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RIPE NCC Activity Plan and Budget 2021

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The RIPE NCC Activity Plan and Budget 2021 documents the activities we plan to undertake in 2021 along with their associated costs. Costs are provided in terms of Full Time Employees (FTEs), Operational Costs (OPEX) and Capital Expenditure (CAPEX). The document also includes a section outlining our strategic focus points.

This document is the clearest way that RIPE NCC members can learn about, comment on and ultimately shape the direction we will take next year. We see this as an integral part of maintaining the trust of our members, by ensuring high standards of transparency and accountability.

It is important that members are aware of how to provide feedback on the Activity Plan and Budget. We publish a draft version of the document before discussions take place in the RIPE NCC Services Working Group and the RIPE NCC General Meeting (GM) in October. Members are also encouraged to ask questions and discuss the document on the RIPE NCC Membership Discussion mailing list (members-discuss _at_ ripe _dot_ net).

The feedback received over this period is then incorporated into a final Activity Plan and Budget that is approved by the RIPE NCC Executive Board and published in December.

Changes to this Activity Plan

As we prepare to embark on a new five-year strategy cycle, we have taken this opportunity to better align our internal budget allocation processes with our organisational structure. In doing so, we have identified four main areas of activity that serve as the pillars on which we have developed our strategy - Registry, Information Services, Community and Engagement, and Organisational Sustainability.

Our Activity Plan and Budget for 2021 has been prepared with this new structure in mind. This has allowed us to better reflect how we carry out our work as an organisation and to show how that work supports our mission. It will also enable us to achieve greater transparency, as well as greater accountability, as we state our goals for the year ahead. Note that, with the new structure in place, one-for-one financial comparison of activities from last year is not possible in this Activity Plan, but this will be possible going forward.

Executive Summary

Next year we will focus on strengthening our organisation from a security and compliance framework point of view.

In line with a strong emphasis on improving efficiency and cost control in recent years, and in light of an expected reduction in membership growth, we are planning a 3% decrease in expenses compared to our 2020 budget. We plan to grow our FTE count from 165 to 170 (3%), which is the first increase since our 2018 budget. A lower average salary cost makes this is possible alongside an overall reduction in expenses; last year’s staff costs were slightly inflated due to incidental tax payments.

In the draft version of this document, published in September, we anticipated flat membership growth, with 25,000 LIR accounts at the end of 2021. After updating our forecast, we now expect to start 2021 with 23,800 LIRs (approximately 1,200 fewer than in Q3 2020). We further expect that 2021 will result in 1,200 new members and 2,000 closures, for an expected year-end total of 23,000 LIRs. It is important to note that LIRs closing in 2021 will have to pay their 2021 contribution, which means that membership dues will not be impacted until the following year. This will become visible in the 2022 Activity Plan and Budget.

While we anticipate that globally there will be economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen that the Internet industry plays a key role in keeping people connected in difficult times and we believe it should be somewhat insulated from major impacts. However, this is an important consideration for us all and has informed our thinking in producing a relatively flat budget overall for next year.

The membership fee will remain at EUR 1,400 per LIR account, which will result in an anticipated surplus of 5,259 kEUR. The cost per LIR is expected to be EUR 1,459 – down slightly from EUR 1,498 in the 2020 budget (though up from EUR 1,113 in the 2020 latest estimate, which is lower due to the impacts of COVID-19).

It is worth noting that due to the restructuring of activities in this year’s document, it is not possible to specify activities that are increasing or decreasing. Key projects for 2021 include the development of our Certified Professionals programme and our E-learning content, expansion of our AuthDNS service, ISO27001 certification, moving elements of our technical infrastructure to cloud solutions, a more proactive approach to registry monitoring, RPKI resiliency improvements, and work on ensuring full compliance with sanctions.

Overview of 2021 Strategic Focus Points

2021 will mark the beginning of a new five-year strategy cycle built on the following four pillars:

  • Registry
  • Information Services
  • Community and Engagement
  • Organisational Sustainability

In the year ahead, a major strategic aim will be to reinforce our security and compliance framework so as to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the Registry. As well as enabling us to continue providing world class services to our members and the wider community, establishing such a framework helps provide clarity concerning the boundaries of our mandate and is an essential part of our ability to demonstrate to external parties that we are equipped to carry out our function as an RIR.

Although many of the elements required for this are already in place, we see the need for further investment in the development of a robust system of compliance that will continue to keep the registry and the resources of our members secure. This will involve making sure our information security practices cover all our business and technical processes by bringing Information Security and Compliance together under our existing Integrated Risk Management (IRM) framework. It will also involve devoting more resources to the improvement of registry accuracy through active registry maintenance. In our ongoing work on due diligence, there will be clear focus on service quality and the improvement of those processes by which we enable members to maintain accurate data. We will also increase our efforts toward ensuring the resiliency of our mission-critical services, such as RPKI, and as part of our cloud-first strategy, we will take the next steps in moving the RIPE Database to the cloud with internal back-up.

With our information services, we will build on our capacity to serve as a neutral source of information. To achieve this, we aim to further expand the infrastructure we have in place for data provisioning and collection. As well as pursuing initiatives aimed at enhancing the efficiency and reach of the relevant services, we will be carrying out work to improve the various channels by which different stakeholders get access to the data we provide. This will include making our application interfaces more consistent and easier to use, but also producing a greater number of analyses and reports that help make the relevant information accessible to a wider audience. Our DNS services will also undergo expansion, the aim being to improve availability and access times by having distributed servers closer to end users across our service region and the rest of the world.

Our efforts in terms of engagement have evolved considerably over the past year as a result of the COVID-19 situation. Many of those events and initiatives by which we seek to achieve greater outreach and engagement with the wider Internet community have undergone the necessary move from physical to virtual, calling on us to introduce novel ways of working towards our goals in this area. Much of what we have learnt here will be retained as we gradually return to more physical engagements.

