4 p.m. RIPE NCC Services
16th October 2019
KURTIS LINDQVIST: Welcome everyone. So, I am Kurtis Lindqvist. I am one of the three co‑chairs of the Working Group. This is of course your favourite Working Group, that goes without saying. So, together with Rob Evans, who is the second Working Group chair and Bijal, who can't be here today, so you will have to put up with me and Rob.
A few housekeeping issues before we start. If you have been here before, you will know this, straight after this we have the GM. If you haven't registered for GM, or more specifically if you haven't collected your GM sticker, I was the first one to do this morning, you have to go to registration desk and get your sticker. After we are done here, we are going to try to break the previous record for turn around, 30 seconds, 20 seconds to empty the room and come back in. We are prepared and have the tables up and everything. As soon as we are done here please leave quickly so we can start the GM on time at quarter past six ‑‑ 6 o'clock sharp. That's the plan for today.
So with that, we will move over to the agenda. So, this is a very small print. So the ‑‑ we have got to do some admin matters and then we have not the operational update, we have an update on the v4 run‑out by Felipe. We have the services ‑‑ RIPE NCC survey results, certified professionals update and the RIPE NCC update from Axel. After that we have the usual open mic phone and any other business.
We have this very quick, we have the scribe and chat monitor is provided by the NCC, so thank you very much for their work and give them applause for the work they do.
It's something I often forget, but I don't think you understand how much work they do behind the scenes to get the minutes out that get circulated to the mailing list.
With that, unless anyone has any additions to the agenda, that's the agenda as it stands and the last point on the admin is to approve the minutes from the last meeting that were sent to the mailing list on 10th of September and there were no comments, so if no objections, then those minutes are approved. Minutes are approved.
With that, I am going to hand over to the first presentation and Felipe.
FELIPE VICTOLLA SILVEIRA: Good afternoon, I am the COO at the RIPE NCC. And today I would like to give a report about the IPv4 run‑out.
Nikolas gave a similar presentation in the morning in the Address Policy Working Group so there will be some overlap on the two presentations. That's by design, I think it's important to repeat some of the messages.
So, I will start my presentation by going back into the past and looking how everything started. So this picture was actually taken two months after I joined the RIPE NCC. I was new to this industry, so I was not very familiar with the IPv4 run‑out, but I do remember the moment in which this picture was taken. There was a lot of excitement in the office. So this was the exact moment when we approved the last resource request before we reached the last /8, so the last block we got from IANA. So that's the 185 /8. At the moment this happened, a new policy kicked in, so it's the policy 2010‑O2, which determined that each LIR would be eligible for one last block and that would be basically it. So if you needed more address space, you are supposed to go to the market and buy from somebody else.
So how do the world look like back then:
We had an average of 8,500 LIR accounts. We are growing at a rate of 65 accounts per month, more or less. We did have a policy transfer in place, the policy of 2007‑08. However, the first policy transfer was only registered in October 2012. We didn't have any investigations going on back then, and we never really closed any LIR account due to fraud. IPv4 was not a commodity, so very little incentive to mislead us. We are a small and cuddly organisation and tended to trust everyone.
Now, let's fastforward to November 2018, and I wonder if you know what happened on this date? Sorry for that. We basically ran out of 185 /8 so since then we have been distributing recycled address space, so most of it is due to closures, a lot bit got to the policy 2007‑01, which required end users to have app contract with their sponsoring LIRs so many of them didn't comply as they got their address space deregistered. We also got some address space that is also recycled from IANA.
In total, we got 9.5 million IP addresses, which is more or less half of the /8. And that's the address space we have been distributing since then.
Now, I would like to focus a little bit more on the last year or so and report to you on how we have been handling this remaining space, this remaining pool.
As Nikolas stressed as well on his presentation in the morning, we took the communications part really seriously. We have kept the community informed about what was going on with the run‑out. More specifically, in the RIPE 76 we start asking for input on a number of issues that were ‑‑ that had to be solved before the run‑out, like, for example, we asked input for the usage of a waiting list to deal with the return address space that once you get in the future. We proposed to decrease the allocation lease from a /22 to /24, so the idea was to give more people a chance to get a block after the run‑out. We also proposed increase the IXP pool to change the size of the temporary pool and also asked input on what to do with the IPv4 dust so the blocks that are smaller than /24 and cannot be really routed in the Internet.
So I am happy that the community responded to that and proposed a couple of policies that have been accepted this year. The first one is 2019‑O2, which basically deals with the post‑exhaustion scenario. So it does create the waiting list to distributing address space after the run‑out, it does reduce the allocation space from /22 to /24. It also changed the criteria for who is eligible to get one of these blocks, it makes it more strict, so only LIRs that never got any block from the NCC will be eligible to join the waiting list and get the /24.
And it also determined that the IPv4 dust shouldn't be allocated.
The policy 2019‑05 proposed ‑‑ it increases the size of the IXP pool from a /16 to a /15 and also fine tunes some of the assignment criteria.
Now I would like to go into the time‑line, so what will happen ‑‑ or what is happening this year concerning the run‑out.
So start with the pool. So the green bar you see over there are basically contiguous blocks, we have been distributing those until early this month when it run out and since then we have been distributing composites, a combination of /23 and /24s. The forecast is that we should run out of those in about a month, a little bit more than that, and then from that point on, the new policy will kick in, the policy 2019‑O2 that I explained before. And from that point on, there will be a waiting list and they will be distributing /24s instead.
