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Routing Information Service (RIS)

RIS is a routing data collection platform. It collects data on BGP, the protocol by which traffic is routed between networks on the Internet. By collecting this data, RIS improves our understanding of the global Internet routing system.

The Internet routing system has no built-in security mechanisms, so it’s important to collect data to make this system observable and ultimately more secure. That’s where RIS comes in. By collecting and displaying routing data, RIS lays bare the routing system, exposing malicious actors and allowing operators to identify and address security risks.

RIS also actively participates in the Internet routing system by periodically announcing and retracting Internet resources (using so-called "beacons”) to collect even more data about the routing behaviour of different networks on the Internet.

Who is this service for?

RIS data can be used on its own and through a number of tools built on top of the data it collects.

Users with detailed knowledge and programming skills can make direct use of the data to get information about specific routing issues. For example, researchers might use the raw data for research papers or to create interfaces that offer insight into the Internet routing system.

The sources you can use to access RIS data directly are:

  • RIS MRT files: Explore these files for an archive of all data we collect, stored in MRT format.
  • RIS Live: Monitor BGP messages and detect routing incidents in near-real time with this live feed of RIS data.
  • RISwhois: Access a whois-style interface to RIS data based on the latest RIS MRT file dumps.

Anyone (network operators, policy makers, researchers) can use RIS to get insights into the Internet routing system through the tools that make use of RIS data. These tools make it possible to check specific routing incidents, troubleshoot Internet routing and develop future plans based on routing trends.

Some of the tools that use RIS data to provide insights are:

  • RISwhois dumps: Find the latest prefix/ASN mappings as RIS sees them to determine which ASN originates address space.
  • RIPEstat: Use RIPEstat, the RIPE NCC's open data platform for Internet number resources, to conduct registration checks, explore country routing and find abuse contact information.
  • BGPalerter: Detect route hijacks and other routing incidents in near real-time with this software.
  • Internet Health Report / IODA Caida: Get Internet routing insights from these research projects that use RIS data to build experimental views.
  • bgp.he.net / bgp.tools: Search the Internet routing system with these services to locate different Internet number resources and access network data.

How does RIS work?

RIS employs a globally distributed set of Remote Route Collectors (RRCs), typically located at Internet Exchange Points, to collect and store Internet routing data. Volunteers peer with our RRCs using BGP, and RIS stores the update and withdraw messages it receives from these peering volunteers.

RRCs

The RRCs used by RIS collect BGP routing data for different networks on the Internet. Our RRCs also function as routing beacons that announce and withdraw a particular Classless Inter Domain Routing (CIDR) prefix at predetermined time intervals. Studying other networks’ responses to these announcements allows us to better understand BGP route propagation.

RIS Peering

RIS exists due to networks providing BGP data through peering sessions with our RRCs. Then we collect the data from the RRCs and share it through the tools listed above. In this sense, RIS is a true community effort; operators volunteer to peer with us, and in turn we publish the data we collect to make it easier for operators to observe and respond to routing behaviours. To get an accurate and broad view of routing, we actively approach networks that we think provide the most value for observation.

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Get Involved

Do you want to help us expand RIS or share your findings using RIS data? Let us know!

Learn more about becoming a peer or tell us which networks you think we should cover

Tell us about the tool you developed on top of RIS data

Or share your research using RIS in a RIPE Labs article

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