As we look ahead to the coming year, we will be investing additional external expertise to further develop our awareness of regulatory developments and our ability to engage relevant public authorities, particularly where the work or rulings of such authorities may affect our ability to effectively serve all of our members. We will also be increasing our efforts to collaborate with other RIRs as part of our ongoing contribution to a global RIR system that is accountable, transparent and sufficiently resilient to adapt to the changing environment. We will also be taking on the position of NRO chair in 2021 as we continue supporting joint activities of the RIRs.

Our Certified Professionals programme, which launched in 2020, will continue to provide valid, verified and relevant certifications that enable those who take our tests to prove their knowledge and skills on RIPE NCC-related content. The focus in the coming year will be to roll-out additional exams covering a range of further training content including IPv6, Measurements and Tools, and BGP training content.

Finally, turning to organisational development, having moved to a self-managed structure, we will continue to investigate how to accommodate all the changes noted and to effectively deliver on the five-year strategy. 

Overview of RIPE NCC Costs per Activity 2021

On the following page is an overview of the Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs), Operational Expenses (OPEX) and Capital Expenses (CAPEX) per activity. All amounts are in kEUR. The overview is presented on two levels. It is possible to click on any Level 1 or Level 2 activity for more detailed information.

Overview of Costs Per Activity 2021

 

FTEs

OPEX kEUR

CAPEX kEUR

1. The Registry

60.0

8,452

-

1.1 Registration of IP Addresses and ASNs

3.0

522

 

1.2 Processing Registry Updates

16.0

1,885

 

1.3 Membership Administration

8.0

925

 

1.4 Registry Accuracy and Investigations

12.0

1,661

 

1.5 LIR Portal

11.0

1,838

 

1.6 RPKI

6.0

963

 

1.7 RIPE Database

4.0

658

 

2. Information Services

43.0

8,000

929

2.1 DNS and K-Root

6.3

869

150

2.2 RIPE Atlas

6.3

834

130

2.3 RIPEStat

4.8

735

170

2.4 RIS

5.7

807

129

2.5 IT Security

3.0

987

75

2.6 Research

4.0

868

-

2.7 IT Support

12.9

2,900

275

3. Community and Engagement

40.0

8,500

-

3.1 Membership Engagement

7.9

1,607

 

3.2 Community Development

9.8

2,684

 

3.3 Public Authority Engagement

2.9

622

 

3.4 Internet Governance

3.9

838

 

3.5 Training and E-learning Services

12.0

1,626

 

3.6 Certified Professionals

3.0

803

 

3.7 Good of the Internet

0.5

320

 

4. Organisational Sustainability

27.0

7,028

143

4.1 Facilities

6.0

2,401

143

4.2 HR

3.5

693

 

4.3 Legal

5.0

767

 

4.4 Finance

7.0

1,466

 

4.5 Information Security and Compliance

2.0

204

 

4.6 Organisational Sustainability

3.5

1,497

 

RIPE NCC

170.0

31,980

1,072

Bad Debts

 

350

 

Depreciation

 

1,227

 

RIPE NCC Total

170.0

33,557

1,072

 

RIPE NCC Activities 2021

Activity Overviews

For each of the main areas of activity in the following report, we’ve provided an activity overview that gives anyone reading this document a summary of what to expect in that area in 2021.

  1. FTE - Full-time equivalents indicates the average amount of personnel assigned to each activity as well as supporting staff over the course of the full year.

  2. OPEX - Operational expenses are all direct costs that relate to the activity or project, and a portion of overhead that is related to absence (vacation, illness, education) that has been allocated to the project. The overhead allocation is calculated by dividing the percentage of FTEs involved in the activity by the overall number of FTEs. Operational expenses exclude depreciation and bad debt expenses. Sponsorship is reported as Income in the Budget and it offsets the costs of RIPE Meetings, Regional Meetings and RIPE Atlas probes.

  3. CAPEX - Capital Expenses are all items that are taken as an asset. These items include hardware and software, infrastructure, and office furniture.

  4. Description - Provides a high-level description of the area of activity.

  5. Activities in 2021 - Describes key activities and projects planned to take place in 2021.

  6. Measurable Usage - Provides statistics indicating important trends in this area of activity. Unless stated otherwise, all statistics relate to a specific period: numbers stated for 2020 are taken from 1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020. The same months are used used for 2019, 2018 (and so on) for consistency.

  7. More Information - A set of links to pages on our website where you can find more information about activities mentioned in each section.

 

1. The Registry

1.1 Registration of IP Addresses and ASNs

FTEs: 3.0
Cost: 522
CAPEX: -

Description
We are responsible for allocating and assigning IP addresses and AS Numbers within our service region, according to policies that have been set by the RIPE community.

Activities in 2021
In November 2019, we reached the end of our remaining IPv4 pool and began making /24 allocations from recovered ranges that had previously been used on the Internet. In 2021, we will take additional steps to improve the usability of these ranges before we allocate them, for example by reducing the risk that they are still blacklisted due to the activities of their previous holders.

Number of Resource Records the RIPE NCC is Responsible for
2017: 110,000
2018: 119,00 (+8%)
2019: 130,000 (+9%)

2020: 140,000 (+8%)

More Information

 

1.2 Processing Registry Updates

FTEs: 16.0
Cost: 1,885
CAPEX: -

Description
The RIPE Registry contains public and non-public information about the holders of IP resources. Public registry data is managed by the resource holders themselves in the RIPE Database. In cases where resources are being transferred to another network or a member changes their company structure or legal name, we review and process the associated updates to their registry information, which often require supporting documentation.

Activities in 2021
We will continue to ensure that the RIPE Registry can accurately deal with IPv4 transfers and potential conflicts over address space. This is growing more important as IPv4 scarcity puts greater pressure on networks.

Resources Transferred
2017: 2,356
2018: 3,445 (+46%)
2019: 4,744 (+38%)

2020: 4,254 (-10%)

LIR Mergers
2017: 246
2018: 206 (-16%)
2019: 327 (+59%)

2020: 438 (+34%)

More Information 

 

1.3 Membership Administration

FTEs: 8.0
Cost: 925
CAPEX:

Description
A customer services function provides support to RIPE NCC members and others who use our services, such as legacy resource holders. This includes responding to queries and processing membership applications, administrative and contractual changes, billing enquiries and account closures.

