Network Engineer Aaron Chidiac recently joined the IAA peering team. Aaron grew up teaching himself computing before completing a diploma in Information Technology Networking.

After a traineeship and junior support role with a small ISP, Aaron was promoted and given responsibility for several projects including network consolidation, VoIP infrastructure and a national hardware migration.

In his spare time, Aaron is an avid gamer and enjoys getting outdoors for a bit of camping and hiking.

Aaron is hoping his new role with the Association will accelerate his knowledge of industry issues and is looking forward to helping find solutions to make the Internet better. Welcome Aaron, we are excited to have you onboard!

IAA members operating as Retail Service Providers (RSPs) will be able to apply for NBN Co’s COVID-19 relief package announced last week.

The relief package, developed in response to an industry consultation process involving internet service providers, government and consumer groups, aims to assist customers and families affected by the pandemic.

$50 million of the package is being specifically directed at RSPs to support low income households with school aged children who currently do not have an active NBN connection at home.

“The current COVID-19 situation has put more emphasis on access to broadband services as families and businesses change the way they conduct their daily lives. With students homeschooling and many more businesses operating from homes, the pressure to have access to the internet has never been more important,” explains IAA General Manager, Narelle Clark.

“Our members have become the backbone of society during the pandemic, ensuring the supply of essential services, both business and social, to everyone around Australia.”

RSPs should contact NBN Co directly through the NBN Co Customer Portal to apply for funding. If you are not a direct RSP you should contact your wholesale provider and request more details to ensure you are not missing out on access to the relief package.

The package will be available from April to the end of September, but retailers have the flexibility to determine the offers they wish to pass on to customers.

The complete relief package is worth a total of $150 million, with the remaining $100 million being split equally between implementing relief measures to support financially distressed households and small and medium-sized businesses.

Following on from the article in last month’s newsletter IAA have been working through the steps to implement Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS).  In our efforts to keep the IXP secure, we plan to facilitate a roundtable with the MANRS.org team to start promoting best practice in routing security to members.

For more information email peering@ix.asn.au

IX Australia is aware several of our members are currently in NEXTDC’s Melbourne M2 data centre with a line to M1 through a third-party carrier for peering.

The team at IX Australia are keen to hear if our members would be interested in us delivering services at M2. Should we build a new POP there?

Please email peering@ix.asn.au with the topic M2 EOI to express your interest.

Due to the current situation arising from COVID-19, our 2020 events plan will be postponed until we can ensure meeting face to face is safe for our staff, members and the wider community.

As an alternative to in person socials, we are working towards running online social and professional development events including meet ups, webinars and workshops.

We would love to know if there are any topics or issues you would like us to cover. Even if you just want to hang out via Zoom or have a Netflix Party with BYO refreshments, please let us know! Email your suggestions to events@internet.asn.au

IAA has seen a more than 30% increase in aggregate traffic across our IXs over the last two weeks. Previously, it would have taken 6 to 12 months for this sort of growth.

Rather than the usual traffic pattern, the increase is hitting the internet right across the day. With businesses and schools changing the way they work, and migrating almost entirely to streaming and telecommuting, residential services are bulking up during the day. We are also experiencing greater than normal peaks during the evening between 7pm and 9pm.

“People are clearly adjusting to life at home and we’ve seen a massive increase in usage over the last fortnight,” says IAA General Manager, Narelle Clark.

“We normally peak at just over 500Gbps in aggregate across all the exchanges, but last Friday night we almost hit 700Gbps. This is great news for social distancing efforts, and we are working around the clock to ensure all services remain reliable and uncongested.”

IAA has recently renewed its sponsorship of the interconnection database PeeringDB.

PeeringDB is a database of networks, exchanges and places of interconnection. It uses data that members enter to drive connectivity.

Companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and many others use the database to make decisions on where to build out new locations.

IAA encourages members to create an account to register their details on PeeringDB. For members already listed on the database, it is essential you ensure your details are kept up to date. Alternatively, you can select ‘Allow IXP Update” and we will update your existing records.

“PeeringDB is a fantastic source of information for the industry, it provides a single source of truth for network operators to determine where they should be and who to peer with,” explains IAA Secretary, Nathan Brookfield.

