MENOG 15 Minutes

Day 1 – Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Opening Plenary

– Osama Al-Dosary, MENOG Chair

– AbdulRahman Al Marzouqi, UAE TRA

– Paul Rendek, RIPE NCC

Middle Eastern Content Hosting in 2015

– Jim Cowie, Dyn

This presentation is available at:

Jim looked at how the Internet in the Middle East region has matured and changed over time. He explained how costs have come down, allowing operators to focus on other issues such as availability and latency. He gave an overview of his analysis about where content is hosted throughout the region and showed that, in the UAE, two thirds of content comes from North America, with several top 100 domains in neighbouring regions being hosted in the UAE. He showed that this is similar to other countries in the Middle East. He said that content hosting should be looked at as an import/export balance, and encouraged the audience to invest in hosting their content locally in order to reduce latency and improve the customer experience.

Zakaria Al-Qudah, Yarmouk University, asked how caching affects locally hosted content. Jim responded that local caching does a lot to accelerate the process and that it is an important step. He said it is also important to have authoritative control over content that could be hosted more locally.

Elvis Velea, v4Escrow, asked about anycast and Jim’s methodology in figuring out where content is hosted. Jim said that, indeed, some content is not geolocated anywhere due to anycasting, so the location of that content is listed as “other” in his statistics.

An attendee asked whether the countries that are hosting a lot of content locally are doing so properly, and whether there is a way to query that kind of data. Jim responded that some of the countries with high numbers of locally hosted content do not employ ideal models, such as in China, where there are not enough service providers. He said that in terms of the data, there are projects such as RIPE Atlas that allow users to access data themselves.

An attendee asked about some countries where content providers like YouTube are not allowed, and whether there are any solutions to get around this. Jim said that national economies compete on the Internet for who will be able to host content. He said that Turkey, for example, is very good at hosting content locally, but not from certain banned content providers; however, their neighbours are able and willing to host this content.

An attendee asked about statistics on Palestine, and what effect a lack of IXPs has on local content hosting. Jim responded that he doesn’t have statistics on Palestine. He said that IXPs are very important because, without them, content tends to be hosted with a single provider, so the diversity of the ecosystem decreases in a “winner takes all” kind of environment. He said that the slow evolution of IXPs increases that diversity and gives content providers more choice in where to be hosted.

Domain & Hosting Industry Insight From a UAE Hosting Company – AEserver FZE

– Munir Badr, AEserver FZE

This presentation is available at:

Munir gave an overview of the domain name industry in the UAE and Qatar, the rest of the Middle East region, and the ICANN registrars. He also detailed the web-hosting review and his experiences with the hosting business in the UAE, including common challenges. He then suggested some improvements that might be possible for the future.

An attendee asked about what support AEserver offers. Munir responded that technical support and all required resources are supplied.

An attendee asked whether companies in the UAE couldn’t find more places to host their content locally. Munir responded that in practice, in order to approach data centres, you must be a large company. He said that today, servers can more easily be hosted, but that costs are still high. He addd that many of the big companies are still using cloud hosting services in the U.S.

Michuki Mwangi, Internet Society, asked about peering policy at a hosting company and whether other operators are willing to peer with AEserver. Munir responded that they don’t do their own peering, but that he has heard from others that it has been quite easy. He also said that in terms of traffic balance, most of the data is already in the region.

An attendee asked about improving local hosting and the single most important change Munir would make to facilitate that improvement. Munir responded that more competition in terms of international content providers and data centres is needed.

An attendee asked about the rules for different domain names and who is eligible for registering them. Munir responded that the requirements are all the same, in terms of having a regional presence, and that regulators must balance the registration of private names with those that are restricted, such as royal family names or those of national institutions, etc.

Kaveh Ranjbar, RIPE NCC, commented that policy plays an important role in these issues. He gave the example of the EU passing regulations that require operators to keep information about citizens within their respective countries.

Munir responded that he’s seen a trend in recent years of many government organisations asking his company to host their content locally.

Technical Plenary

The Flat Earth Theory: Convergence of Prices Around the World

– Alan Mauldin, TeleGeography

This presentation is available at:

An attendee asked about improving connections and the way we share data, and commented that there was nothing about Moore’s Law in Alan’s presentation. Alan responded that almost all new cables are 100 Gb. He also said that the price is coming down, but that there are other factors that play a role, such as competition and regulation.