Activities in 2021
In recent years there has been a surge in new members and additional LIR accounts being opened. This was primarily driven by the need of networks to secure additional IPv4 space (as each LIR could receive one /22 allocation). A holding period instituted by a RIPE policy change means that new LIRs cannot transfer IPv4 addresses or consolidate multiple LIR accounts for 24-months. This period has now expired for many LIRs, and in 2020 we saw an increase in LIR account closures as we expected (771 from Jan-Sept 2020). This trend will probably continue in 2021, which will create a high number of registry update requests as members get their administration in order.

LIR Accounts
2016: 15,008
2017: 17,601 (+17%)
2018: 20,875 (+19%)
2019: 24,870 (+19%)

2020: 25,352 (+2%)

More Information

 

1.4 Registry Accuracy and Investigations

FTEs: 12.0
Cost: 1,661
CAPEX: -

Description
An important part of our work to maintain an accurate registry is to verify the information and supporting documents we receive and to proactively check the accuracy of registry data. This is primarily done through our Assisted Registry Check (ARC) activity.

Activities in 2021
We will continue to focus on our processes that protect resource holders from attempts to steal their resources. We will also ensure that sponsoring LIRs carry out their due diligence obligations regarding End User resources. We will continue our work with the other RIRs to improve registry data quality and make this readily available to the Internet community. We will continue to develop a more proactive approach to monitoring the accuracy of registry data and contacting members when we find outdated information.

We are also continuing to improve our due diligence processes. The first phase of the new approach we have been working on was implemented in 2020. This has already made our workflow much faster and more straightforward for registry updates that are defined as “low-risk” according to a set of objective criteria. In 2021, we will apply this approach to more processes, which should significantly reduce the procedural burden for our members and will make us more consistent in terms of the documentation we ask for. Alongside this, we are working on an updated process that will allow us to closely monitor membership information against the EU sanctions list. 

Investigations Completed
2017: 70
2018: 194 (+177%)
2019: 181 (-7%)

2020: 251 (+39%)

Assisted Registry Checks Completed
2017: 2,617
2018: 2,310 (-12%)
2019: 3,051 (+32%)

2020: 4,202 (+38%)

More Information

 

1.5 LIR Portal

FTEs: 11.0
Cost: 1,838
CAPEX: -

Description
As the main interface for our core services, the LIR Portal allows members to securely manage their Internet number resources and related registration information. Members can use it to update their contact, billing and resource information, make resource requests, check the status of open tickets, and register for RIPE NCC General Meetings – without having to go through our staff. The LIR Portal provides a clean user interface with easy-to-use wizards and is closely integrated with the RIPE Database, Registry software, our ticketing system, and our internal CRM. We are constantly working to streamline and automate our procedures, improve the user interface and maintain healthy back office systems used by our staff.

Activities in 2021
Next year we will work on developing internal software to support active monitoring of registry accuracy. Following security audits from external parties, we will follow up to implement their recommendations. We will work on greater automation of GDPR-related requests and improved validation of ID documents. We also plan to improve the visibility of user tickets and uploaded documents.

Page Views Per Month (Logged In)
2017: ~108,000
2018: ~88,000 (-19%)
2019: ~90,000 (+2%)

2020: ~99,000 (+10%)

More Information 

 

1.6 RPKI

FTEs: 6.0
Cost: 963
CAPEX: -

Description
RPKI is a community-driven system that allows networks to receive digital certificates which prove that they are the legitimate holder of their IP resources. These certificates are useful for securing Internet routing, notably through BGP Origin Validation. RPKI is a valuable step towards full BGP security, including path validation as developed by the IETF’s Secure Inter-Domain Routing Operations (sidrops) Working Group.

Activities in 2021
Our priority over the coming period will be ensuring a stable and resilient RPKI Trust Anchor and Certificate Authority. In 2020, we carried out a third-party security and risk assessment of our RPKI platform. We are now working to define a complete audit framework for RPKI, with the aim of having the audit performed early next year by a third party. Next year we will implement changes to our internal processes and documented procedures on the basis of this audit, as well as things like more granular monitoring and small technical changes that ensure compliance with the relevant RFCs. Aside from that, we are planning significant improvements in our infrastructure to allow high availability and resiliency for the RPKI repositories.

In last year’s Activity Plan, we said that we would consider whether to continue supporting our RPKI Validator, as it needed further development to match the quality of alternative tools that were now available. After reviewing this, we plan to phase out this service in 2021 and focus on improvements to the RPKI Trust Anchor. This is consistent with feedback from the membership after the draft version of this Activity Plan was published. We will stop developing new features from January and will archive the RPKI Validator in July 2021.

Finally, we will continue to build awareness of RPKI through training, outreach and promotion efforts. 

Resource Certification Created
2017: 4,713
2018: 5,431 (+15%)
2019: 8,650 (+59%)

2020: 12,158 (+40%)

IPv4 Space the RIPE NCC Is Responsible for That Is Covered by ROAs
2017: 14% prefixes; 28% addresses
2018: 18% prefixes; 30% addresses
2019: 37% prefixes; 48% addresses

2020: 46% prefixes; 55% addresses

More Information 

 

1.7 RIPE Database

FTEs: 4.0
Cost: 658
CAPEX: -

Description
The RIPE Database contains information about the IP addresses and AS Numbers used by networks in our service region. For these resources, the database contains information about their current holders along with contact details and related attributes. This information is vital for the stability of Internet routing and allows users to find information for network troubleshooting and coordination. Resource holders are responsible for maintaining their information in the database, while we perform the role of data controller. Our work in this area supports greater integration with the LIR Portal, and also includes related services such as the RIPE Database Proxy Service and the Near Real Time Mirroring (NRTM) service.