So this is a time‑line for the two policies, policy 2019‑O2 starting being discussed earlier this year and reached consensus around August and we have recently announced that the policy has been successfully implemented. The policy 2019‑05 has been recently reached consensus, however we already moved the block 185 /16 into the IXP pool.
Concerning software and procedures, had to make a number of updates, both to deal with the pre‑run‑out and also with the post‑run‑out scenarios, so that includes, for example, the implementation of the policies but also to change our software in order to be able to issue composites of /22s.
As explained before, we have been extensively communicating with the community about the status of the run‑out. What I want to highlight now is at the end of August we sent an e‑mail to the whole membership basically explaining that the run‑out was just around corner and expected to run out before the end of the year.
At the beginning of October, we sent an announcement to the members as well basically explaining that we run out of the contiguous blocks of /22s, and some other additional updates.
And by the time we reached the run‑out, yeah, as Nikolas was explaining, third week, perhaps fourth week of November, we are going to send an announcement to the membership as well.
One trend that we have reported in the past is the explosion in the growth in our membership, so if you go back to 2012 when that picture was taken, very small and cuddly, we had 8,500 accounts. Today, we have more than 25,000 LIR accounts, so that's three times the number of accounts that we had to manage seven years ago. So 200% growth.
So not only did the number of accounts is growing quite a lot, but also the rate in which they have been growing is accelerating significantly. So back in 2012, we are growing at a rate of 65 accounts per month as I explained before. Back in July this year, we had a growth of 700 new LIR accounts per month. So that's eleven times faster than you used to have seven years ago. Not only that, after we send this announcement at the end of August, there was an explosion in applications. So on 28th August we had more than 100 applications in one day. 100. Well, that was way more than we could possibly cope with, so we had to put a cap in the number of applications we were dealing with on a daily basis, so in average, we have been handling 700 per month.
Because we introduce this cap, a backlog of applications started to form. So from the time someone submits a new LIR application to the time we are actually able to pick it up and start work on it, there is a waiting time currently of around eight to nine weeks, so it takes a very long time. Once you pick up an application it processes more or less smoothly but there is this very long waiting time in the beginning.
At the beginning of this month, more or less, it's very hard to predict exactly the time this happened, the size of of this backlog became bigger than the size of the remaining pool, which basically means that anyone that applied around that date forwards, by the time they get their account activated the pool basically would be gone and they will be eligible for joining the waiting list and getting a /24 instead.
So by continuing the current trend, in about a month, a little bit more, a little bit less, we will be completely out of IPv4, so what can we expect after that?
So let's have a look into the future and see what is out there for us.
The RIPE NCC continuously recovers address space due to closures. Once it's recovered it's put in quarantine and the main goal is to make sure once address space is distributed to somebody else, it's usable, so make sure it's not announced in BGP, it's not blacklisted in any of the black‑listing organisations out there. The quarantine period, it's a six‑month and this ‑‑ actually, I have this wrong, we currently have 1,300 /24s in quarantine so that's more or less expectation that we have. After the run‑out. So which we distributed on the following six months, under the new policy.
So how will the run‑out impact us? The most obvious thing is that we expect a sharp decline in the number of new LIR applications, that should relieve some of the pressure that the Customer Services department is experiencing. Our future income development should also be impacted, and if you are interested in the financial aspect of the run‑out in the NCC, I suggest that you join the GM, where Gwen is going to give a presentation about it. We also will expect an increase in the resource holdership change request, so policy transfers, mergers and acquisitions, which are inherently complex and it takes a lot of our work, so we expect an increase there. And you also have to expect that you have to straighten our due diligence in order to make sure that your resources stay protected.
So before I close my presentation, I would like to propose a small imagination exercise. I trust that you all know what is this? From Back to the Future, it's a time machine. Let's say we have one of those and you are travelling into 15 years into the future, and then we have a peak on how does the Internet look like by then. I am pretty sure you will see some interesting things. However, it's probably a safe bet to say that most of the traffic of the Internet will be running on IPv6. And I don't want to preach here, we all know that should be deploying IPv6. I do want to say, though, that we as a RIPE NCC are fully committed in facilitating the transition into IPv6 by providing our technical expertise, providing training courses and also by promoting IPv6 deployment on the many events that we attend.
But most importantly nobody really knows how the future will look like. In the same way that we have adapted from being this small and cuddly organisation, to the organisation that we became today, we are going to continue to adapt and evolve through whatever is coming in the future, in order to better serve this community, and also to better ‑‑ to help shape the future of the Internet.
Thank you very much. And I open the floor for questions.
KURTIS LINDQVIST: Any questions? Okay. Thank you.
So, next on the agenda is Fergal and Brenda with the update from the survey.
BRENDA MAINLAND: I am not quite tall enough so I will stand to the side here if that's okay. Thank you very much for inviting me to present here today. I am Brenda Mainland from Survey Matters and we did the RIPE 2019 members' survey this year.
So, the survey was conducted from 24th May through to the 30th June and it was conducted to test and measure member attitudes and perceptions about services, the services from the RIPE NCC, and also to look at some of the challenges that members were facing and what members thought that the RIPE NCC could do about that.
The RIPE NCC do actually place a high priority on the feedback that members provide them and we had 4,161 responses this year, which is an increase of 36% from the 2016 survey. So I would like to say a big thank you to everybody for taking part. These results, as a result of that many responses, these results are reliable and give the RIPE NCC confidence that they can act on those.
