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RIPE NCC Test-boxes and Test Traffic Measurements Service

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  • From: "Henk Uijterwaal \(RIPE-NCC\)" < >
  • Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 15:17:10 +0200 (CEST)

Dear colleagues,

(Apologies for any duplicate mails).

The New Projects group at the RIPE NCC is pleased to announce that 25 new
test-boxes have been delivered, tested and are ready to be installed at
your site. More test-boxes will be assemble as soon as these 25 machines
have been shipped. These test-boxes measure delays and losses on the
Internet by sending time-stamped packets to each other. A more detailed
description is available in RIPE document 209 (see below).

At this moment, we are also moving the Test Traffic Measurements from an
experimental product to a regular membership service offered by the RIPE
NCC.  Under this service, the RIPE NCC will operate the test-box and
analyze the measurement data for you.  With the introduction of this
service, 2 restrictions will be removed:

  * The TTM service will be available to everybody interested, not just
    the current LIR members,
  * Any organization can apply for more than 1 test-box, and, for example,
    install a box at every major PoP.

Another change is that you will have to pay for the hardware of the boxes.  
A test-box currently costs 2750 Euro.  This includes the installation
costs, but does not include shipping, taxes and import/export duties. The
RIPE NCC has been asked to introduce a service fee (of approximately 3000
Euro/Year) for the operation of the boxes.  However, for tax-reasons, it
is currently not possible to do this.  Therefore:

  * There will be NO service fee for the remainder of 2000 and 
    the first months of 2001.

For those of you familiar with the project, it is worth noticing that the
hardware of the boxes has been improved. The most important change is in
the design of the antenna.  In the new machines, the HF-unit has been
moved to the antenna, thus eliminating the need for expensive coax cable
between the antenna and the test-box itself.  Instead, regular CAT-5 cable
can be used and cable lengths of (at least) 200 to 300 meters are

Also, the boxes have more CPU and memory available and this feature will
be exploited in the future do other measurements and analyze the data on
the box, thus reducing the time between data-taking and availability of
the results. In short, this means:

  * Easier installation
  * More freedom in installing the antennas.

If you are interested in hosting a test-box, please start by reading the
following documents, all available from the test-traffic web-site at

  * RIPE-209, "Providing Test Traffic Measurements as a membership
    service". This document describes the model the RIPE-NCC will use for
    selling the test-boxes and the related service for operating them.

  * RIPE-214, "General Terms to the RIPE-NCC Test Traffic Measurements and
    Test-Box Purchase Agreement".  This document contains the contract
    used to sell the test-boxes.  It is the translation of RIPE-209 
    into "legalise".

  * RIPE-168 (Version 2.1 or later).  This is the installation guide for
    the test-boxes.  The current document is somewhat outdated, in
    particular the section on the antenna installation.  An update will
    be published early November.

A document that is presently being written is a "2 page glossy summary" of
RIPE-209, describing the advantages of hosting a test-box for your

If you are interested in hosting one or more test-boxes, please fill out
the application sheet at  
If anything is unclear or you have questions that are not answered in the
documents, do not hesitate to contact us.  The application procedure has
become a little more complex than before, but still shouldn't take much
more than a few minutes to complete.

Sites that have already expressed interest in hosting a box will be
contacted in a separate mail.

As announced before, we will give the existing test-box hosts a
possibility to upgrade your hardware.  This will announced, when we are
ready to do this, in a separate mail.

There is no deadline for applying.  Applications will be processed in the
order as they come in and processed as soon as our production schedule

If you have any questions about this project, please do not hesitate
to contact me.

Kind regards,

Henk Uijterwaal

Henk Uijterwaal                    Email: henk.uijterwaal@localhost
RIPE Network Coordination Centre     WWW:
Singel 258                         Phone: +31.20.535-4414,  Fax -4445
1016 AB Amsterdam                   Home: +31.20.4195305
The Netherlands                   Mobile: +31.6.55861746  

A man can take a train and never reach his destination.
                                               (Kerouac, well before RFC2780).

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