Activities in 2021
This year we have been assessing the suitability of moving the RIPE Database to a third-party cloud infrastructure. As part of this, we have moved our Release Candidate environment to the cloud as a preliminary pilot project/proof of concept. We shared the results of this work with the community at RIPE 81. Our priority for 2021 will then be to complete a full cloud migration of the RIPE Database to production. It is important to note that we will maintain an in-house failback environment in parallel to mitigate the risk of vendor lock-in or outages.

We will also continue to make usability improvements to the RIPE Database (including the web search feature in 2021). We will also implement new features as requested by the RIPE Database or via RIPE policy changes. Finally, we expect that some changes may arise from the work of the RIPE Database Requirements Task Force, which aims to publish its recommendations ahead of RIPE 82.

RIPE Database Queries Per Minute
2017: 22,000
2018: 27,000 (+23%)
2019: 42,000 (+56%)

2020: 60,000 (+42%)

More Information

 

2. Information Services

2.1 DNS and K-root

FTEs: 6.3
Cost: 869
CAPEX: 150

Description
We provide DNS coordination and support activities as well as reverse DNS services for the IPv4 and IPv6 address space that we manage. We operate, as a public service, one of the 13 root name servers of the DNS (K-root). For reverse DNS (rDNS) associated with the address space managed by other RIRs, we provide secondary DNS services to support the reliability of reverse lookups. We also provide a secondary service for ccTLD operators.

We provide reverse DNS services for RIPE NCC members with registered IP addresses. Our work in this area makes a significant contribution to the stability and diversity of the DNS root name server system and guarantees the neutral and professional delivery of key high-level DNS services.

Activities in 2021
We will continue to improve the resilience, capacity and global distribution of our authoritative DNS services platform, which supports reverse DNS operations as well as ripe.net and ccTLD services. We will further increase the resiliency of our DNS infrastructure to mitigate the impact of rising attacks on the DNS. Having finished the initial phase of this work, which focused on increasing the capacity of the current sites, our focus in the year ahead will shift to introducing new hosted sites for our reverse DNS infrastructure. Finally, we will look at upgrading to better algorithms for DNSSEC-signing all the zones we maintain.

K-root Instances
2017: 53
2018: 61 (+15%)
2019: 68 (+11%)

2020: 78 (+14%)

More Information

 

2.2 RIPE Atlas

FTEs: 6.3
Cost: 834
CAPEX: 130

Description
RIPE Atlas is a leading Internet active measurement network that collects unique data, providing both live and historical information about the reliability, reachability and connectivity of networks. We run this globally-distributed measurement network for the purpose of collecting data on Internet infrastructure, usage and development. The measurement data that RIPE Atlas provides can be used to analyse the operation and growth of the Internet.

Activities in 2021
We will further improve the systems that manage the data collected by RIPE Atlas. Having investigated cloud storage solutions in 2020, we will make these more accessible to our users, giving them better tools to analyse the collected results. We will investigate updated RIPE Atlas probes and continue to expand on the software probe concept we introduced in 2020. We will also work on more user-friendly dashboards and APIs that make RIPE Atlas more intuitive to use. We also plan to explore new partnerships that can allow us to expand RIPE Atlas over the long-term. 

Connected RIPE Atlas Probes
2017: 9,860
2018: 10,370 (+5%)
2019: 10,315 (-0.5%)

2020: 11,000 (+7%)

Measurement Results per Day
2017: ~420 million
2018: ~490 million (+17%)
2019: ~600 million (+22%)

2020: ~900 million (+50%)

RIPE Atlas Anchors
2017: 250
2018: 322 (+29%)
2019: 479 (+49%)

2020: 650 (+36%)

More Information

 

2.3 RIPEstat

FTEs: 4.8
Cost: 735
CAPEX: 170

Description
RIPEstat is a web-based interface with current and historical information about IP addresses and AS Numbers and related information for hostnames and countries. It presents registration, routing and DNS data, geographical information, abuse contacts and more. RIPEstat draws from both internal RIPE NCC datasets as well as external sources.

Activities in 2021
Next year we plan to move parts of RIPEstat to the cloud. This will allow us to provide a more efficient service and reduce latency, both for users in our region and the other RIRs we are collaborating with. We also plan to establish more automatic service monitoring. BGPlay is a very popular RIPEstat widget that allows users to visualise BGP routing data. We will update this with new features and performance improvements. The RIPEstat Data API will also be improved with new documentation and a more consolidated API schema.

Ongoing work includes providing more data sets, additional routing information sources (which will complement RIS), human-readable AS names, and the launch of a redesigned user interface.

Queries Per Day
2016: 30 million
2017: 55 million (+83%)
2018: 75 million (+35%)

2020: 98 million (+30%)

More Information

 

2.4 RIS

FTEs: 5.7
Cost: 807
CAPEX: 129

Description
We operate the Routing Information Service (RIS), which 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 the RRCs using the BGP protocol and RIS stores the update and withdraw messages. RIS data is used in both RIPEstat and RIPE Atlas and can interface with other network monitoring tools.

Activities in 2021
We will further improve the systems that manage the data collected by RIS. We are currently working to identify RIS stakeholders and will also investigate how RIS can be made more useful for local communities like Network Operator Groups (NOGs).

Route Collectors
2017: 18
2018: 20 (+10%)
2019: 21 (+5%)

2020: 21 (0%)

Peers
2017: 732
2018: 792 (+8%)
2019: 1,003 (+27%)

2020: 1,261 (+26%)

More Information

 

2.5 IT Security 

FTEs: 3.0
Cost: 987
CAPEX: 75

Description
Operating a secure IT infrastructure and maintaining the integrity of our registry and membership data is of the highest importance to our operations. We also provide a range of globally accessible services from different locations. These services not only have to be secured against intrusion, but we also need to make sure our infrastructure is not used to attack others. Considering the services we run, including RIPE Atlas with its 10,000+ probes or our globally-distributed K-Root nodes, there is a lot at stake. We also need to provide a secure computing platform for our staff which allows them to perform their duties from the office or remotely. We aim to protect our members, staff, information and infrastructure to the greatest possible extent.