This year, to trial ‑‑ we wanted to trial the survey in different languages to see if we could increase response rates, so the survey was fielded in nine different languages, and pleasingly and positively, 44% of all responses were completed in a language other than English. Most of the responses were received from Western Europe, followed by ENOG region and then Middle East, Eastern Europe and southeast Europe regions and it's worth noting that that response percentage is consistent with the numbers of members in each of those different regions.
So, let's look at the key performance metrics over all. I need to go back one, I think. I went too quickly. So, in all, how members ‑‑ one of the key measures that we look at is how members speak to others about membership of the RIPE NCC, and very pleasingly, 76% of members say that they speak well if they are asked about membership of the RIPE NCC or speak highly without being asked. That's the overall results. There were some differences between the regions. Those members from ENOG and southeast Europe were significantly more likely to say that they spoke highly or well of the RIPE NCC without being asked; in contrast, members from Eastern Europe were less likely to indicate that they spoke well of the RIPE NCC to others.
Similarly, overall satisfaction with the leadership of the RIPE NCC, with the use of membership funds and with the RIPE NCC's engagement with members on issues of importance, remains high and, as you can see, has improved since the 2016 survey.
However, and in a pattern that we do see throughout these results, members in Eastern Europe and the Middle East significantly less likely to agree that the use of member funds, about the use of member funds, and that they are consulted on issues of importance. However, we still, overall, have very positive responses there.
Continuing with the key performance metrics, 92% of people rate the ‑‑ of members rate the quality of service delivery as good or excellent. It's pretty hard to get a figure that's higher than that, I would have thought. However, less people rate the value for money from the membership funds, with only three‑quarters of all members rating that as good or excellent. And again members from Eastern Europe and Middle East are significantly less likely to provide a good or excellent rating around member funds and the engagement with members on issues of importance to the community.
Satisfaction with the quality of resource registration ‑‑ services with the quality of interactions with the RIPE NCC's customer service team and the speed of responses from the RIPE NCC, is also very positive. However, there is less agreement around the billing processes with ‑‑ particularly in the ease of payment processes and the frequency of payment options, particularly members from Eastern Europe, I believe, were less likely to agree that ‑‑ that it was easy to make payments, and that the payment frequencies were ‑‑ suited them.
Now we're going to talk ‑‑ an important part of the focus of the survey was to have understand what the challenges that members face regarding your operational ‑‑ operation of the Internet, and also to understand what you believe then the RIPE NCC should do about the challenges to assist you with those.
As you can see, network security is the biggest operational challenge that members are facing, with 51% including that in their top three most important challenges, and that's followed by deployment of IPv6 and the scarcity of IPv4 addresses which we will just heard Felipe talk about. It is also worth mentioning that in the APNIC community, these are exactly the same issues they are facing as well. So I am pretty sure that you are not alone across the world in these challenges.
Network security was rated the highest challenge by every region apart from ENOG and members in the ENOG region rate the scarcity of IPv4 address space higher than network security, and it was interesting when we looked at the differences between roles and positions, IT managers, and ICT managers, rated network security as their biggest challenge, but executives and company owners rated the scarcity of IPv4 addresses as their biggest challenge.
Overwhelmingly, what members want the RIPE NCC to do to assist them is to provide more training. We had around 950 free text comments about the best thing that the RIPE NCC could do and over half of them were related to training, more training in IPv6 deployment, and more training in security issues.
So we dug a little bit further into what those network security issues were that they were facing and, as you can see, 57% of members cite DDoS attacks as one of the biggest network security issues, alongside phishing, spam, malware and ransomware. Apart from Western Europe, Western Europe didn't rate DDoS attacks in their top three at all, but for the other ‑‑ those other ‑‑ for DDoS attacks and for phishing ransomware, spam and malware, all of the regions are pretty much in agreement that that is an issue.
Black‑listing of IP addresses is another issue, as is general staff lack of awareness about network security, intrusion and routing security round out the challenges with network security.
And again, the best ways that the RIPE NCC can assist is in training, specifically security‑specific training and more advanced security specific training. Members would also like the RIPE NCC to collaborate with other technical security organisations in sharing information and best practice with them.
So we looked at the biggest issues around the scarcity of IPv4 addresses and what was driving that as a challenge. We also asked whether members thought that they would need more IPv4 addresses in the short‑term future, and what they would do or what you would do to obtain more addresses. So, overwhelmingly, dependency on IPv4 is the issue that members face, alongside with the cost of buying IPv4 addresses on the transfer market and with deployment of IPv6.
Members in ENOG and the Middle East regions are significantly more likely to be concerned about the cost of buying more IP addresses than members in other regions.
And when we had a look at whether or not members thought they would need more addresses into the future, 53% said yes, they thought they would; 35% said no; and there were about 12% who said they didn't know whether they would need it. But over half of you said that, yes, you thought you would need more IPv4 addresses in the near future.
And overwhelmingly, buying address space on the transfer market is how you intend to obtain those addresses, alongside using NAT and moving to IPv6 to free up IPv4.
So when we looked at the status of IPv6 deployment amongst ‑‑ across the region, you can see that there is not a lot of difference between this in 2016. 22% of members have fully deployed IPv6 in their networks; 23% have a plan or are working on a plan; but 23% also have no plan in place in the near future.
The biggest barrier to deploying IPv6 appears to be that members or ‑‑ they don't see the need or there is no business requirement to deploy it at the moment. Many, many of you said that you haven't had time to deploy, and a lack of knowledge and expertise within your organisations is also hampering deployment. There were comments in the free text comments that talked about the length of time it was taking them to deploy IPv6 or organisations to deploy IPv6 and that they hadn't considered the time factor and when they decided to deploy so maybe that has something to do with why the numbers are looking similar.
