Vesna Manojlovic from the RIPE NCC presented yesterday on the ATLAS Project. Vesna showed us all a new mechanism called ‘anchors’ that provide a basis for regional measurements to supplement the 7,000+ probes RIPE have deployed worldwide. The probes are tiny (thumb size) ucLinux engines, which take power from USB and connect to an Ethernet to measure the Internet as ping, traceroute, and ntp.
Anchors are ‘soekris’ based hosts, which have more CPU power and local storage. They function just like the probes do, but also act as ‘sink’ targets to receive hits from 200 or more probes as well as the other anchors. This means there is a regional collection as well as the main collection of data from ATLAS probes back to the RIPE center and chosen targets.
Vesna is happy to talk to anyone about deploying a probe or an anchor, and APNIC has a ‘advocate’ in Sunny who can also help with sourcing a probe or anchor.
As Geoff noted, ATLAS is one of the most interesting deployments of wide-field measurement that has been made in recent times. It’s a truly world-scale investment in measurement the RIPE NCC have made and it’s offering a very interesting basis for exploring the properties of the internet in an open-data model.
Vesna also mentioned the Geolocation by Crowdsourcing project, which is constructing a more fine-grained model of IP address and ASN geolocation. This is a very interesting project and we strongly encourage people to get involved!
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