An attendee asked about what carriers are used to achieve their prices and what kind of commitment is required to achieve it. Alan said there is a range of prices and that it depends on volume and the commitment term.

Amer Salem, NexNet Solutions, asked about pricing forecasts. Alan said that unit prices are constantly going down, and that he doesn’t foresee a time when they will reach an absolute bottom.

An attendee asked about prices for cable stations versus other factors. Alan said the prices he mentioned were for cable stations only.

Cable Infrastructure in the Gulf

– Georges Jaber, GBI

This presentation is available at:

Georges gave an overview of the “new global network”, showing that more and more connectivity is taking place at data centres around the world. He gave the example of Google Cloud, including how the cloud infrastructure and applications connect to different networks via multiple data centres. He showed how there are many cable connections in the Middle East region to address today’s demands, but that the infrastructure could be better protected to avoid disruptions during cable cuts, as these events typically take a long time to repair today.

An attendee asked about how Georges deals with cable cuts in different regions. Georges explained how dealing with cable cuts have typically relied on ad hoc solutions depending on where the cut took place and what connections exist in the region, and how they try to ensure redundancy in data centres.

Why is Peering Still Relevant in the Middle East?

– Gael Hernandez, PCH

This presentation is available at:

Gael gave an overview of peering and how different peering agreements work. He showed the availability of physical infrastructure in different regions and where there are opportunities for new connectivity. He then showed a visualisation of BGP sessions and how many countries don’t have logical paths to one another, increasing latencies. He encouraged operators to peer more in order to improve user experience, and suggested starting nationally and regionally, including via IXPs.

Arnold Nipper, DE-CIX, questioned Gael’s assertion about IXPs being located where populations are high, saying instead that their location had more to do with financial infrastructure. Gael responded that he agrees, but that generally population follows financial infrastructure. He said that in Germany, there is no IXP located in the most densely populated part of the country.

An attendee said that in some countries, all peering arrangements have to go through government infrastructure and that operators are not as free to make arrangements with IXPs. He asked whether Gael had any suggestions about how to get around this problem. Gael said that awareness among operators was the first step in order to reach out to policy makers and educate them about the need for peering.

Hisham Ibrahim, RIPE NCC, said there is also pressure in some regions from big operators to not connect with other peers for fear of losing business, but that many IXPs were actually started by smaller operators coming together and peering with one another. He encouraged operators in the region to talk to one another and think about ways they can show regulators the benefits of peering.

IXP Related Projects at Euro-IX

– Bijal Sanghani, Euro-IX

This presentation is available at:

Bijal showed why IXPs are important, giving examples of how new IXPs reduced latencies by an order of magnitude in some regions. She explained the importance of correct IXP data and the existence of an IXP member list schema available in JSON format on GitHub. She gave an overview of best common operational practices (BCOPs) and the latest documentation that exists on BCOPs. She encouraged more operators to include their networks in the PeeringDB database, as only 10 networks in the Middle East are currently included there. She also gave an overview of a new twinning program that gives support to IXPs.

IXP/Peering Updates

An Update on the Internet Exchange Point Federation

– Bijal Sanghani, Euro-IX

Bijal explained what Euro-IX is and gave an overview of some of their main services and activities as a membership organisation for IXPs. She explained how Euro-IX provides data and services for the good of the Internet and the community. She gave an overview of some of the data that Euro-IX collects, such as the range of ASNs connected to their members, information about who connects to their members, the use of route servers at IXPs, and more. She said that there are 189 known IXPs in the Euro-IX region, located in 142 cities in 48 countries, and that traffic is increasing across the region. She also gave numbers for other regions around the world.

Maher Kassem, Masco group – Dataprolinks, asked about what kind of platform Euro-IX uses to maintain and share the large amounts of data they collect. Bijal said that the other regions’ IXP membership organisations contribute data from their regions and that the IXP and peering databases’ servers are distributed throughout the different regions.

Panel: IXP and Peering Updates from the Middle East
Facilitator: Rani Alami, Coolnet

  • Adel Marzouq, CAIX, Egypt (2)
  • Shahab Vahabzadeh, Asiatech, Iran (1)
  • Saleh Mansour, PIX, Palestine (3)
  • Roger Asmar, BIX, Lebanon (4)
  • Marco Brandstaetter, UAE-IX, UAE (5)
  • Yahiya Mohammed Abdul, Etisalat

(Ali Al Kaaf, EMIX & SmarthubIX, was replaced by Yahiya Mohammed Abdul, Etisalat. Adel Houas, TUNIX, and Ibrahim Azhari, SIXP, did not attend the session.)