Of those who have deployed IPv6, the majority are using dual stack with public IPv4.
So when we looked at RIPE NCC database usage, the majority of you, 80% rate the usefulness of the information high or ‑‑ as good or excellent. There is slightly less agreement around the accuracy of the information and again slightly less around the ease of use of the RIPE database.
Members in ENOG and south‑eastern Europe much more likely to rate the usefulness of the information in the database than their counterparts from the Middle East.
Satisfaction, again, with the accuracy is broadly consistent, apart from, again, the Middle East, which has slightly lower satisfaction. And when we asked ways in which the RIPE NCC could improve the ease of use, the accuracy and the usefulness of the information, you can see a selection of the comments there: Training, technical changes and ensuring accuracy of the information came up very frequently.
Lastly, we looked at regulatory risks and asked whether members felt that changes in government regulations will directly affect your operations or the operations of the RIPE NCC over the next two to three years. And as you can see there, a large majority don't actually know whether changes will affect you. I guess the biggest take out from this, though, is that in the ENOG region, with 43% of members say they do think changes will be affect, in government regulation will.affect them over the next two or three years and that result is driven largely by the members in the Russian Federation. There were several mentions about the Sovereign Internet Act and the impact that may have on Russian members. Other things that ‑‑ other comments that came up about the regulatory environment were impacts of GDPR and data retention policies from governments, which members thought the flow and effect of that was the costs of compliance to those types of things.
So in conclusion, we had a very good response rate, and I think the inclusion of the additional languages has contributed to more responses or more completions. Satisfaction with the RIPE NCC Services remains very high, although throughout the report, members in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East regions report lower satisfaction than their other counterparts.
Like other LIR members, network security is the biggest challenge, followed closely by IPv6 deployment and IPv4 address space scarcity.
Overwhelmingly, in the free text comments providing training and education is seen as an area where the RIPE NCC can best help members with these challenges.
Finally, thank you once again for taking part in the survey. Your input is extremely valuable and the RIPE NCC place a great deal of weight on it. Albeit with hardly any voice, I am available for the rest of the conference if anybody wants to talk to me about the specifics of the results so please come and see me, or if you can't find me ask one of the RIPE NCC team to find them. I should have said this at the start, I apologise, I left my voice somewhere other than Rotterdam so I am a bit croaky.
I now ask Fergal Cunningham from the RIPE NCC to come up and talk a little bit about the plans that they have; and as he is doing that, I just say you can download a full copy of the report, all 86 pages of it, if you want some night‑time reading, at the address there.
FERGAL CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Brenda. I do want to give a really big thanks to Brenda and Survey Matters.
I think if you look at this report, it's a really great report; it looks fantastic and is really insightful. Go look at this report. After all, this is about you and it's about the challenges you face and what you said we can do to help you. So there is a lot of insight for the RIPE NCC, but I think you will find a lot of insight about yourself, your countries and your type of operations.
But the main message I want to give here is that the RIPE NCC doesn't look at these reports, read them, think they are interesting and throw it in the recycling bin. We plan ‑‑ we're going to read it very closely and the results of this will plug into our strategy, our planning, for the next two or three years, so this is hugely important for us. And in practical terms, what we are going to do is, as always, it's going to be very transparent. We are currently analysing the findings, we are looking at them in great detail. So we are going to publish quite a large list of the findings that we think we can address in some way. We are going to publish that list and then once we have had some time to actually do some work, we are going to publish the actions we took to address those issues. So it's really important that you know, we are going to act on these and we are going to tell you all about it. And that's it for me, really, apart from a small apology for all the e‑mails I sent about this over the summer. If you read the report I think you will see it was worth it.
Thank you very much. And if you have questions for myself or Brenda, we are happy to answer them. Thank you.
KURTIS LINDQVIST: Any questions?
DANIEL KARRENBERG: I am with the RIPE NCC. I have of a question for Brenda. Congratulations on the very good work and the nice slides. I think I can gather that you do this kind of service for a living, so I was wondering if you would be prepared to say anything sort of not in quantitative but maybe in some impression terms about how the results of this survey relate to results you have for other clients that are also in the space that we are, like associations, not for profit, NGO kind of things, where do we stand sort of relative to others in this space?
BRENDA MAINLAND: So do you mean where do you stand in terms of satisfaction ‑‑
DANIEL KARRENBERG: Response rates, satisfaction, general impression of the community that you get ‑‑ that you get, because you have the comparative material. I don't want details, just generally.
BRENDA MAINLAND: Yes. Generally I would say that satisfaction is very high and particularly around the quality of service delivery, which at 92% I think would be pretty hard to top. The questions around how members speak to others about the RIPE NCC, we would often ask that question of associations that have organisations as members as opposed to individuals as members, so it's a kind of different question than the net promoter score we would use in other circumstances. 76% is very high, and probably the highest that I have seen in the work that we do with organisations, with associations who have organisational members. The response rate, over 4,000, we tend not to look at a percentage of responses versus ‑‑ to the membership as a whole. What we use as a statistical calculator that tells us, with a certain amount of confidence, how reliable the results are and we would always use that. So from the RIPE NCC's perspective, the results are within 95% confidence level, with a plus or minus tolerance of only 2%. In research ‑‑ in the research world, we are usually looking for 95% confidence with a tolerance of plus or minus 5%. So again, the RIPE NCC can have confidence that these results are reliable and usable.
