Tbilisi Regional Meeting Report

The RIPE NCC Regional Meeting Tbilisi took place on 19 May 2015 at the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel. A total of 90 attendees from six countries participated in the meeting.

The meeting was hosted by the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) and the RIPE NCC.

Paul Rendek from the RIPE NCC and Vakhtang Abashidze, GNCC Chairman welcomed attendees to the meeting. Vakhtang highlighted the importance of these kinds of meetings for addressing technical issues. He thanked the RIPE NCC for organising the meeting in Tbilisi.

Axel Pawlik, Managing Director of the RIPE NCC then gave a run-down of RIPE and the RIPE NCC as an organisation. He highlighted the ways that the RIPE NCC was increasing its outreach efforts and encouraged attendees to participate as members of the RIPE community through the various meetings and working groups.

Xavier Le Bris from the RIPE NCC gave a presentation that covered requesting Internet number resources from the RIPE NCC, IPv4 transfers, and a policy development update. Xavier also outlinined how attendees from the region could get involved in the RIPE Policy Development Process (PDP).

Following Xavier's presentation, Paul said that the Internet community in Georgia needed to participate more in the PDP if it wanted to be a part of the RIPE community and remain in control of its own destiny, especially in light of the changing Internet governance landscape.

An audience member asked Xavier about new multi-homing deployments now that there was no Provider Independent (PI) IPv4 space available. Xavier replied that one option was to become a member of the RIPE NCC to request a /22 of IPv4, get multi-homed and do it that way.

After the morning coffee break, Rati Skhirtladze from the GNCC presented an array of interesting statistics on the growth of the Internet industry in Georgia – showing dramatic increases across a range of metrics, such as a threefold increase in the amount of mobile data traffic in the country between 2013 and 2014.

Kaveh Ranjbar, RIPE NCC, said he thought the GNCC was on the right track in the way it was collecting and providing statistics. He said he appreciated the transparency the GNCC was showing by making the information publicly available.

Emile Aben from the RIPE NCC then presented on RIPE Atlas and how it could be used to measure whether local traffic was being kept local.

After lunch, Ucha Seturi from IDFI gave an overview of the Georgian Internet market and outlined some of the key challenges faced by small Internet providers.

Jim Cowie from Dyn then presented on the evolution of the Georgian Internet. He highlighted the importance of the region as a "bridge" connecting other regions and said the Georgian Internet was relatively robust compared to its neighbours. He showed the evolution of transit providers from 2005-2015 and concluded by saying that Georgia had the potential to be a regional hub of Internet interconnection, though this would depend on an increase in local peering and more content being hosted locally.

Maarit Palovirta, Internet Society, outlined the work ISOC was doing to support the establishment of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) throughout the world. She outlined the impact that IXPs had on local peering ecosystems which resulted in improved Internet services in a country or region. She said ISOC was available to work with any organisations interested in establishing an IXP in the region.

An audience member said his organisation would be offering space and free equipment for the establishment of an IXP in the country in the near future and invited other attendees to consider this an invitation to join them.

Bob Rosthed from NSRC then presented on securing Internet systems within virtualised environments. He concluded by saying that it was important to patch regularly and have strong access control, along with auditing and monitoring.

Following the afternoon break, Sandra Bras presented on the RIPE NCC's training activities and the new RIPE NCC Academy – a virtual learning environment that allows people to undertake interactive, online training courses and certify their skills. She also explained how attendees could participate in RIPE Meetings via the remote participation facilities that were available.

Marco Hogewoning from the RIPE NCC then presented on global IPv6 deployment. He compared this to the model of the diffusion of innovations, where the bell curve is divided into early adopters, the majority and laggards.

The ensuing discussion with audience members highlighted issues of old Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) not supporting IPv6 and ensuring this was upgraded. It was also noted that organisations paid a premium to be innovators. Marco pointed out that in Northern Europe, which was a saturated market and not as affected by IPv4 depletion, providers were deploying IPv6 as they recognised that it was the future. It was also noted that hardware and feature parity for IPv4 and IPv6 was important.

Kaveh then presented on the RIPE NCC's DNS services and talked about how the RIPE NCC was providing smaller K-root nodes that can be hosted by organisations around the world. Referring to Marco's presentation on IPv6, Kaveh noted that during RIPE 69, they had an issue with a vendor for DNSSEC not supporting IPv6. The vendor had ultimately changed its position after pressure from the RIPE DNS Working Group. He said this strategy could work if the community formed a group to address vendors and the RIPE NCC could assist them in this.

Serge Radovcic from the RIPE NCC then closed the meeting, thanking the host GNCC for assisting with the meeting and thanking attendees for their participation. He said there would be another regional meeting in Yerevan, Armenia on 15 September 2015 and attendees from Georgia were welcome to attend. He also encouraged attendees to join the ENOG mailing list and attend the upcoming ENOG 9 meeting in Kazan, Russia from 9-10 June 2015.

All presentations are available for download.