Improving the world of internet monitoring and observability is something in which I’ve had a career-long interest. For half a decade I was responsible for running all of the measurement services at the RIPE NCC – the European Regional Internet Registry. At the beginning we had roughly 100 nodes around the globe, generating measurements and collecting data.
We were pleased with our capability, and so were our users – Routing Information Service (RIS) data was consumed by researchers and operators alike. But with hindsight, there were clear and obvious blind spots. There was plenty of visibility from Europe and the coasts of the US, but next to none in most emerging markets where the greatest growth was increasingly seen.
There was plenty of visibility from Europe and the coasts of the US, but next to none in most emerging markets where the greatest growth was increasingly seen. Our monitoring viewpoints, which covered a tiny sliver of the available internet, evolved into RIPE Atlas, which now has almost 12,000 probes. However, over a third of those probes are in Germany, France, and the USA, and 10% are inside just five large Autonomous Systems (ASNs). This distribution of probes leaves wide swathes of the globe uncharted.
Despite these constraints, Atlas is among the largest and most successful measurement platforms on earth, and I am proud to have been there at its inception. Moving on, I’m now fulfilling a longtime goal, alongside a seasoned group of likeminded network engineering and data experts, helping to create the most holistic view of what’s happening on the internet, one that is more complete and accurate by several orders of magnitude, at a new company called LynkState Inc.
At LynkState, we take measurements from millions of end-user devices, and use them to generate accurate digital experience reports from everywhere to anywhere in the world. Internet measurement is all about eyeballs. LynkState offers actual measurements from millions of those eyeballs, gathered from real end-user devices. We have eyeballs creating measurements from [almost?] every ASN in the routing table. The resulting data is incredibly accurate and more statistically robust than ever before.