We always ask about the challenges that members face in any of the organisational ‑‑ any of the association work that we do, because most membership organisations exist to serve the needs of their members and, therefore, you need to know what their challenges are. I think, as I have said, we have run this or similar ‑‑ we run a member survey for APNIC and in 2018 exactly the same challenges came up, so and I don't think that would be a surprise to anybody in the room.
So, your challenges are unique to your environment, though, your Internet‑related challenges are unique to the RIRs really, but we find always that if the association or the organisation knows about those challenges and focuses on them and tries to help, then as a natural consequence of that, members become more confident in their membership and, therefore, their satisfaction gross. And I think, as you saw, satisfaction is up slightly ‑‑ quite a lot since 2016. Does that answer your question?
DANIEL KARRENBERG: It does, thank you.
KURTIS LINDQVIST: Thank you, Daniel. Any other questions? We just had one observation here: There is actually less LIRs, there is a plan to deploy v6 now as a percentage than in 2016, which is a little bit scary actually in many ways. I also do think it's quite funny, it's 47% of the members who don't think they will need more v4 addresses. Those two numbers doesn't quite add up to me, but anyway.
BRENDA MAINLAND: 35% said they would definitely not need more, 12% said they didn't know, 53% they definitely would.
KURTIS LINDQVIST: It's a bit more. All right. Thank you very much.
KURTIS LINDQVIST: Sandra is next up.
SANDRA BRAS: Good afternoon, I am your second speaker without a voice today, let's try to make it work.
Well, my name is Sandra Bras, and I am the e‑learning programme manager, training department of the RIPE NCC. I am sorry ‑‑ okay. Let's start.
Well, in November 2014 ‑‑ this is not working ‑‑ okay. There we go.
In November 2014, as, you know, many of you here know that we launched the RIPE NCC academy, our e‑learning platform and when we did that, we had two main goals in mind. So we wanted to ensure that everyone in our service region would have the possibility of learning our content wherever they were so online rather than having to the locations of our training courses because as you know we can't really guarantee that we will cover all of the countries in our region in one single year, that's impossible.
The second goal was related to delivering certificates because from delivering training courses for several years we actually saw how important those certificates were to people. They would come to our training courses and make sure that they would attend all of them to get a collection of RIPE NCC training certificates that they could hang on the wall. But those certificates actually didn't mean much because they just said that they were sitting in a room for a full day but they didn't say how much they learned about the content. So, with the e‑learning academy, we wanted to add different value to the certificates that the RIPE NCC was delivering, and we created activities and tests in the e‑learning courses so that when you finished a course online and you get a 70% result at least, you would get a certificate with your score that proved the skills that you had regarding the RIPE NCC content.
Now, when we were doing that, we realised that actually there were some gaps in regards to what we were doing in the academy and in regards to the certification part.
Well, the first gap was related to proving the ID of the person who was taking the course. And the reason is because when you go to the RIPE NCC academy and if you have done a course there you know, that you can answer those questions that we have in the course but then if you don't know the answers, you can maybe ask the colleague next to you or he can even type those answers for you. So we weren't really verifying who was behind the answers that were provided during the course. You know, if you look at it from a very learning theorist way you would say that, you know what, but at least people, after completing the course, they will know something that they didn't know in the beginning when they started. But when you look at it from a certification and reputation point of view, there will be some problems with the service that we were delivering regarding that part.
The second gap that we found was about the design of the items so the questions that we created in the academy. Back then, we weren't really experts in writing exam questions, but through the last five years, we have improved and we actually learned a lot about how to create proper exam questions that test exactly what we are intending to test, not, you know, trying to test if you can actually read English or not, because that sometimes is the problem.
Now, through the last two years, we have put a lot of effort into developing the RIPE NCC Certified Professionals Programme, and before we actually started working on it, we ran quite a few interviews with the community, with some of the stakeholders but also many of the members, we also had a few focus groups in some of the last RIPE meetings where we sat together in rooms with about 10 or 15 experts from you and asked you questions, showed you what our plans were and received your input and your feedback to try to make something that was actually meaningful to you and to what you need.
So, from those interviews, actually we got a really nice quote from Timo, XS4ALL that I think may be sitting here, and what Timo told us, great if the RIPE NCC starts creating certifications or delivering certificates to the members but one thing that we needed to guarantee was that ‑‑ whatever certificates we will deliver, they need to really prove that the person who holds that certificate can actually do those things. And that became very important and actually became the foundation of what we are doing right now; we want to make sure that we are testing on your practical skills.
So, these are the four main pillars of this project and since we started working on it, we did a lot of interviews, we went to some organisations and talked to some people and asked what do you do in your job, how is this content relevant to you, how do you use it and apply it. So we did the job task analysis.
Another thing we started doing as well, we calculated the after time that the people are logged into the RIPE NCC academy doing something and that is about 15 minutes. So we are now revamping, so redoing all of our online content to make sure that each module won't be more than 15 minutes so that when you have your 15 minutes break, during that break you can actually learn something, that then you can apply in the exam later on when you do it.
Now, we started doing online proctored exams, so if you have been to the support desk, you know about the on‑line certified professionals and for those exams we are using a third‑party platform so it's an external platform, it's not the RIPE NCC, but we are working together with them so that you can have access to these exams.
And after you complete the exam, if you have at least also 70% score you will get a badge, a digital badge and an e‑mail from a claim and you can enable your RIPE NCC digital badge that proves the knowledge that you have in this case with the RIPE database.
So our first exam is the RIPE Database Associate Exam, and this is the description that you can find on the aclaim platform.
