Our friends at the New Zealand Internet Exchange are busy working on some exciting new projects that are going to be launched this year.

Following requests for a POP in Datavault (Auckland), the NZIX team is currently working on bringing the 162 Grafton Road site into production. COVID restrictions have slowed down the timing of the project, delaying the fibre paths towards Datavault however, orders are now back on track and engineers are standing by for an install. All being well, the new datacentre could be operational as soon as April.

Plans are also underway in Auckland to increase the bandwidth and diversity of NZIX’s inter datacentre links. The new AKL-IX ring will see a 200Gbps diverse link between each datacentre, ensuring healthy available capacity and reducing unpredictable spikes.

Last month NZIX surveyed its members on locations for a new IX in Wellington. Still in the early planning stages, the plan is to launch WLG-IX mid-2021. More details will be available over the coming months.

For more information on these projects email peering@ix.nz

Freshly activated at the time of writing is a brand spanking new L-Root connected into NSW-IX, with routes appearing right across IX Australia, thanks to a new partnership with ICANN. With another root instance appearing on the network your DNS lookups should be lightning fast. This means we have the I-Root on WA-IX and the L-Root in the east. Coupled with member Cloudflare’s distribution of the E, F and J-Roots, and other DNS registry operator members, your DNS performance should be second to none.

Following on from Amazon’s recent expansion across the IXes, they have now upgraded the existing 40Gbps to 100Gbps at VIC-IX. Members with services and customers using Amazon should take advantage of the additional redundancy across the exchange. The same capacity upgrade was completed in WA-IX last month.

For more information reach out to Amazon on peering-apac@amazon.com

IAA Engineers have performed an upgrade of the switch at Adelaide’s Colocity DC. The upgrade was targeted to overcome the limitation of the previous hardware and cater for more 10Gbps ports at that exchange. IAA is offering ports at SA-IX at no extra cost and are encouraging members to get connected. For more information email peering@ix.asn.au

Join us on Tuesday 20th April as we take a look at digital connectivity in regional Australia. Digital Networks in Regional Australia – Field of Dreams or Highway to Hell will focus on the issues surrounding regional communities and their access to the internet.

Regional Australia is a vast area with great distances between population centres, often with low population density. Despite this low density, regional production value rivals that of metro production. NBN, however, has chosen population density as its metric for technology delivery resulting in almost all regional Australia’s internet demand being served by two Sky Muster geosynchronous satellites with fixed capacity and limited speed.

DPIRD’s Digital Economy Manager, Robert Smallwood, will review the challenges faced by West Australians and discuss the initiatives being delivered by the WA Government to provide world-class terrestrial broadband networks across the vast areas between population centres.

This session will be preceded by a short update from the IAA Tech Team on some of the recent BGP gotchas for young and old in the world of peering.

Members and non-members can register via Zoom.

IAA would like to introduce Emily Gallarde, who has joined the Perth team on a three-month contract as our Digital Marketing Assistant.  This role will involve auditing and creating content for the new combined IAA/IXA website.

Emily is a recent graduate from the University of Western Australia, with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Communications and Media Studies, and Psychology in Society. During her studies, Emily completed internships with both YMCA WA and Mazenod College and previously held various administrative roles with Air New Zealand.

Outside of work Emily likes to go for bush walks and spend time with her family. More recently she has been exploring her Eurasian heritage by cooking traditional foods from Malaysia, and we are all excited to try some in the office.

Welcome to the team Emily!

We’d also like to introduce Nitika Midha who is joining us on a six-month internship to assist us in our public policy development. With all the changes in regulation and many controversial topics floating around, we need someone to work through the issues and help put our responses together.

Nitika is a recent graduate from the University of New South Wales, with a combined Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) and Arts (International Relations). After becoming fascinated with the internet space following an internship at a datacentre company, she is now writing her International Relations Honours thesis on how states are securitising virtual and physical internet infrastructure.

Her previous employers include a datacentre and cloud services provider, so she has some great practical experience already.

Welcome Nitika!

IAA is pleased to announce a brand-new partnership supporting women and the next generation in the tech industry.

Women in Technology WA (WiTWA) is a Perth based not-for-profit organisation providing opportunities to women to extend their networks and expand their knowledge. They also run high school programs to promote the industry as a whole.

With our origins being in Western Australia, we are excited to be working with WiTWA to inspire local women on the possibilities and arm them with the tools and resources to be successful in the industry.

As part of the partnership, IAA will be sponsoring WiTWA’s Techtrails program, a high school program which is designed to generate passion, excitement and interest in STEM, introducing kids to the different areas of technology and possible career options.

We will also be sponsoring a series of events over the next 12 months and an award at WiTWA’s annual awards night in November.

Events will be promoted on our website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date.

IAA is currently an association incorporated under Western Australian law – the Associations Incorporation Act 2015 (WA) – reflecting our origin as the Western Australia Internet Association, and this was a suitable way to become a legal entity. When the association changed its name to the Internet Association of Australia we remained incorporated under the WA Act.

As IAA has grown substantially and now represents the interests of corporate, professional and affiliate members across Australia, the IAA Board believes it is appropriate to consider transferring our incorporation to Commonwealth law (Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)) and become a company limited by guarantee. Should we do this we would remain a not-for-profit entity, with our main office in Perth, and ensure we retain all the important aspects of our current rules.

