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Site Administrator — 18 Jul 2013

50 Shades of NAT

As a friend once told me, “there's a fine line between pleasure and pain.”* There's a vast body of literature to corroborate that story, not including the 100+ million copies of the book referred to in the title of this piece. But what does that have to do with Network Address Translation (NAT)? Could the reason we all love our NATs be that they're the network engineer’s guilty pleasure? How long before we permanently cross the threshold and are confronted with the painful reality of NAT's dark downsides?

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Preparing for the 2016 Leap Second

On 31 December this year, we're scheduled for another leap second. There are many stories about what leap seconds can do to infrastructure and applications, and rituals are built up around them. Such rituals stem from reality: leap seconds trigger poorly-tested code paths and run contrary to assumptions that system time always runs in one direction. It's useful to be aware of how your infrastructure handles leap seconds and how NTP servers handle them, so you can plan around the event. Here, we look at some of the NTP measurements the RIPE Atlas platform took around the last leap second, and approaches for handling them.

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RIPE Atlas Success Story: Zoom-in on Germany

Here is an example of how cross-pollination between two or more communities can create success. An overlap between IETF participants, RIPE Atlas users and listeners of a popular German podcast has led to growth in the deployment of RIPE Atlas probes (hardware devices that measure Internet infrastructure). We are still interested in expanding this platform in areas and networks that need more coverage.

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Ambassador, You Are Spoiling Us

At the RIPE NCC, we are grateful for the contribution RIPE Atlas ambassadors make to the success of the RIPE Atlas measurements platform. In this article, we focus on a handy RIPEstat tool that can be used to visualise the results of their efforts. The tool provides a historical view of country-specific growth of RIPE Atlas probe numbers and allows for comparisons of up to four countries in the same graph.

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Routing Detours: Can We Avoid Nation-State Surveillance?

An increasing number of countries are passing laws that facilitate the mass surveillance of their citizens. In response, governments and citizens are increasingly paying attention to the countries that their Internet traffic traverses. In some cases, countries are taking extreme steps, such as building new IXPs and encouraging local interconnection to keep local traffic local. We find that although many of these efforts are extensive, they are often futile, due to the inherent lack of hosting and route diversity for many popular sites. We investigate how the use of overlay network relays and the DNS open resolver infrastructure can prevent traffic from traversing certain jurisdictions.

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