“We really encourage our members to join and maintain their own information. The more members we have listed in the database, the more information prospective peers have to locate your network and it provides an incentive for new networks to build in Australia and join our exchanges.”

“IAA has been supporting PeeringDB over the past few years and is proud to support this valuable public resource through ongoing sponsorship into the future.”

As the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate in Australia and around the world, IAA is placing a high priority on business continuity and have put measures in place to do this safely for our staff and members.

IAA recognises its role as a provider of critical infrastructure and our team will be working hard to ensure continuity for member’s businesses during this time of uncertainty.

Over the coming weeks, IAA will be undertaking the following:

  • Upgrading networks to handle the increase in network traffic
  • Deferring any unnecessary work
  • Restricting major changes to essential only
  • Reassessing our spares, extra port availability and remote hands service to ensure any failures are dealt with rapidly
  • Providing or coordinating the use of remote hands services to reduce travel and maximise skilled staff availability
  • Adhering strictly to pandemic protocols in place in data centre facilities

At this point, we do not anticipate any significant impact on our ability to deliver services. The IAA team are well accustomed to working from home and our systems are designed for this.

Should you have any questions or need further information about how we are managing the delivery of your services, please reach out to us. We in turn will continue to assess the situation and keep members updated.

IAA’s is undertaking steps to gain Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) as part of its efforts to run a secure IXP.

MANRS is a global initiative that provides crucial fixes to reduce the most common routing threats. Whilst initially designed for network operators, IXP’s play an active role in protecting the Internet and represent active communities as well as working to ensure a secure Internet infrastructure.

IAA Is working towards IXPP status. To achieve this, it must demonstrate commitment by implementing the IXP Programme Actions.

For more information contact the team on peering@ix.asn.au

 

IAA have fulfilled our hosting duties of APRICOT 2020 and would like to thank everyone who attended the event at Melbourne’s Crown Promenade.

Despite travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, APRICOT 2020 still attracted over 560 people, from 59 economies.

With five days of workshops and over 50 presentation sessions during conference week, the IAA team worked tirelessly to ensure the smooth running of the network. At times during the fortnight, there were over 1000 devices connected to the wi-fi simultaneously.

APRICOT founder and ICANN CTO David Conrad opened the conference with a look back at the last 25 years of the event and a look forward to the future. Other keynote speakers included Professor Mark Gregory from RMIT University’s School of Engineering and ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science’s Associate Professor Hanna Suominen. To listen to these presentations or other sessions from the conference visit APNIC’s Youtube channel

The 3rd APNIC Hackathon took place during APRICOT, with the emphasis being on teamwork and cooperation. The theme for this year’s Hackathon was “Network Tools”. We would like to congratulate IAA’s peering engineer, Nick Pratley, who with his team won this year’s event. Nick’s team was tasked with creating automation modules for router configuration good practice and bogons. Well done Nick!

IAA General Manager Narelle Clark facilitated APRICOT’s Tech Girls social, which brought together 60 women (and a few male participants) to share their stories and experiences in ICT. Whilst the session was not restricted to women, it was a fantastic opportunity for those in attendance to understand they are not alone and have a purpose within the Internet community. Narelle was joined by Noraini Ayop from Microsoft and Merike Kaeo from Double Shot Security who spoke about their careers and how they saw the industry from a female perspective.

The 25th anniversary of APRICOT was celebrated at socials in locations across the city. Storms didn’t deter conference goers attending the opening social at Melbourne Town Hall, sponsored by IAA, where we were treated to a cultural performance by the Djiri Djiri dance group and got up close and personal to a variety of native animals.

The success of APRICOT’s 25 years promoting Internet technology and operations across the Asia Pacific region was marked at a formal dinner at the stunning Plaza Ballroom, with entertainment by local band, Chunky Jam, who got everyone up dancing late into the evening.

To see the official APRICOT 2020 photos click here.

We hope you enjoyed APRICOT 2020 as much as we did and found it a valuable experience. Our sofa was a hit with those at the conference, as were the IAA beanies, thanks to Melbourne’s weather.