In this project, we decided, together with the stakeholders that we had that helped us define and streamline the project, we decided to have three different levels of certification. So, we are starting with the Analyst, Associate and then the last level, the Expert level, so the RIPE database exam that we have right now in the pilot phase is in the associate level and what you see there on the screen is our plan for the next certification. So the ones that we can currently guarantee that we are doing exactly as you see there, are the IPv6 foundations that we will launch next year and also the IPv6 security, which I am really happy to see that goes in line with the results of the survey that we were just presented. So, you know, that the community and the members can also get more knowledge on IPv6.
We ‑‑ so, the pilot phase we started at the end of August so it's been running for 1.5 months, this is the coverage so the number of people that applied for the first phase of the pilot, we got about 390 people applying for the project. You can see there the countries that.those people come from. Germany wins. And one thing that I really like to highlight is the fact that, as you see there on the bottom left corner, the fact that we are not only having people with not ‑‑ without a lot of experience through the database, but we are seeing that people who have been doing this for a long time and gained these skills throughout their work, they actually want to have the certificate that proves it and the badge. So that's also important thing to notice.
Then, through the last month we also saw a lot of activity on social media, people taking the badges, sharing them on LinkedIn. We, until this morning, we had 150 exams taken so far. This week has been very positive because we have the stand at the RIPE NCC support desk and a lot of people are coming to us to schedule the exams. During the RIPE meeting we have a room that you can use and book in advance and go there silently and take the exam. If you still want to do it until Friday come to us and we can help you schedule it. It's been very positive.
Now, from the feedback, because in a month‑and‑a‑half we actually learn some things, we saw a lot of people ‑‑ a lot more actually enrolling in the RIPE NCC e‑learning courses in the academy, because according to them, doing now the e‑learning courses and having an exam that proves what you know actually adds value to not only the training but also the e‑learning academy because now you do it with a purpose.
Then, also we are improving some system compatibilities that we had during the pilot, I mean that's why we did the pilot in the first place to make sure that when we do the official launch these issues are solved, and we are also improving on the customer support from our third party. There were some mistakes in the beginning but those are also solved right now. But these are actually just minority because most people had a very positive experience doing the on‑line proctored exam.
In the beginning when we launched the pilot and when we started defining the project, we actually thought that the on‑line proctoring exam was the single best idea. Everybody can take the exam from everywhere, no problems, no need to travel, until we got some feedback saying, you know what, I would really like to go to a test, like a physical location, to do the exam rather than doing it at home. So, right now, we took that feedback and we are searching for alternatives so we will still keep providing the on‑line proctored exams but we want to ensure that we will have at least try it out in certain locations, the local test facility. So when we do the official launch, we will try to have that service also going.
Also, we noticed that in some countries, there is no concept of a.m. and p.m., so some people miss the exam, others ent away too early and sometimes that creates frustration. So I want to share you with you one e‑mail we got from a participant. He got a second voucher because, yeah. But it's something that sometimes because we are so used to it we are not aware of that.
Now, where are we now? As you know and if you are here, we are extending the pilot phase, especially because we were coming to the RIPE meeting and we also wanted to give you the opportunity, if you didn't know about it before, to take the exam during the RIPE meeting week. So all of you got an e‑mail last week and you had the possibility of applying and getting your voucher and then do it if you would like to. In January, we will also launch the new RIPE database course online because the current course needs to be updated and we are aware of that, but we want to launch it next to the official launch of the project. In the meantime, we are also working on the new IPv6 online courses, the IPv6 security and IPv6 fundamentals, as well as the exams. So those will also be launched next year.
We are working also on integrating the SSO with the current scheduling interface, so it will look nice and pretty once we do the SSO integration and we also are studying some partnerships, especially with academia because in the past we have had partnerships with, for example, the American Universities of Beruit and the students took our online content in their classes and they would also ‑‑ they are also interested in doing the certifications because when they go and apply for their first job they want to have the certificate issued by the RIPE NCC.
Something that we are paying a very close attention to and that we are working very hard to get is the cost structure of this project, the pricing model. So this ‑‑ we have to take into account, of course, that we are not for profit organisation, so we are working on a cost‑recovery basis for the pricing model. The intention is not to make money but it's to cover the cost that we have when working on this project.
We also want to guarantee that the members are not going to pay for the non‑members who are going to take the exam. So one thing that we can already say is that we are going to give a free vouchers for members when we do the official launch as well.
And a very important distinction is the learning portfolio and the exam because the training courses and the e‑learning courses will remain free, the training courses are for members, the face‑to‑face, and the only thing that will possibly be paid are the exams. So that is an option, yes. So you can take the courses, you can take the exams or just one or the other.
The official launch of the RIPE NCC Certified Professionals is in January next year, and we are very happy and proud that that's finally going to happen. And now I have a question for you: How good are you with the RIPE database? Anyone? Well, prove it. Go to this link up there, go to Certified Professionals, apply to take the test or come to the Support Desk tomorrow and schedule your exam. We will be really happy to get your feedback because the pilot phase is also very important to make sure that when we provide the service in January it's completely clean and neat and everybody will be happy with it.
Thank you. Any questions?
KURTIS LINDQVIST: Any questions for Sandra? Thank you.
SANDRA BRAS: Thank you.
KURTIS LINDQVIST: Next up, I forgot to say this at the start, is the RIPE NCC update by Axel which is the update also goes for the GM, so if you are a GM member, pretend that you are not part of the GM.
AXEL PAWLIK: Thank you. Good evening, thanks for sticking with us this long, it's not quite over yet. Exciting times, really cool stuff.