Activities in 2021
We will continue implementing and measuring our Information Security Management practices, as well as Critical Security Controls (CSC-20) which is a comprehensive information security measurement framework. This implementation is linked to our Internal Risk Management system. As a next step, we will expand our current set of controls to include all of our operational technical and business processes. Our plan for the next year is to start defining our operations within the ISO/ IEC 27000 framework and ensure that our practices put us at the level of ISO 27001 certification, with the Plan/Do/Check/ Act cycle fully in place by the end of the year. We will continue our outreach efforts with the security community, such as TF-CSIRT (which the RIPE NCC is a member of).

More Information

 

2.6 Research

FTEs: 4.0
Cost: 868
CAPEX: -

Description
We have a long tradition of providing the operator community with data analysis on the state of the Internet and developing innovative tools to help the community understand various aspects of routing, DNS, reachability and other topics. We also collaborate with members of the research community. Regular reporting and analysis of RIPE NCC-related statistics and accurate methodological analyses of Internet events provides valuable information that can act as an early warning for the operator community.

Activities in 2021
We will maintain our work on scientific publications and analyses. We will provide country or region-focused reports, an activity we began in 2019. We will continue to develop prototypes that can become future RIPE NCC services if they show enough operational value. We will also review our information-gathering mechanisms to see if they can be improved. We will make our data easier to analyse using cloud-based big data processing platforms. We will continue to evaluate how our Internet measurements platforms can more value to our community.

We will continue to collaborate with industry partners, like-minded operators and research institutions to provide a better understanding of Internet behavior and events. This activity includes direct partnerships with individuals or teams that are also interested in Internet measurement.

More Information

 

2.7 IT Support

FTEs: 12.9
Cost: 2,900
CAPEX: 275

Description
Our IT activity provides the back end, infrastructure and network support for all of the internal and external services we provide. Activities in this area allow us to run a state-of-the-art, secure and redundant IT platform with 24/7 support for our services as well as efficient internal support for staff. Members can flag technical emergencies outside of regular office hours so they can be addressed directly.

Activities in 2021
We will give special attention to decreasing the technical debt in our IT operations. For data that is not business-critical, we aim to migrate to higher-level service outsourcing/cloud solutions, allowing our team to focus on subjects closer to our core business. We will continue to migrate our automation system to Salt, which increases our efficiency in a number of ways, by allowing easier knowledge transfer, better change management, and improved collaboration. We also plan to work on our email infrastructure, with a focus on authentication, mailing list administration and mail flow, and so on. We expect higher demand in terms of supporting the remote work of our staff as well as online meetings and events. We will continue to review our internal policies and procedures to ensure we are able to accommodate this. 

More Information

 

3. Community and Engagement 

3.1 Membership Engagement

FTEs: 7.9
Cost: 1,607
CAPEX: -

Description
Engaging with our membership has always been a core part of the RIPE NCC’s strategy. The feedback and input we gain from these interactions helps us to understand the concerns of our members and allows us to develop services and activities that support their operations.

Activities in 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects on our engagement strategy. While we hope that physical events can resume in 2021, the need for effective outreach through this pandemic period has put greater urgency on existing efforts to improve our remote engagement.

In 2021, we will work on activities that support better engagement – whether broad or highly targeted. We will further develop the RIPE NCC Open House model, which we launched in 2020 to coordinate many of our remote events. We also plan to hold larger physical events, including RIPE NCC Regional Meetings, RIPE NCC Days and Member Lunches, though obviously this will need to fit within any relevant travel or event restrictions. As we expect next year to be a somewhat fluid and uncertain period, we will take care to properly communicate our plans as they evolve.

We will also carry out translations in six languages (Russian, Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, Spanish, Italian) to be published on our website. This is part of a wider effort to strengthen engagement with communities across our service region and also provide members with greater understanding of our services and activities. We will update members regularly on these efforts and carefully monitor how effective they are during the year.

More Information

 

3.2 Community Development

FTEs: 8.8
Cost: 2,684
CAPEX:

Description
A strong and engaged RIPE community supports the open, bottom-up, industry self-regulatory structure and is the driving force behind much of what we do as an organisation. We provide administrative, logistical and technical support as the RIPE community’s secretariat and we also work to further develop and connect the technical community within our service region.

These efforts encompass a range of different activities. We support the RIPE Policy Development Process (PDP), providing assistance to RIPE working groups and their chairs, analysing the impact of specific proposals, and encouraging participation from a wider range of stakeholders. We support the MENOG, ENOG and SEE communities and facilitate their meetings. We support Network Operator Groups (NOGs) more broadly within our service region with funding, logistical support and attendance. We run hackathons and maintain RIPE Labs as a platform for the community to share research and ideas. We run the RIPE Academic Cooperation Initiative (RACI), which develops links between RIPE and the Academic Community. Finally, the two five-day RIPE Meetings that we organise each year provide a core focal point around which much of the community’s activities are orientated. 

Activities in 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions created a lot of challenges for RIPE Meetings this year, with both RIPE Meetings planned for 2020 changed to an online format. For 2021, we are currently planning for two physical meetings: in Berlin, 17-21 May (RIPE 82) and in Milan, 22-26 November (RIPE 83). However, we are prepared to conduct these meetings virtually again if necessary. This year we improved our remote experience and we intend to maintain this level of quality when we return to physical meetings. For this reason, in 2021 we will hire an external supplier for webcasting. As usual, the costs of RIPE Meetings are partially offset by sponsorship from third parties.

In 2021 we will work with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that regional events of value to the ENOG, MENOG and SEE communities can take place, respecting whatever travel or event restrictions may apply.

More Information

 

3.2.1 RIPE Chair Team Support

Description
The RIPE Chair is responsible for ensuring that the RIPE community functions well and as such plays an important role in the development of the community.

In 2019, the process of selecting the RIPE Chair and a Vice Chair was started by the community. The processes used by the community to make its selections are outlined in the RIPE Documents ripe-727 and ripe-728. This was the first time that the RIPE Chair was selected by the community through a consensus-based process. In April 2020, Hans Petter Holen stepped down as RIPE Chair, and in July 2020 Mirjam Kühne was selected as the new RIPE Chair and Niall O’Reilly was selected as the RIPE Vice Chair. Mirjam and Niall assumed their roles in September 2020.

