bbu's Diary: RIPE77 - Amsterdam

The second RIPE Meeting in 2018 took place at the Hotel Okura in Amsterdam from 15-19 October 2018. Here's my report :-) - sweet ::1

You might ask: "Wait. Oct 15, you say? Lazy bastard! It's november already!", and you are right. Sometimes, as we learned in the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, TIME is an ILLUSION (and lunchtime doubly so). To be honest, I spent some time on a ~1000km hike through europe and enjoyed the awesome IPv4-sunset at the end of the world.

But after that, I wasn't the only one to come home: The second RIPE Meeting of 2018 took place in Amsterdam, the hometown of RIPE NCC, a vibrant, friendly and modern city full of bicycles, canals, hidden museums and one of the biggest internet exchanges worldwide.


Although this has been the biggest RIPE meeting so far, it felt nice and familiar. Due to the warm and friendly weather, some of the more than 800 attendees started the day with a little chat at the canal and I couldn't resist either, taking a cup of well prepared coffee outside (and probably missing some very good tutorials about IPv6, P4 and the RIPE DB).

The first day was filled with some interesting talks, ranging from new optical transceivers for 400G (heck, I'd love to see 25G and 40G in our very small datacenter first), to latest developments in DNS ("It’s DNS Jim, But Not as We Know It" by Sara Dickinson is worth a view) and lightning talks on various topics like zombie routes et al.

But, as this is the RIPE-Meeting (and not RIPE-Conference), the most interesting part happened between coffee bar and welcome reception: Talking to old friends and meeting new ones. I should mention a big 'thank you' to the coffee bar sponsors and the baristi, who constantly delivered a stream of black gold to the crowd ;-)


Tuesday was packed with plenary sessions and there was almost no chance to escape for more than a few minutes to enjoy the warm and sunny weather: Henrik Kramshoej started with interesting insights to VXLAN security or injection, from there the sessions rushed through several topics like EVPN, BGP communities and "even more worms in the routing can" by Florian Streibelt (including a very handsome cat) to routing attacks on the bitcoin system and some Internet history, remembering Jon Postel. Constanze Dietrich presented her findings on the human factors of security misconfigurations and several talks about politics, internet self-regulation, human rights as well as the the RIPE accountability task force report filled the program, followed by more technical topics like machine learning for networking traffic classification and security enhancements or rolling out a global anycast infrastructure with open source system orchestration tools. Time for an ESCAPE. Funny enough, this was the name of this years social event location :-)


Wednesdays are difficult. Especially on RIPE Meetings. We followed sessions on DNS OARC, the KSK rollover, DNS compliance, Address Policy, IPv4 address-dust and RIPE Database cleanups for RIPE-NONAUTH data using RPKI. A considerable lack of cats made this part of the day really hard. As usual, the day closed with the RIPE NCC General Meeting and while some attended a Tour to the local Hackerspace, others took a tour to the Amsterdam city center or just enjoyed good pasta with friends at the italian restaurant around the corner.


From Salt to Dinosaurs. On thursday, we rushed from Salt for network automation (cloudflare) to ASPA (improving routing security), segment routing, neverending discussions about NON-AUTH objects (politics), the ITU Plenipotentiary (more politics) and the ICANN EPDP on WHOIS/GDPR (wheeeeeeee!) to some more politics. Meanwhile Jen Linkova gave an update on the IPv6 work taking place in the IETF and Oliver Gasser talked about the IPv6 hitlists project. Jens Link talked about IPv6 connected rabbits and Benedikt Stockebrand closed the session with a talk about The Art of Running Out of IPv6 Addresses.


The IoT Session was both, enlightning and frustrating. As it seems, security is still the biggest issue regarding the IoT sphere in general and a lot of presentations covered this topic, mostly with a focus on DDOS attack mitigation (just like you would expect it from a network community meeting). So, most of the talks covered topics like "secure homenet gateways", automatic quarantining of affected networks and biometric access control for users. But it tells a lot, if a member of the dutch police needs to remind the community, that using biometric features is not a good idea in terms of privacy and protection of human rights. The key to IoT security are open firmware, open documentation and instant availability of security related updates to all devices.


Friday was filled with stats and updates on various topics around other RIRs, NRO EC, or was it ASO AC ... I'm confused with the ICANN structure already and just call it politics :-) Louis Poinsignon, however, got my attention with a report on Cloudflare RPKI deployment and Amanda Gowland encouraged everyone to have more diversity at technical meetings like RIPE. Actually, there is. You just have to open your eyes and see all the awesome people around. Never stop learning, never stop aiming for a better world.

See you again at RIPE 78 (Reykjavík, 20-24 May 2019)

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