New Features in MANRS Observatory 3.0.1

Today, we are happy to release a new version of the MANRS Observatory with some important upgrades. Let me give you a quick walk-through of the key changes.

Since our last release in February, many users have told us they would like the Observatory to be more informative, intuitive, and easy to use. We take your comments seriously, and many of the new features we release today are based on your feedback.

Before introducing them, let me say that the full features are available to MANRS participants and partners only. If you are a network about to join MANRS, please fill out the application form and we will work together with you on making the network fully MANRS ready. As part of your MANRS application process, you can also get an “aspirant” account to enjoy the full feature set of the Observatory while working on meeting the requirements of MANRS Actions.

Shorter reporting cycle

Let me begin with the biggest change: a shorter reporting cycle. In the past, monthly reports became available only in the month after, so information was outdated. While not a real problem when looking at general trends, it was an issue for network operators who used it to check their network conformance. It was also an issue for the MANRS team, as we used it when evaluating applications from new MANRS participants.

For example, before this new release, when a network fixed conformance problems, say creating missing Route Origin Authorizations (ROAs), it could take up to 31 days before this change was reflected. Now, such fixes will be visible the next day.

Moreover, under Overview, the Month view defaults to the current month. The label is in yellow, meaning that the report is up to the current date – therefore the word “partial” shows up – and not the whole month. The label turns blue if data for the full month is available.

For cumulative metrics, such as number of incidents or negative Spoofer tests, the report will show data to date, while for such metrics as completeness of routing information in the Internet Routing Registry (IRR) or Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) systems, it will display the latest data – from yesterday.

This change also means your efforts to improve the MANRS readiness of your network can now be more quickly rewarded by scoring higher in the Observatory.

Fig. 1 Shorter reporting cycle – the current incomplete month is shown in yellow

Creating your favorites

In the previous release, we implemented a feature allowing the user to create a “favorite” — a predefined “filter” with a list of networks whose data is displayed in the Observatory. It could be useful, for example, for a transit provider to check the MANRS readiness of the networks in its customer cone. An Internet Exchange Point (IXP) could also use the function to monitor the level of MANRS conformance of its members.

Before, when creating a favorite, one needed to enter all autonomous system (AS) numbers by hand, which can be a tedious exercise. Now, it can be done by copying the list in the dialogue box, or simply uploading it from a file.

Fig. 2 Creating Favorites is easier. An upload icon allows a user to upload a file with a list of ASNs. Alternatively, the list can be copied and pasted in the “Search” field

RIPEstat Widget

MANRS participants can see detailed reports of issues for the networks they operate. For example, you can see what routing incidents are non-conformant with Action 1, which “bogon” announcements were not filtered out, or which prefixes still need to be registered in the IRR.

To avoid including potentially large lists, we did not show the prefixes that miss a corresponding ROA registration. Meanwhile, since RPKI average adoption is about 25% globally and RPKI registration is a recommended but optional MANRS action, for some networks that means the whole list of its announced prefixes needs to be presented, which may not be practical. To address these, we now provide a direct link to the RIPEstat widget, where users can review relevant data.

Rounding numbers

Lastly, on the landing page, but also in other places, the Observatory displays scores without a decimal point by rounding them. But, sometimes, the rules of rounding can confuse users – for instance, why is my network 0% ready even when some of the prefixes are registered? Or, why does the Observatory point to some missing registrations, while my score is 100%?

To make such cases clearer, we decided to implement a rounding down to 99% when things are not quite 100%, and rounding up to 1% if things are not completely 0%. Not scientifically precise, but we think it will help motivate more networks to get better scores – and better routing security for everyone.

Your Feedback

The interconnected nature of the Internet as the network of networks means we need collective action to make a real change. That is why we appreciate the feedback you have given us, so that the Observatory can continue to be useful to the community. That in turn will help all of us make the Internet more secure.

If you are using this tool, feel free to let us know what you think about the new features. If you have suggestions on how to improve the tool further – please let us know, too!  Email us at [email protected].

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