Activities in 2021
As secretariat for the RIPE community, the RIPE NCC funds the work of the RIPE Chair. In 2020, the RIPE NCC Executive Board agreed to remunerate this role in a five-year contract that stipulates the independence of the chair from the RIPE NCC. The RIPE NCC also funds the travel and expenses incurred by RIPE Chair Team in carrying out their duties. The total financial commitment for this activity is budgeted at 205 kEur for 2021.

More Information

 

3.3 Public Authority Engagement 

FTEs: 2.9
Cost: 622
CAPEX: -

Description
At a time of increased government focus on digital issues, it is vital that the RIPE NCC continues to engage directly with governments, regulators and law enforcement agencies in our service region. Through targeted events, publications and outreach, we provide public policy makers and agencies with informed perspective on issues relevant to the RIPE NCC, our membership and community. At the same time, our engagement with public authorities ensures that the RIPE NCC, our Executive Board and membership have insight and understanding of regulatory developments that may affect our operations and our ability to carry out our remit as Regional Internet Registry.

Activities in 2021
While the opportunities for physical engagement activities in 2021 remain unclear, the RIPE NCC will continue to deliver targeted engagement events, including Roundtable Meetings for Governments and Regulators, via appropriate channels. We will continue efforts to formalise our relationships with key public sector agencies, in the interests of transparency and stability. We will also invest in additional external expertise to further develop our awareness of regulatory developments and our ability to engage relevant public authorities, particularly where the work or rulings of such authorities may affect the RIPE NCC’s ability to effectively serve all of our members.

More Information

 

3.4 Internet Governance

FTEs: 3.9
Cost: 838
CAPEX: -

Description
The RIPE NCC operates as part of a global system of Internet governance. As such, we work with partners in the global registry system and the wider Internet governance space to support the community-driven, multistakeholder approach to Internet governance, of which the RIPE community is a key example. Where appropriate, we enter into formal agreements with the organisations we work with to support understanding and facilitate better cooperation. These agreements (usually Memoranda or Letters of Understanding) are published on our website to provide transparency to our membership and the RIPE community.

We are strongly committed to maintaining close relationships with our industry partners, working with our sister Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) under the umbrella of the Number Resource Organization (NRO), as well as with ICANN, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Society (ISOC). Effective coordination between these Internet technical coordination bodies is vital to ensure the stable operation and governance of the Internet.

We support and participate in community-driven Internet governance events, including the global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) where we participate both as the RIPE NCC and as part of the NRO. There is also a wide range of region-specific Internet governance events that have emerged, including EuroDIG, the Central Asian IGF, SEEDIG along with many different national events. In addition to supporting these events financially, we also contribute technical background and analysis to inform these multistakeholder discussions and ensure that the concerns of the RIPE community are properly understood and considered.

Activities in 2021
In 2021, the RIPE NCC will assume the Chair of the Number Resource Organization (NRO), which rotates annually between the five RIRs. This will entail some additional focus, as RIPE NCC staff will chair the various NRO Coordination Groups, which facilitate coordination between RIR staff on specific areas of common interest.

More Information

 

3.5 Training and E-Learning Services

FTEs: 12.0
Cost: 1,626
CAPEX:

Description
We provide both face-to-face and online training in daily operations and specialised areas like IPv6 and routing security. We also provide e-learning options through the RIPE NCC Academy that allow people to study at their own pace.

Activities in 2021
We will develop new e-learning content that will be available in the RIPE NCC Academy. This new content will focus on IPv6, Measurements and Tools, and BGP, and will be aligned with the Certified Professionals programme. The modular approach we will use for this allows members to learn at their own pace and supports “micro-learning”. We will also rewrite some of our face-to-face training courses to ensure the same alignment.

While we have budgeted for a full year of face-to-face training courses in 2021, due to the potential for extended COVID-19 travel restrictions, we also plan to deliver more online sessions and remote learning events. These events allow our members to join live training courses where they can interact with our staff directly to ask questions and give feedback on our services and tools.

Webinars
2017:
55
2018: 33 (-40%)
2019: 34 (+3%)

2020: 53 (+56%)

Training Courses and Workshops
2017:
96
2018: 97 (+1%)
2019: 108 (+11%)

2020: 64 (-41%) 

More Information

 

3.6 Certified Professionals

FTEs: 3.0
Cost: 803
CAPEX:

Description
In feedback from surveys and training courses, members have consistently asked for certification to be incorporated into our training services. In 2020, we launched our new RIPE NCC Certified Professionals programme, which uses an online exam proctoring service to issue verified certificates that have real value for people. 

Activities in 2021
With the certification framework in place and two exams now available (RIPE Database and IPv6 Fundamentals), our focus in 2021 will be to roll out additional exams to cover our remaining IPv6, Measurements and Tools, and BGP training content.

More Information

 

3.7 Good of the Internet

FTEs: 0.5
Cost: 320
CAPEX: -

Description
Since 2016, the RIPE NCC Executive Board has approved an annual budget item for activities that contribute to the Good of the Internet. Included in this activity is the RIPE NCC Community Projects Fund.

Activities in 2021
Since 2017, the RIPE NCC Community Projects Fund has provided up to EUR 250,000 annually to projects of value to the operation and resilience of the Internet, with a focus on tools and services benefitting the technical community in our service region. In 2021, the RIPE NCC will launch a fifth round of funding, while engaging with past funding recipients to enhance the benefits of their work to the wider RIPE community.

The RIPE NCC will also make a contribution of EUR 100,000 to the sustainability of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), in line with the annual contribution plan that was endorsed by the RIPE NCC membership in 2016.

