APNIC Products: 2021 in review

By on 9 Feb 2022

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Demonstrating an APNIC product to GEMNET's Tugsorshikh Badarch.

Last year was another productive year for the four APNIC product development teams — Membership, Registry, Academy, and Information. In this post, I’ll share some of the work we focused on in 2021.

Membership Products 

In 2021, MyAPNIC users saw substantial improvements in services and usability.

MyAPNIC is now available for APNIC Non-Members and gives anyone with an APNIC login access to the APNIC services they need. In 2021, MyAPNIC was migrated to a more secure and dependable ‘microservices’ architecture that will allow the Membership Product team to add features more easily in future.

During 2021, the APNIC website’s contact section, FAQs, articles, and instruction manuals were restructured into a Help Centre so users could intuitively find and access information.

Prop-125 requires all Incident Response Team (IRT) records to be validated. In 2021, we significantly simplified this validation process and related communications with users.

Application referrals were added to the membership application form in 2021. This allows Members to submit a Referral Application on behalf of their customers, helping them to establish APNIC membership and receive independent Internet number resources.

In 2021, we began trials of a new online platform for community participation, to provide a better environment for communication among Members, including APNIC Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and other groups. This work involved research, comparing, testing, and building prototypes to find the best platform for the APNIC online community.

Responding to Member feedback, we updated MyAPNIC’s billing functionality, including direct download of payment receipts, and the ability to request invoices in advance. Previously, Members had to contact the Helpdesk for both these tasks.

After running the APNIC Executive Council (EC) and Number Resource Organization Number Council (NRO NC) elections online through MyAPNIC and BigPulse in 2020, the IANA Numbering Services Review Committee (IANA RC) and SIG Chair elections were added in 2021. The voting system was further automated to improve reliability.

Finally, during 2021, we began preparations to migrate APNIC’s Single Sign-On (SSO) service to a new platform. This will be complete by March 2022, and give better support for ‘APNIC login’ authentication across all APNIC services. During the year, more than 10,500 new users created an APNIC login.

Registry Products

We fixed an occasional problem with rsync publication that was causing APNIC’s repository to appear invalid. It’s an important fix because repository invalidity can lead to large drops in Validated ROA Payloads (VRPs); in turn, VRPs can trigger alerts, unnecessary router churn, and potential network instability.

RPKI monitoring for National Internet Registries (NIRs) was added to track validation problems in NIR RPKI services and to facilitate communications when problems arise.

To improve accuracy and increase efficiency, APNIC worked on an API for use by the NIRs, for resource delegation, transfer, and consistent functionality. The API, deployed in January this year, helps to avoid ‘double-handling’ by the NIRs and improves the currency of account information.

To improve consistency in the RDAP service, APNIC collaborated with RIPE, ARIN, LACNIC, and AFRINIC to draft and publish an RDAP server profile. This ensures that services provided by all RIRs respond in the same consistent manner.

Academy Products

Training content on the APNIC Academy was updated and improved in 2021, including the addition of nine new virtual labs, a new Routing Fundamentals Course, a new Network Monitoring and Management course, and expanded multilingual support across more courses.

A Zoom-based Technical Assistance platform was launched to better connect APNIC Members with experts in the community. We hope this will help network operators deal with day-to-day operations, and share expertise on the best and current Internet technical practice. 

The training.apnic.net website was retired and merged into the APNIC Academy. A new event management system was introduced to better support the growing number of training events being offered each year. 

Extra work on the Academy was possible in 2021 thanks to the support of the APNIC Foundation.

Read more about APNIC Academy activities in 2021.

Information Products

The ‘Internet Directory’ was renamed REx (for Resource Explorer) in 2021. The UI was redesigned with additional functions and easier navigation.

Read more about REx in 2021.

APNIC’s Network Operator Toolbox (NetOX) has depended heavily on RIPE NCC, who host most of the NetOX service endpoints inside their RIPEstat service. In 2021, NetOX was redesigned to maximize local service delivery, and reduce latency through local caching. 

We hosted a webinar on the Dashboard for Autonomous System Health (DASH) with 45 attendees from 20 economies, including multiple UX sessions to explore new design ideas for DASH. We also resolved some points of failure in DASH hosting to improve resiliency and redesigned the system to improve performance using Rust and a local database.

Read more about DASH in 2021.

What’s coming in 2022?

We’ll discuss the 2022 plan for all APNIC Products during the Products and Services session at APRICOT 2022, and reveal a new online roadmap detailing our product deliverables for the next 12 months and beyond. We welcome all suggestions from community members to help us improve our products and services. Please join the APNIC User Feedback Group and share your thoughts.

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The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.

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