FOSDEM 2019: a new view from the NOC
The first weekend of February is for me by now traditionally the FOSDEM weekend. FOSDEM is arguably the biggest Open Source Developers conference in the world with 742 lectures regarding various topic spread over the ULB university campus. The entrance is free and all presentations are recorded and can be streamed live during the conference (useful when you were not able to enter a full room), or later at your leisure from video.fosdem.org.
This year marks the 10th time that Cisco sponsors the network infrastructure. As this is a ‘least effort, maximum results’ exercise we try to not change the architecture between the years, so there should be no nasty surprises. So again, just like the last few years, we had an IPv6-only with DNS64/NAT64 ‘main’ network and a dual stack ‘legacy’ network, both routed towards the internet via an ASR1006 which provided DHCP, SLAC and NAT64 services.
Every year we try to analyze the network and traffic to provide a glimpse of what ‘state of the art’ traffic looks like. The population of users at FOSDEM is far from a typical business environment, but this data does provide an idea of future trends.
Network-wise, the main takeaways this year are:
- There were more clients on the IPv6 native network then on the IPv4 network, with on Sunday afternoon ~3330 IPv4 DHCP clients against ~4300 reachable IPv6-only clients and ~1300 IPv6 clients on the dual stack network. The grafana statistics show a similar picture:
- This shows that native IPv6 plus DNS64/NAT64 is a valid alternative for the vast majority of users.
- When we look into the legacy dual stack network, we notice that for the IPv4 traffic distribution we see outgoing ~214M TCP packets and ~6M ESP (VPN) packets while incoming was ~394M TCP packets with ~8M ESP packets. This means that at least about 2-3% of all traffic was on an IPSEC VPN. And this excludes the TCP VPN traffic on ports 443/TCP and 22/TCP. On the IPv6 network we do not see a similar amount of ESP traffic.
- This strongly suggests that the people remaining on the dual stack network do so because their VPN solution does not work with an IPv6 only network.
- Traffic wise we broke all records with 2,960,975,295,300 bytes input (up 16.7% compared to last year’s 2,537,252,681,481 bytes) and 1,755,298,210,796 bytes output towards the internet (an increase of 57% compared to last year’s 1,116,884,145,475 bytes).
- Most traffic was IPv6, by far:
asr1k#show ip nbar protocol-discovery interface gi2/2/1 stats byte-count top-n 10 ... Input Output ----- ------ Protocol Byte Count Byte Count ---------------------------- ------------------------ ------------------------ ssl 1024765056806 251043670421 rtmp 17859365809 839473061541 google-services 175407914561 161785828996 binary-over-http 241852948792 4245784798 statistical-download 29057423539 153776145315 apple-services 128893914984 11742821363 youtube 102626951521 5252216684 facebook 93538045035 12754299118 amazon-web-services 89391297834 15666057435 unknown 81551056347 19952504555 Total 2958863503183 1756617044390
Or the top bandwidth protocols:
asr1k#show ip nbar protocol-discovery interface gi2/2/1 stats max-bit-rate top-n 10 ... Input Output ----- ------ Protocol 30sec Max Bit Rate (bps) 30sec Max Bit Rate (bps) ---------------------------- ------------------------ ------------------------ ssl 305058000 71069000 binary-over-http 282241000 18044000 statistical-download 66230000 218672000 ssh 70355000 210668000 google-services 93300000 81333000 amazon-web-services 119330000 48004000 dropbox 89163000 63882000 apple-services 124853000 28109000 icloud 109747000 41144000 youtube 74360000 58941000 Total 4359491000 1769693000
Again, we see that even open source developers use Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and watch YouTube. The large amount of ssh traffic would stand out in a more corporate environment however.
Last year we also noticed that identifying the clients from the HTTP traffic became a lot more difficult as we started seeing randomized MAC addresses: Saturday stats, total stats, statistics for ‘real’ MAC addresses. This makes it almost impossible to guess the operating system used by the clients.
This year these trends continued. We had 129,959 unique MAC addresses during the conference, this excludes the random MAC addresses uses to probe for wireless networks, only MAC addresses which send data across or toward the ASR1006 router are counted. Of these we can assign 11,781 to a known manufacturer. Last year we saw 128,463 unique MAC addresses with only 10,689 MAC addresses were attributable to a manufacturer. From this we can guess that the number of visitors went up by about 10%. The cause for all these random MAC addresses remains unclear.
The distribution of manufacturers shows that Apple is still king of the MACs:
We can the evolution of devices when comparing 2018/2019:
Looking forward we hope to upgrade the backbone of the network from 1Gbps links to 10Gbps links, as we are reaching ~70% of capacity when talking to the WLC which is hosted on the ULB network:
Adding another provider for the internet uplink would be a good thing, currently mostly for redundancy, but the video team’s appetite for bandwidth is large and growing, notice the jump in the internet bandwidth on Sunday afternoon to over 300Mbps, so more bandwidth might be needed in the future.
See you all next year!