It is often argued that state-based laws are effective but that they best suit local associations who are of limited scale. Once an organisation grows it may be better regulated by federal law which has stricter, Australia-wide rules and systems with greater resources. For example, there is one Commissioner and a small team in the WA government, whereas federally a whole department (ASIC) exists, there are many sources of independent expertise, and a wide range of training available on corporations’ law.

We are therefore commencing a process of member consultation with a view to briefing our members on current issues we have encountered and canvas member perspectives on any transition. An FAQ and briefing paper are being prepared which will be presented at the upcoming consultation to be held:

Date: Wednesday 7th April, 2021
Time: 3pm AWST/5pm AEST
Location: Zoom (online)

Members can register via Zoom

Well, that was quite a month, wasn’t it? The floods certainly had us worried about our east coast connectivity, and luckily we lost only one of the fibre runs. That run was successfully restored once the fibre crews could reach it safely and we experienced no related down time though I admit my knuckles were a little white for a time! I’m glad too that our Australia-wide intercapital project is over, so we now have redundant paths between all the IXes. We’ve not been slacking, though as the tech team also recently upgraded Adelaide to increase the 10G ports, activated even more capacity into Amazon and set up a nice new L-root presence in the east.

What has put me into a state of complete despair, however, are the recent disclosures from the Federal political scene. Over my years of interactions with politicians and Canberra lobbyists of all varieties, I have always jokingly said that it wasn’t safe to party on drinking with them, but my fears were based purely on the risks from extreme alcohol consumption! Members should be assured, however, that once some form of dignity is reinstated in Canberra we will champion your views again. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long – we deserve so much better from our representatives and system of government.

Our own industry has had its own criticism, however, with the Human Rights Commission’s 2018 finding that “four out of five people working in information, media and telecommunications reported being sexually harassed”, so we certainly have our own path to travel. On that basis, the IAA board adopted a Code of Conduct for Events, one for the Board itself, and I have made a personal commitment to all IAA staff to ensure a healthy, safe and harassment free workplace with mechanisms to back that up, and we did all of this before the recent disclosures from Canberra. If members would like to further discuss this topic, or look to strategies for industry-wide improvement, please feel free to be in touch. One specific industry initiative we are newly supporting is that of a Women in Tech WA (WiTWA) sponsorship, and we are actively working with other potential partners, too.

Speaking of governance, the IAA board recently met to review the organisation’s strategic directions, including architectural standards, and we are close to finalising a new strategic plan. One topic that came up is that of updating our corporate structure from the current West Australian Association’s law to federal corporation’s law. If we were to do this, then a process of member consultation will be followed, so your views on our corporate governance are sought. Rest assured, the board is fully committed to remaining a not-for-profit, member driven association and our roots firmly remain in Western Australia.

Best wishes

Narelle

So, you own this shiny new “peering” thing. It’s all the rage and you are awesome, but your cat videos are still being routed over those expensive transit links?! What gives!

Quite simply, IAA operates Australia’s largest multilateral peering exchanges. However, due to routing policies of some larger network operators further setup may be required on your part to ensure optimal routing and hence make full use of the exchanges. Everyone likes to manage their traffic balance to suit their own capacity and network topology: think of all those congested cats!

There are two types of IX Peering

Multilateral Peering: Each peer connects with every other peer using the route servers. With just four BGP sessions (2x IPv4 and 2x IPv6) you get full access to every other peer connected to the exchange fabric! It’s a free-for-all that works wonderfully and a simple, many-to-many arrangement to interconnect.

Bilateral Peering: This is a one-to-one peering relationship between two IX participants that allows for finer policy control, established over the IX address ranges for simplicity. In this case, each peering relationship is set up independently by the peers themselves.

As bilateral peering allows for greater traffic control, some larger members do not present themselves on the IX route servers. This means that even though you are both “connected” to the IX you will never use the IX for these connections, unless you set them up separately. Essentially, they don’t tell us about their routes so we cannot tell you. To make things even more granular, some peers only advertise a sub-set of their address space to the route servers, but they will send you a larger table if you set up bilateral peering.

“Ok, so how do we FIX it?”

The first step is to ensure you have a valid PeeringDB entry, as these larger networks use PeeringDB to build their router configuration. Updating your entry may even shave a few days off the provisioning time and some back and forth to verify details. As a side note, every request you make for bilateral sessions should include a link to your PeeringDB profile.

You will then need to locate a list of peers who are connected – but do not present on the route servers – that serve the content and networks you want! Again, a good place for this is PeeringDB for each IX (NSW-IX example: https://www.peeringdb.com/ix/716).  Compare this information with the respective Looking Glass (NSW-IX example: https://lg.ix.asn.au/routeservers/rs1-nsw-v4) to verify whether a peer is sending the routes you want, or not.

A simple email to each network peering contact is generally all it takes from here. If you are feeling lucky you could deploy your router configuration whilst waiting for the other network to respond!

Some interesting networks to look for on the IX Australia exchanges:

  • AS16509 – Amazon: Amazon don’t peer with the route servers and require bilateral sessions
  • AS6939 – Hurricane Electric: HE will send you almost double the routes with a bilateral BGP session
  • AS63293 – Facebook Caches: Facebook caches do not peer with the route servers, and won’t serve any traffic to your network without a bilateral session.