More Information

 

4. Organisational Sustainability

4.1 Facilities

FTEs: 6.0
Cost: 2,401
CAPEX: 143 

Description
This activity covers the RIPE NCC’s internal administrative function along with the rent and maintenance for all RIPE NCC facilities and equipment. The RIPE NCC has a head office (and external storage) in Amsterdam, a subsidiary office in Dubai, and a small office space in Moscow. Our activities in this area support efficient and centralised administrative services and ensures a secure, healthy and productive environment for RIPE NCC staff.

Activities in 2021
We expect that some changes to our office facilities will be required due to social-distancing requirements in light of COVID-19. As we are currently unable to return our entire staff to the office safely, we expect that in 2021 this will primarily be used as a meeting and collaboration hub, rather than the space in which the bulk of our activities take place. Utility costs will also slightly increase in 2021.

More Information

 

4.2 HR

FTEs: 3.5
Cost: 693
CAPEX:

Description
HR is responsible for recruiting qualified people from across our service region and ensuring they are properly integrated as employees. This activity area supports an efficient internal structure and a well-trained and engaged workforce.

Activities in 2021
We recently transitioned to a self-managed internal structure. As part of this, the priority until now has been to update our job profiles, rewarding and performance management to ensure alignment with the new structure. These changes will be implemented by the start of 2021, though further on-the-job training will be required. As a natural follow up, in 2021 we will focus on employee and leadership development and staff engagement.

COVID-19 introduced a number of additional challenges in terms of maintaining staff engagement and a healthy work-life balance, though our staff adapted very well. We nevertheless expect this will require special attention over the coming year. Finally, we plan to continue work to anticipate regulatory changes that have the potential to affect the RIPE NCC’s operations.

More Information

 

4.3 Legal 

FTEs: 5.0
Cost: 767
CAPEX:

Description
Our legal team maintains a comprehensive legal framework that sets out the standards and procedures for our internal and external operations. This framework is essential to ensure that we remain accountable for all our activities, that our exposure to liability is limited and that we remain able to support the RIPE community. A key aim is to make sure that our members have confidence in the self-regulatory system under which we operate and in existing Internet governance structures more generally. We also work to ensure that our legal framework and our procedures are in line with any applicable national and international legislation. 

Activities in 2021
We will continue to follow legislative developments and coordinate externally to support the self-governance model of the Internet. We will monitor legislation that could impact our operations and ensure we remain compliant. We will continue to review our existing governance model and procedures. The scarcity of IPv4 addresses has greatly increased the complexity of the legal requests we receive, due to the increase in mergers and transfers and a growing number of disputes and abuse complaints that arise from this. We will also ensure compliance with EU sanctions regulations, while seeking to minimise any impacts on the global Internet or the RIR system. 

More Information

 

4.3.1 Sanctions

Description
As a membership organisation that is legally based in the Netherlands, the RIPE NCC must comply with all applicable sanctions under Dutch law. 

Activities in 2021
In light of sanctions-related developments in 2020, we need to ensure the RIPE NCC is able to demonstrate full compliance with all applicable EU sanctions. This will require improved and more regular monitoring of the membership information in our registry. Given the number of records and the frequency of updates to this information, much of this will have to be automated. At the same time, we are committed to pursuing all legal means to ensure we can provide uninterrupted services to all of our members.

We also need to ensure that developments in this area do not weaken the global Internet or RIR system. As part of this, we will continue to work with the Dutch authorities and any other relevant parties to seek a permanent solution that minimises the potential impact on our members. The bulk of this activity will take place under our Registry Accuracy and Investigations and Legal activities and is budgeted accordingly. 

More Information

 

4.4 Finance

FTEs: 7.0
Cost: 1,466
CAPEX:

Description
We maintain high-quality administrative processes and constantly look for ways to improve efficiency. Our accounting, administration and reporting adheres to the General Dutch Accounting Standards and aims to provide a true and fair view of our financial situation, beyond what is required by law. We also want to investigate how we can enhance our member administration set-up and related fee structure. Lastly, we will maintain processes that ensure effective cost control and provide useful management information.

Activities in 2021
Over 2020 we have worked to improve our enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, AFAS Online. This work will mostly be finished in 2021, and we will be able to use this to make our process more efficient and improve our financial reporting. We are also working towards “paperless payroll” and aim to have this completed next year.

More Information

 

4.5 Information Security and Compliance

FTEs: 2.0
Cost: 204
CAPEX: -

Description
We need to ensure we have effective risk management planning and a solid “Plan/Do/Check/Act” cycle covering our operations. Such a view extends beyond IT security, as we need to secure our key business processes against a range of attacks, many of which are non-technical or unrelated to IT infrastructure. Understanding that we can never achieve 100% security, our aim is to have the proper cycle in place so we can remain ahead of the curve. We are currently in the process of integrating these kinds of processes within our registry operations and membership interactions. 

We also need to make sure we remain on top of compliance. With 76 countries in our service region and a growing trend of local, regional and global regulation targeted at Internet-related services, or otherwise with the potential to affect our mission, we have to make sure we identify relevant laws or regulations early, so we can develop a position on compliance that can be executed when needed.

Our aim is to bring Information Security and Compliance together under our existing Integrated Risk Management (IRM) framework, which will make complex dependencies between our operations, security and compliance visible to our management and Executive Board.

Activities in 2021
Although most of these components of already exist within the organisation, they are at different levels of maturity and need to be linked together. We plan to start including registry processes, along with other core activities, in the ISO/IEC 27000 framework we are introducing for IT Security in 2021 and to integrate our compliance processes with our IRM system.

 

4.6 Organisational Sustainability 

FTEs: 3.5
Cost: 1,497
CAPEX:

Description
This area of activity encompasses the RIPE NCC’s senior leadership functions, including the Managing Director and the Chief Scientist. Our Senior Leadership Team and Executive Board develop the strategy and vision of the organisation.

As the environment we operate in becomes increasingly unstable, uncertain, and affected by political developments, we work to adapt and respond to changes, and have been updating our internal structure to remain geared towards high performance and quality service delivery. An important part of this is having a clear vision and mission and a five-year strategic plan that provides an objective direction which serves as a reference for all of our activities.

