the Internet. Ten years on, we look back at some of the ways RIPEstat enabled us to get a clearer picture of how the Internet fared in the event of outages, blackouts, natural disasters, and Nyan Cat.


As well as providing millions of users with essential information on IP address space and Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs), RIPEstat has become a go to tool for providing quick insights on the scale and impact of Internet events as they happen. This selection of articles shows how we put this to use here on RIPE Labs over the past ten years.

The recent Myanmar Internet shutdowns as seen in the new RIPEstat interface


January 2011: Live Egyptian Internet Incident Analysis

In 2011, we covered a series of live demos marking the launch of RIPEstat here on RIPE Labs. Nestled in among those early articles was the first RIPE Labs report of an outage building on information available from RIPEstat. The article was brief, and the information in RIPEstat has since been archived, but that first look at the 2011 Internet outage in Egypt was the first of many to come.

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December 2012: Monitor the Syrian Blackout with RIPEstat

Shortly after the Syrian Internet went offline in November 2012, this RIPE Labs article presented a new RIPEstat widget released to provide a near real-time feed of what BGP updates and withdrawals were seen from the Syrian IP address space following the blackout.


March 2013: Mediterranean Cable Disruption as Seen in RIPEstat

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On 27 March 2013, an important fibre-optic link between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia was disrupted. Country routing statistics from RIPEstat showed the extent of drops in the number of IPv4 prefixes announced in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Kenya, and Egypt.


November 2013: Typhoon Haiyan - What we see in RIPEstat and RIPE Atlas

Typhoon Haiyan, still one of the strongest typhoons on record, had a devastating effect on the Philippines. The impact on the country’s core Internet infrastructure, as shown in RIPEstat, initially appeared to be modest, prompting a sustained investigation on RIPE Labs.

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April 2014: BGP Leaks in Indonesia

A misconfiguration by Indosat, one of Indonesia's largest service providers, caused their AS to start announcing prefixes that were not allocated to them. In this article, Rene Wilhelm presented a discussion of how the event was seen in data from our Routing Information Service (RIS) and used RIPEstat visualisations to assess the impact of the leak.


March 2015: Cyclone Pam and the Internet in Vanuatu

While cyclone Pam was battering the South Pacific in 2015, we were monitoring how the storm was affecting Vanuatu. The RIPEstat country routing statistics widget initially showed a minor drop in IPv4 prefixes, later followed by a bigger drop as Telecom Vanuatu went offline.

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August 2015: The Internet in North Korea - Hanging by a Single Thread?

Also in 2015, after the occurrence of several outages in the country, RIPEstat helped us carry out this analysis of the fragile state of Internet connectivity in North Korea.


June 2017: BGP Meets Cat

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Ah yes - that time when BGP met Cat! If you didn’t see this the first time around, you can still see how Job Snijders brought the Nyan Cat to RIPEstat by managing the visibility of 175 /24 prefixes. Read the RIPE Labs article from 2017.


January 2018: Using RIPEstat to Analyse Cable Cuts in Chile

When one of the largest Internet access providers in the south of Chile suffered a massive Internet outage, Hugo Salgado used RIPEstat to measure the effect.


March 2020: After the Quake in Croatia

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After a strong earthquake hit Croatia in March 2020, Vesna Manojlovic took to RIPEstat to visualise its impact on Croatian Internet. The article offers a useful demonstration of how RIPEstat can be used to get a better understanding of the resilience of the Internet.


August 2020: Our First Glance at the Belarus Outages

On Sunday 9 August, the day presidential elections took place in the country, wide-scale Internet outages occurred, partially disrupting the ability of people in Belarus to connect with the rest of the world via the Internet. This was our first glance at the scale and impact of these outages.


January 2021: Our First Glance at the Uganda Internet Shutdown

As reports emerged indicating that the Ugandan government initiated a shutdown of the country's Internet this January, RIPEstat once again enabled us to get a clear initial picture of the impact of the event based on data available from our Routing Information Service (RIS) and RIPE Atlas.


RIPEstat in the Wild

So there you go. This is how RIPEstat has helped us gain better visibility and understanding of wide-scale Internet events on RIPE Labs. In coming years, as RIPEstat enters a new phase, we hope to make even more use of this, digging deeper to bring you more insightful coverage. But of course, the true power of RIPEstat is that anyone can use it any time to get quick, useful information about the state of the Internet.

If you've made use of RIPEstat yourself to get insights into Internet events we haven't talked about here, do share them your use cases with us in the comments!

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About the author

Alun Davies Based in Amsterdam

Hailing from a research background in philosophy, linguistics and computer science, I came to the RIPE NCC back in 2016 and took on my role as the RIPE Labs Editor in 2020. My job is to help keep all corners of the Internet community informed and engaged on developments and events that continue to shape the Internet as we know it. As RIPE Labs editor, I'm here to help you to get your ideas across on RIPE Labs. Whether you have questions about how to create a new article or profile, need help preparing a draft article for publication, or would just like to discuss whether your idea would be a good fit for RIPE Labs, don't hesitate to get in touch.

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