Ottawa Internet eXchange

News updated for
April 7, 2017

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The Ottawa Internet Exchange is involved in a number of research activities related to Internet operations and architecture. Some of these projects are run locally for the benefit of the OttIX community while others are done in a collaborative nature with others on the Internet. Some of these projects are described here.

Network Visualisations
Until very recently, there was no satisfactory way to depict how OttIX looked like in a very detailed manner, or answer the more important question: Just how many devices connect through OttIX and can reach each other? Through two separate studies, it was found that the device population (some of which are NATs which hide even more) exceeded 440,000. However, pictures are worth a thousand words:

And below we see 2017 data using another algorithm:

An untapped market of customers awaits.

OttIX contributes data from its AS112 node to the DNS-OARC's DSC Monitor framework to aid in the analysis of DNS behaviours to detect network misuse.

OttIX contributes traceroute data to the IXmaps project which seeks to map the path Canadian-sourced and -destined traffic takes. Most results show that traffic doesn't stay in Canada, so the object is to document this.

IX BGP Table Analysis
OttIX has been running long-term BGP table analysis of its tables, using a tool courtesy of Geoff Huston.

  • unicast BGP from the OttIX route server, where all ISPs announce their routes to the exchange.
  • Multicast BGP routes reachable at OttIX.

Multicast Source Analysis
Since the beginning OttIX has been connected to the inter-domain Multicast part of the Internet. One of the ways it can demonstrate this and assist others in seeing if they are connected is to setup a number of beacons. These beacons transmit Multicast packets to the network and in turn listen and list fellow beacons heard on this network.

  • IPv4 Multicast Beacon.
  • IPv6 Multicast Beacon via SWITCH RP.
  • IPv4 Multicast Beacon via SWITCH.

Multicast IPv4 Session Announcements
Real-time snapshots of inter-domain Multicast IPv4 session announcements are captured every minute. These snapshots permit OttIX to monitor sessions to see what Multicast sources are available from around the world, be they video or audio.

Although not directly involved in the Web10g project, OttIX runs specialized kernels using Web10g technology. This optimizes the use of certain OttIX services, like its USENET news server and AdUni local mirror so that bulk data can be transmitted more efficiently. Incidentally, the onboard instrumentation allows OttIX to offer unique tools to aid in troubleshooting network problems.

Copyright 2017 The Ottawa Internet Exchange.