Activities in 2021
We will continue to ensure that our organisational structure is fully in line with, and fully supports, our mission. An important part of this will be to improve the alignment of all our activities and projects to enable more effective collaboration across the organisation and achieve greater agility in the way we work together.

A chief goal in taking steps toward a more flexible, collaborative working environment is to ensure better value for members. We want to enable our staff to do the work that needs to be done in order to make the very best of all the services we have to offer. We also want to reduce response times and decrease the number of steps members have to go through in order to interact with us. We strongly believe that the best way to achieve all of this is to ensure that staff members are accountable and empowered to fulfil their roles.

 

5. Unforeseen Activities

There may be activities that were not entirely foreseen at the time of writing this document or that started recently and are not at the stage where they can be estimated to have a material financial impact. A quick, well-focused reaction to the changing environment and new requirements of the RIPE NCC membership and other stakeholders is always a goal of the RIPE NCC. In line with good corporate governance, any unforeseen activities that arise are developed in close consultation with the RIPE NCC Executive Board, and when there is any material financial impact, the Executive Board must approve the resulting action to be taken.

 

Budget Figures 2021

RIPE NCC Budgeted Statement of Income and Expenditure 2021 (in kEUR)

Income

B2021

B2020

Budget 2021 vs Budget 2020

LE2020*

Service Fees Existing Members

33,320

34,300

(980)

-3%

35,130

Independent Resource Fees

1,056

1,086

(30)

-3%

1,059

Service Fees New Members

1,050

350

700

200%

949

Re-opening Fees

200

200

-

0%

160

Member Fees

35,626

35,936

(310)

-1%

37,298

Member Sign-up Fees

2,400

1,000

1,400

140%

2,493

RIPE Meeting

235

235

-

0%

4

Sponsorship

255

255

-

0%

108

Other Income

50

50

-

0%

50

Total income

38,566

37,476

1,090

3%

39,953

Expenditures

Wages and Salaries

13,152

14,319

(1,167)

-8%

12,701

Social Security Charges

1,645

1,750

(105)

-6%

1,784

Pension Contributions

1,595

1,687

(92)

-5%

1,280

Miscellaneous Employee Expenditures

926

932

(6)

-1%

785

Subtotal Personnel

17,318

18,688

(1,370)

-7%

16,550

Housing & Insurances

1,104

1,147

(43)

-4%

1,013

Office Expenses

871

759

112

15%

430

Contributions

876

846

30

4%

875

Information Technology

2,687

2,820

(133)

-5%

2,653

Travel

823

1,134

(311)

-27%

300

Consultancy

4,057

3,211

846

26%

2,750

Outreach & PR

3,910

3,942

(32)

-1%

1,442

Bank Charges

334

347

(13)

-4%

334

Depreciation

1,227

1,300

(73)

-6%

1,242

Bad Debt & Unforeseen

350

250

100

40%

250

Total expenses

33,557

34,444

(887)

-3%

27,839

Surplus Before Financial Result

5,009

3,032

1,977

65%

12,114

Result on Interest Income

150

300

(150)

-50%

80

Result on Exchange Differences

-

-

-

 

15

Result Revaluation Financial Fixed Assets

100

-

100

 

350

Financial Result

250

300

(50)

-17%

445

Surplus/Deficit

5,259

3,332

1,927

58%

12,559

FTEs

170

165

5

3%

161

Capital Expenditure (CAPEX)

1,072

2,115

(1,043)

-49%

608

Number of LIRs

23,000

23,000

-

0%

25,016

Expense per LIR

1,459

1,498

(160)

-3%

1,113

Average Salary (Component) per Employee

77

87

(9)

-11%

79

Average Personnel Costs per Employee

102

113

(11)

-10%

103

* LE2020 figures taken from September.

 

Development of the RIPE NCC Reserves

The Table below shows the RIPE NCC’s capital development. The RIPE NCC Capital consists of the Clearing House and any addition to the Clearing House, either from capital gains or from an accumulation of the surplus.

Development of the RIPE NCC Reserves With a Redistribution in 2021 (in kEUR)

Year

Surplus

Addition to
the Capital

Capital at 31
December

Expenses
Per Year

% of
Expenses

2014

3,414

-

25,326

21,224

119%

2015

(262)

-

25,064

21,978

114%

2016

325

-

25,389

23,528

108%

2017

(173)

-

25,216

25,848

98%

2018

245

-

25,461

28,089

91%

2019

6,774

6,774

32,235

32,118

100%

2020 LE

-

-

32,235

27,839

116%

2021 Budget

-

-

32,235

33,557

96%

Development of the RIPE NCC Reserves Without a Redistribution in 2021 (in kEUR)

Year

Surplus

Addition to
the Capital

Capital at 31
December

Expenses
Per Year

% of
Expenses

2014

3,414

-

25,326

21,224

119%

2015

(262)

-

25,064

21,978

114%

2016

325

-

25,389

23,528

108%

2017

(173)

-

25,216

25,848

98%

2018

245

-

25,461

28,089

91%

2019

6,774

6,774

32,235

32,118

100%

2020 LE

9,436

9,436

41,671

27,839

150%

2021 Budget

4,131

4,131

45,802

33,557

136%

Appendix: Changes to the Draft Activity Plan and Budget 2020

Amendments to the Activity Plan

  • Update to projected LIR numbers (Executive Summary)
  • Clarification added about the period that statistics relate to (Activity Overviews)
  • Removed text saying that the number of LIRs joining has offset those closing (1.3 Membership Administration)
  • Noted that the RPKI Validator will be retired in 2021 (1.6 RPKI)
  • Noted that we plan to translate key documents into other languages (3.1 Membership Engagement)
  • Added reference to our agreements with external organisations (3.4 Internet Governance)
  • Added new section (5. Unforeseen Activities)
  • Minor corrections to the infographics
  • Minor editorial changes

 

Amendments to the Budget

  • “Number of LIRs” has changed from 25,000 to 23,000 in B2021
  • “Expense per LIR” has changed from EUR 1,338 to 1,459 in B2021

 

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