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Monitoring the IETF meeting network

27 Nov 2019

The IETF Network Operations Center (NOC) team takes on the large task to build each meetings network. Monitoring the network once it is built is important. The NOC uses a number of tools and one of those tools is a number of Raspberry Pis.

New testing endpoints used by the IETF meeting network operations center team.

More than two dozen Pis are are deployed in meeting rooms, common areas, and guest rooms. Connecting to the wireless and wired networks used throughout the meeting, each Pi reports basic connectivity and service(s) availability. 

Currently the NOC uses the Pis to:

  • Connect to Access Points advertising the IETF SSIDs (e.g. ietf)
  • Validate successful authentication (where relevant)
  • Test successful (IPv4) DHCP service
  • Verify (IPv6) router advertisement
  • Perform basic ICMP connectivity to core and select external targets
  • Act as ICMP targets from core and external tests
  • Perform DNS resolving tests
  • Perform HTTP/HTTPS connection tests to select targets
  • Perform periodic Speed Tests to select external servers
  • Collect radio channel and signal quality used

We are working to perform more tests. New to the IETF 106 meeting, a beta test of room temperature monitoring. 

This meeting the NOC upgraded the older Pi 2 and Pi 3 units that have been used for a number of meetings with new RPI 4 models. They are easily identifiable by their clear case and IETF label rp-***.  

Each Pi is treated just like an attendee. No user-related PII is collected. IP and MAC address used in tests and monitoring are limited to IETF infrastructure or identified external sites. Test data is forwarded to the internal server infrastructure for alerting. Only OS operation and SSID association logs reside on each Pi. 

So, if you find one of these at the next IETF meeting, know that they are helping keep the IETF meeting network working smoothly.

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