So update from the RIPE NCC as is usual, this is deemed to be part of the General Meeting as well so do pay attention.
So the RIPE NCC has a vision and a mission statement as a good organisation does, together with you, with all the other organisations shaping the future of the Internet, and the rest I break down typically into the three parts of the mission statement into: The registry, up to date, correct registry and having data available; second part, knowledge data and distribution of information, training, for instance, as well; and the last part, probably we started with that in the beginning, getting people together, connecting people, communities and stakeholders.
Right. But you probably knew that already.
So, yeah, growth in 2019, crazy off the charts. More than 4,000 additional member accounts, more than 5,000 /22s given out, 2,000 attendees at events that we organised, 84 training courses, more than 2,200 ARCs done, still more than 10,000 active probes and more than 500 RIPE Atlas anchors. Pretty cool.
19% growth so far this year. We see about 4,000 new accounts. And overall, since we ran out ‑‑ since we the first time ran out, right, and the last /8, nearly 17,000 LIR accounts.
So, right now, we heard about it already, lots and lots and lots of even more work for us to do. We think we are fairly well prepared, as well prepared as we can be for the final countdown or the final run‑out. The transfer market is there, of course, and will remain around, no problem about that. We are looking at our own infrastructure, making sure that everything is stable and running efficiently and well and that we can handle all upcoming challenges there. And of course, we are looking at efficiencies, still and again and more so, looking at innovating our services and making sure that things run smoothly.
I won't go through all this again because we've just seen, I think we switched the order of the presentations here, it's all to the bottom and nearly gone and there are lots of things that we do about that.
Strategic focus in 2020, delivering world class service. I am very glad to hear about the result from the survey, that's quite heart‑warming that it's seen as relatively quite good. Thank you, Brenda, for that. So maintaining and further improving the registry, of course, is at the top of the list. Service delivery improvement, and again better, even more understanding the needs of our members also and new members, which you haven't met before. In that sense, member outreach and also external engagement with people around us that are not necessarily directly part of this community, yet.
Looking at our technical infrastructure and polishing it and making it better, more modern. Efficiency, agility to handle emerging challenges, there will be challenges, always challenges over the last 30 years or so. And again looking at accountability, due diligence, we are quite proud that you seem to trust us fairly well and that is something that is at the core of our existence and in our DNA, so we want to make sure that we keep that trust.
Right. You probably all have memorised the activity plan for next year. There is a moderate increase in budget for those of you who won't go into the General Meeting of 4%, no increase in FTEs next year planned, extra investment in training, RIPE Stat, RPKI and legal. Efficiencies, again, like I said, read the document, if you haven't read it yet, it's available online, of course. Good practice.
So this is the second General Meeting in the year. This is typically used to discuss the general ‑‑ the budget, the activity plan, talking to the Board about those things, but also voting on redistribution of the surplus, that will be interesting, and again, some housekeeping regarding the Articles of Association.
We learned from the survey, interestingly enough, that people know that we give out IP addresses, that's known. What is not so much and so well known on average is that we do other things as well, that is on one hand is it understandable because, yeah, we can focus on IPv4 run‑out but it's a bit of shame so we want to talk about ‑‑ more about the other services we are doing. For instance, the measurement, the RIPE Atlas things that we are doing, again reacting to the needs of the community doing software probes there as well, anchors for now and working on the software probes. More pools, more data to be used for your business purposes, hopefully. And again, yes, we need more probes around the world, please, we are not done yet.
RIPE Stat is growing really, really well, like again, 75 million requests per day on average is, like, oh, what happened there? It's very popular and very useful, so we want to make it more useful, of course, but also talk to the other RIRs around the world and make this data available for them, with them, and work on new tools, better new visualisations, generally making the thing better for you.
Outreach and engagement, as you can ‑‑ you can see that. We are all ‑‑ all over service region with all sorts of various events. Obviously we do RIPE meetings, they are big and very visible, we do regional meetings as well. The smaller ones, member lunches, we go to a place, for instance, with training or some other events, members in the region in the city maybe come and have lunch with us and meet us and talk to us and tell us what you want from us.
Support for other smaller organisations, organisations that maybe need a bit of a push to start being in existence and running and working well, so NOGs, for instance we do. Of course, all the on‑line things like webinars and the academy of course. RIPE Labs, which is turning ten. Academic cooperation is really going well again, we do hackathons, there was one around last weekend here, and of course, also, government round table meetings in various parts of the service region to make sure that we are understand the concerns regulators have.
Like I said, 10 years of RIPE Labs wow, already. More than 11,000 articles, things age well and sometimes not so well, we are looking at the whole thing and making it better, shinier, prettier as well.
So, yes, it's a strange photo, I don't know what happened there, they are all standing like puppets. Good people, though. Last weekend we had another hackathon here looking basically at things that we can do together as a small group or big group, actually, and I'm sure they didn't all stand around like that, we were quite active doing good things, so we find them increasingly popular, so we are doing more, and doing them in various places at the same time. Go on. Right. And what is the day today, does anybody know? Oh, no, it's on the slide somewhere, 16th October. It happens to be my 20th anniversary today. I did not plan that, nobody planned it like that.
I didn't quite believe that would happen, in the beginning. I told the family to stay at home in Ireland at the time, I would go over and they would fire me after half a year, imposter syndrome, they don't know yet that I don't know anything.
So it's a personal milestone obviously and I took the liberty to step back and add a couple of slides to this. We have seen so many changes in the world, not only to our children grow up and look like adult people and don't fight with each other any more but other things happen, some of them good and others not so good.
