African Route-collectors Data Analyzer

ABOUT

The Internet Society has an ambitious interconnection and traffic exchange (ITE) program for the African continent that aims to support achieve the vision of 80% local and 20% international Internet traffic by the year 2020. The multi-pronged program recorded important success with the establishment of 20 new Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) since 2009, leading to 37 IXPs hosted in 28 African countries as of January 2017. However, less than 50% of them provide publicly accessible data on current traffic statistics, peering Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs) and IP Prefixes (both IPv4 and IPv6). Further, only 2 IXPs (JINX in South Africa and KIXP in Kenya) have RouteViews installations.

This means that efforts to measure and monitor the progress on domestic traffic growth against the international traffic will be unsuccessful. There is also the unavailability of other locally useful data that can inform and support growth such as:

  • What percentage of the RIR ASNs assigned to each country are reachable via the local IXP
  • What percentage of the RIR IP prefixes assigned to each country are announced at the local IXP
  • The percentage of External ASNs reachable via the local IXPs
  • Usage and growth of IPv6 in each country

Further, other increasingly useful measurement resources such as the RIPE Atlas network still offer limited visibility for instance in the African peering ecosystem due to the fact that, despite deployment efforts, only 223 (17.5%) local networks host a probe. Although the RIPE Atlas network is both useful in informing about the connectivity status of the region, and collecting data that can be used to conduct research studies, the probes and anchors are unevenly located. As an example, as of February 24, 2017 there are 510 (208 active) RIPE Atlas probes and 6 RIPE Atlas Anchors in Africa, of which respectively 333 (65.9%) and 6 (100%) are located in Southern and Eastern Africa sub-regions.

In this regard, it is difficult to measure or monitor the impact and outcomes of the ITE program and its vision. Further, it is even more difficult to assess the impact of other related activities such as policy implementation and infrastructure developments.

The African Route-collectors Data Analyzer (A.R.D.A.) is the culmination of an initiative aimed at advancing Internet measurements in Africa. Overall, the project seeks to leverage and support the deployment of globally recognized measurement infrastructure, tools and services at defined vantage points, to enhance visibility of Internet packet flow and traffic exchange in the African Region. ARDA is an open-source web application, accessible by network operators, researchers, Internet Business Development, etc. It assists in the collection, collation and publication of useful data points that can be used to monitor and report on the progress made on interconnection and traffic exchange.

The analyzed data is collected from a total of 41 existing RouteViews (02) and PCH (39) collectors deployed at 24 (64.9%) existing IXPs in Africa. The computed and displayed statistics are classified into 3 views: (i) the IXP View where we provide several statistics per IXP (ii) the National View where we display statistics per set of IXPs in the same country and (iii) the Regional View where we plot statistics computed based the data from all IXPs in the region. They fit into 3 main aspects: IXP growth and Business potential, Interconnection development progress and gaps, and Technical support.

The Authors

© 2017 Internet Society (ISOC) – Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). All rights reserved

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