RIPE Atlas in Latin America and the Caribbean
What is RIPE Atlas?
RIPE Atlas is a platform for Internet network parameter measurement with one of the greatest global deployment levels. It offers its members different resources that can be used to measure network performance parameters. RIPE NCC is the organization responsible for this huge project, which LACNIC supports for the region of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The platform is currently undergoing expansion, focusing mainly on those areas where penetration can be increased, namely Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa.
For more information, please visit the RIPE Atlas website.
How does it work?
RIPE Atlas is an active measurement platform, which means it uses sensors deployed over the Internet. The network comprises two types of sensors:
- Probes: Small, easy to install devices used to run local measurements. Probes use very little bandwidth and don't sniff traffic on the network on which they are connected.
- Anchors: Larger, rack-mounted devices capable of running much higher numbers of measurements. These devices provide targets for multiple tests conducted by other devices, so they must be deployed on networks with high bandwidth and availability.
Certain basic experiments such as pings and traceroutes to DNS root servers are being performed on RIPE Atlas. The data generated by these experiments is always available to those participating in the project.
RIPE Atlas can be programmed to perform user-defined measurements (UDMs).
To run these measurements, devices must have a favorable credit balance, as each measurement requires a few credits. Credits are earned when the sensors hosted by each participant are connected to the Internet so that other RIPE Atlas sensors can see them and use them to run their own measurements. Once a participant decides to conduct a specific measurement using the RIPE Atlas platform, credits are deducted from this participant's account. Credits can also be transferred between RIPE NCC accounts. For more information on the RIPE Atlas credit system click here.
The sensors mentioned above can be used to run several types of tests. The following is a list of currently available tests: * ping * traceroute * DNS * HTTP GET * SSL Certificate
What does RIPE Atlas participation involve?
Participating in this project involves hosting probes or anchors on your networks. Hosting a probe requires only an Internet connection. In addition to connectivity, hosting an anchor also requires rack space in a climate-controlled facility.
How can I participate in the RIPE Atlas project?
Anyone can join this project. There are different levels of participation, ranging from simply using collected data to active participation in generating measurements.
- The first step for joining the project is creating a RIPE NCC Access account. This will allow you to manage sensors, measurements and more.
- Once the account is created, you can apply for a probe (small measurement device) and begin running measurements (and earning credits). This makes the owner of the probe a Probe Host.
- If you would like to go a step further, you can apply for a RIPE Atlas anchor. This makes the owner of the anchor an Anchor Host. Anchors are not free and are meant for organizations and not individuals.
In addition to hardware probes and anchors, software RIPE Atlas proves can also be installed. Click here for instructions on how to install a software probe: https://atlas.ripe.net/docs/software-probe/
To obtain accurate measurements and earn credits, the machine where the probe is installed must be connected to the Internet and always on.
Links to platform-specific installation instructions are included below:
- CentOS 7: https://github.com/RIPE-NCC/ripe-atlas-probe-doc/blob/master/manuals/CentOS-7-binary.en.md
- CentOS 8: https://github.com/RIPE-NCC/ripe-atlas-probe-doc/blob/master/manuals/CentOS-8-binary.en.md
- Debian 9 or 10: https://github.com/RIPE-NCC/ripe-atlas-probe-doc/blob/master/manuals/Debian-9-10-source.en.md
- Raspbian: https://github.com/RIPE-NCC/ripe-atlas-probe-doc/blob/master/manuals/Raspbian-source.en.md
Click here for the general network requirements for installing a software anchor https://atlas.ripe.net/get-involved/become-an-anchor-host/ and here for the installation guide https://atlas.ripe.net/docs/anchor-installation-vm/
Become a Sponsor
A sponsor is an individual or organisation that provides financial support for RIPE Atlas. Sponsors can choose to distribute probes themselves to whomever they like; they can "adopt" existing probes that are already active in the network; or they can sponsor future probes that the RIPE NCC will distribute.
Learn more about becoming a sponsor at the Become a RIPE Atlas Sponsor page.
Become an Ambassador
An ambassador is someone who helps us distribute probes to expand the RIPE Atlas network so that the entire Internet community can benefit from the data we collect about Internet performance.
Learn more about becoming an ambassador at the Become a RIPE Atlas Ambassador page: https://atlas.ripe.net/get-involved/become-a-ripe-atlas-ambassador/ .
RIPE Atlas platform status in LAC
The platform is growing steadily on a global level, with greater presence in Europe and North America. Increasing the project's presence in regions capable of hosting a higher number of measurement devices is part of the RIPE Atlas project roadmap. In collaboration with RIPE NCC, LACNIC is supporting the expansion of the RIPE Atlas network within Latin America and the Caribbean.
Benefits of hosting a probe
Having a RIPE NCC Access account allows a participant to see information on public measurements conducted on the RIPE Atlas platform. Hosting one or more probes has several benefits, both for the RIPE Atlas community as well as for the host. A probe allows its host:
- To run custom measurements on a global scale through the RIPE Atlas platform
- To monitor its own network
- To earn credits (approximately 21,600 credits per day)
- To integrate with monitoring and warning systems, such as Icinga, through Status Checks
In addition, an anchor allows its host:
- To see the results of the measurements targeting the anchor
- To earn ten times more credits than a probe
- To display the organization's logo in the RIPE Atlas Community page
Applying for a RIPE NCC Access account
In order to manage the measurement devices, see and run measurements, transfer credits and other options, a RIPE NCC Access account is required. To create your account you must complete this form.
Requesting a probe
Requesting an anchor
RIPE Atlas measurement devices do not listen to the network on which they are installed, nor do they send information without the owner's consent. Although these devices include a wireless interface, this interface is currently factory disabled and cannot be enabled.
Some use cases
Below is a list of cases where the use of the RIPE Atlas network made it possible to collect important data.
- Wikipedia decides where to locate its CDN In its search for a new location for its Content Delivery Network, Wikipedia gathered information on how Asian traffic behaves and decided the strategy it will follow for handling Wikipedia queries originating on this continent.
- Measuring Countries and IXPs with RIPE Atlas.
For more use cases, please visit the RIPE Labs website.
Join the RIPE Atlas community at GitHub to see other useful community projects!