I was very, very much tempted to take Geoff's train wreck presentation or a couple of photos out of that and put them in here because geopolitics is not so nice, climate change sucks, too. Lets no talk about that so much. What we do on the Internet is there already and in the ‑‑ we dreamt about something like that or we tried to but we couldn't quite make it that far. The Internet is everywhere and of course it then also gets lots of attention and the people running the Internet get attention as well and we as a sort of a community organisation get looked at too. So, yeah, there is more scrutiny, that's interesting.
Of course I also see over the last couple of years a challenge to this community, and in the beginning we were all, I feel, pretty much doing the same thing, growing the Internet, being excited ‑‑ doing the same, pushing it and making it bigger and better. But over the last couple of years I see quite a number of discussions on the mailing list or face‑to‑face that are less sort of into the same direction; it's more that goodwill is still there, of course, but also very peculiar interests and just exploitation of the processes that we have. That's a bit of a threat, I think. Not that we can't tackle that.
Who are we in this community and over the last couple of meetings we have started to talk about this, so I am not overly concerned but this issue is there and we need to look at that and be ‑‑ be aware of it: Are we just really the operators, are we the ISPs of old? Or are we more than that? Is there anybody, as we say, with an interest in the Internet that run in off the street and how welcoming are we there? So we need to face the challenges and look at them and do something about this and I think we are on the way to doing that. Like I said, I am not overly concerned but it's something that we need to keep an eye on.
The good thing is for so many years, we have always worked our way around issues and solved them and made things better, as a community and also of course in the RIPE NCC as your organisation. So, if you want to do it we can do it, that's good.
I am now looking at the RIPE NCC. Of course, I always say oh, yeah ‑‑ oh, yeah, thanks for your support, great. That's, like I said, it's good to have your support, it's essential for us, otherwise we can't do our work. But we have grown a bit and I was like, ah, I am about the cookies and the coffee and that is what the RIPE NCC did in the beginning, of course there is more and as we have seen there is so much more that we are doing now that is seen and that is very promising, so I am very optimistic that there will be more challenges around the corner that prod us into doing greater things for you.
But at the essence of this, I belive, is still bringing people together; part of our mission statement, running meetings, getting people together, not not only in the halls but also outside.
Yeah, membership and financial things. Growth, you have seen the numbers, it's crazy stuff. When the NCC started and Daniel knows better than, I think it was like three people.
DANIEL KARRENBERG: Yes.
AXEL PAWLIK: When I arrived it was already 60 and a bit crammed in the little office in Amsterdam and we moved a couple of years ago and now we are around ‑‑ not around the world really but spread through our services, 160, a big number, like office in Dubai and Amsterdam and a couple of desks in Moscow as well so that's good.
We started with a small ‑‑ relatively small budget of 4 million, now we are up to 30 million more, wow. We had, when I started about 1,700 members. That was cosy. More than 25,000 accounts, LIR accounts, by now, by the end of this year, and we will see how that develops. Cost per member, on average, of course we had a much more interesting charging scheme than today, from 2,300 and a bit down to 1,300 and a bit that's nice.
Looking at the organisation and how we organise ourselves in the RIPE NCC, agility is a good thing, being responsive to members' needs and the changing landscape out there is ‑‑ it's essential to be effective, that's what we are doing over the course of ‑‑ this year, we have started to implement this self‑managing structure. And you might have heard about it and I am happy to talk about it more and the essence of that is to give every staff member a clear purpose in the roles that is linked to the strategy of the organisation and the purpose as in, for instance, the mission statement.
Right. So looking ahead, and I think the main thing is, as I said, it's very important that we have your support and your trust, that's a great thing that's in our DNA, really, and over the last, let me say, five, six, seven years, we have been looking at this very, very carefully. We are aware of this. Sometimes we might slip a little bit but always fall back and we need to talk to our members and to the community, manage expectations, be very clear and transparent on what we are doing. So, thank you for that.
The other thing is, that after 20 years of course I think it's my prerogative to go away on a retreat and do some navel gazing, I have done that, a bit of box breathing and looking at the waves at the sunny beaches and from some intro specs, and I think what I should do now is do the IPv4 thing, to run out in a couple of weeks and to fade into the background and also to never really go away. So, I have decided to step aside and make space for new generation of leadership at the RIPE NCC organisation that will take it into the bright future. I am sure that is there, and I am eager to see where that takes it all. But I do that from somewhere else in the community. So, over the next couple of weeks, I'll distribute my roles that I have and my tasks and tie up any open ends that I have, and I will continue to honour the external commitments that I have made towards the end of the year, a couple of travels still coming up and then I will have a quiet weekend at home, quiet weekend, quiet Christmas, and probably I take the January off and try to work on my handicap in Ireland in the rain in January, that's stupid. But I try it anyway. And I guess then you will see me again in one of these places, but of course I'm still here today and tomorrow and Friday as well, and I am sure we will see each other frequently.
So, thank you for the last 20 years, they were good.
With your permission, I take the questions later, thank you.
KURTIS LINDQVIST: Thank you from me and the Chairs for the service here. We have got one last thing of the formal agenda of the Working Group and that is the purpose of this Working Group was created when I first joined in, not quite 20 years ago but 16, and that is the open microphone, if anyone of the membership have any questions for NCC on any topic you want to ask, then now is the case? I see no one walking to the microphones, we are done for the day and thank you all for coming and again, please try and get out as quick as you can and we start here again at 6 o'clock. Thank you.
LIVE CAPTIONING BY AOIFE DOWNES, RPR