[Nlnog] State of the NLNOG RING 2011

Job Snijders job at instituut.net
Wed Feb 29 15:42:01 UTC 2012

Beste NLNOGers,

Voor de mensen die het leuk vinden te weten hoe het gaat met de RING,
hier een kopie van de nieuwsbrief die vandaag naar de participanten is gegaan.




     State of the RING 2011

A yearly newsletter about the best debugging project ever

Number 1, 29 feb 2012


1. Fundraising for the RING
2. Looking back: growth and impact
3. Into the future!
4. Testimonials 
5. Closing notes

1. Fundraising for the RING

As you can read in this newsletter, the RING is growing...
How can you help the RING to be even more succesful?
By making a voluntary donation!

Why donate?

The time has come to build some infrastructure of our own: for
redundancy purposes, staging and just raw computing power for graphing.
Our current master servers are either of a temporary nature or lack the
ability to run virtualisation software (with which we could spin servers
up as we go).

We will buy two identical servers which will be hosted in two  different
datacenters in the Amsterdam region. We've chosen physical servers
because they give a good price/RAM/HD ratio and a certain type of

We feel that it is important to have this infrastructure to be able to
continue expanding over the next two years in a maintainable way!


We are now asking you to make a _voluntary_ donation for this specific
goal. Our goal is to raise 3000 euro's, of which Snijders IT will donate
the first 100. All of the proceeds from the donation will be used
towards building out the RING infrastructure. 

To show our gratitude, all sponsors will be given a nice spot on our
patrons page: https://ring.nlnog.net/patrons/

If you can make a donation (any amount is welcome), please email
ring-admins at ring.nlnog.net and we'll provide you with payment details.

Snijders IT will arrange the financial side of this fund-raiser and will
send you an invoice for bookkeeping purposes. Please keep in mind that
19% VAT will be added on these invoices.

During March we will report on the progress towards our 3000 euro goal,
and we hope we'll be able to order the servers in April 2012!

2. Looking back: growth and impact

The RING was started in December 2010, within a month already 10 Dutch
participants had joined and we have been adding a few new nodes every
month ever since. In 2011 we launched our website https://ring.nlnog.net/
and switched from manual management to a puppet-based setup. Also a few
awesome tools such as ring-all and ring-trace were written by

To break the year 2011 down into a few stats:

- We have grown from 1 to 21 countries
- 63 new organisations joined the ring
- 66 new nodes were added to our network
- 539 commits were made to our repositories on github
- Most code commits happen on Tuesdays
- Lines of code: 22188 insertions(+), 1468 deletions(-)

A fun fact: the RING might even play a modest role in the global
deployment of IPv6 - at least one participant rolled out IPv6 on their
network in order to be able to join the RING :-)

3. Into the future!

In 2012 we will continue to automate as many aspects of the RING as
possible. But more importantly, the RING has to become the best
swiss-army-knife a network-engineer can imagine so we will focus on
usability, more advanced tools and security.

High on our list is providing an easy way to narrow the scope of
debugging tools, so we can do things like:

* Run traceroutes from 15 hosts in the european region
* Ping from hosts which are known to have upstream X

Also we will roll DNSSEC into the ring.nlnog.net zone, which allows us
to put SSH hostkeys into DNS.

Finally, the better the network coverage of all RING nodes combined, the
more  useful the RING will be for network engineers. We are actively
looking for RING members in new geographical locations such as Asia and
North America.

As the RING is a community effort, we can only become more valuable to
our members by help from the community. We need you for new creative
ideas, high quality code, and of course more RING nodes. If you can help
out in our efforts, don't hesitate to contact us!

4. Testimonials

Teun Vink, BIT B.V. writes: 

"The RING is a great initiative. We were one of the first to join. 
Here are a couple of things I like about the RING:

We use the RING for easy analysis of possible networking problems:
- "is it us or them?" - we've used the RING to show customers that
   problems are outside our domain.
- "is my new PI space propagated properly and reachable?"
- "who is using transit from provider X?"

Also I enjoined coding and using new cool tools for exploring
the topology and characteristics of the interwebs. Furthermore
the RING helps us in getting to know other network engineers
and sharing knowledge."

Robert van der Meulen, LeaseWeb B.V. writes:

"First of all, I'm trying to avoid any LOTR-related remarks.
We joined the ring somewhere early last year - mostly motivated
by wanting to contribute to the community, and obviously seeing
the advantages of having multiple measurement points for debugging
connectivity and routing issues. Essentially now the ring is
getting more and more traction (the ringnode-map is starting to
get more impressive :) ) - it's becoming more and more useful.
Our network engineers may not be using the ring-tools daily, but
the ring has proven to be an invaluable tool in debugging
connectivity and routing issues already.

Apart from the practical use, it's great to see how some of the
ring-members are working on tools to complement the ring network
- the combination works really well, and I think we're just
starting to touch on the cool stuff that can be done with it.
So Job (and the slightly more hidden but not less important
others): great initiative, thanks for spending lots of time on
this, and making it a valuable tool for anyone with an ASN."

5. Closing notes

We'll conclude this extensive newsletter by saying to you, the
participants, THANK YOU! Without the continued support from lots of
participants the RING would not be where it is today. We are proud to be
playing a small role in making the internet an easier thing to debug and

Again, thank you, and don't forget to consider a donation! :-)

Kind regards,

Job Snijders
Martin Pels
Peter van Dijk
Edwin Hermans

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