The panelists gave an overview of the number of member ISPs they have, bandwidth figures, penetration rates and growth plans, etc. for each of their respective IXPs.

Maher Kassem, Masco group – Dataprolinks, asked about exchanging better traffic, rather than more traffic. For example, he asked about how to download only updated content rather than continuously downloading entire websites over and over again. Marco responded that UAE-IX deals with 4 Tb of data, and it isn’t a lack of infrastructure for trafficking information, but that it’s more about pricing and regulation.

Maher replied that even if UAE-IX doesn’t have a problem with infrastructure, other neighbouring peers might have an issue with this, and the cost of international connectivity per byte is still prohibitive for many. Roger responded that the content should be transparent rather than cached, and that this would go beyond the scope of the cache servers.

Maher responded that byte-level exchange would allow more traffic to flow into the Middle East at much lower cost. Roger said that the data shouldn’t be interfered with before it reaches the end user, and that anyone can host the data wherever they want. Saleh said that, at PIX, they deal with extremely local content, but also content from big content providers that they push to other peers.

Amer Salem, NexNet Solutions, said that many end users share content from Facebook and other social media, etc. and that as prices drop on mobile devices, it will put enormous pressure on ISPs. He said that, ultimately, the user experience could potentially be improved with more caching of shared content.

Yahiya said that his organisation has deep penetration in the region, but that most of their traffic still goes outside of their region. He said that there are challenges that need to be overcome by everyone involved, including content providers, network operators and IXPs.

Nishal Goburdhan, PCH, who runs several IXPs, said that IXPs’ neutrality is key, and that interfering with traffic by caching or filtering for updated content would increase complexity for IXP operators and would ultimately drive up costs. He also said that IXPs are just one tool, but not a complete solution, in facilitating better traffic exchange.

Marco said that when talking about how to make the Internet more efficient as traffic increases, you need to think about what the point is of having cached content if you still can’t reach the end user, which is the purpose of IXPs. He said that IXPs are not network operators; they are simply connection points.

Shahab agreed that a neutral IXP should not be responsible for caching; instead, he said that responsibility should fall to the content providers.

There was a question about peer-to-peer traffic exchange and what the benefit is of going through an IXP. Nishal Goburdhan, PCH, explained the benefits for the end user in allowing them to access their content more quickly by taking advantage of IXPs’ large bandwidth capacity.

Hisham Ibrahim, RIPE NCC, asked the panelists to discuss the benefits of local connectivity versus going through international IXPs. They responded that increased bandwidth was a benefit, but that it depends on each case because of local pricing and regulation, etc.

Hisham asked whether more local interconnectivity could potentially hinder cross-border infrastructure. Marco responded that other factors come into play, and that IXPs are just about peering. He said that IXPs will not build the infrastructure themselves.

Eric Loos, Belgacom International Carrier Services, said that widespread operators are, in a sense, competing with the IXPs, but creating any connections strengthens the Internet as a whole.

Michuki Mwangi, Internet Society, said that in some regions, publishing IXP statistics feels like a foreign concept. He asked what the panelists thought about this and whether data about their members and ASNs, etc. is useful. The panelists said that they willingly share this information, because IXPs are all about peering and connecting peers with one another.

Michuki asked why the data dissemination couldn’t be made automatic, and the panelists responded that many IXPs are new to this and are working on their reporting processes.

Christian Teuschel, RIPE NCC, mentioned that the RIPE NCC is doing a lot with data reporting, such as with the RIPE Atlas project, which has probes that collect Internet measurement data. He encouraged attendees to get involved by hosting probes in the Middle East region, where there are currently a lack of probes.

Nishal Goburdhan, PCH, asked how the panelists define their communities in terms of whether they are operators, or just ISPs, or whether they have any cross-border members. Marco responded that UAE-IX considers all peers to be part of the community, and that they even help new peers understand how to get an ASN, for example, so it is a very broad definition.

Maher Kassem, Masco group – Dataprolinks, asked about the future when quantum computing will allow exponentially more data to be transferred. Christian Teuschel, RIPE NCC, responded that that time is very far off in the future and that it is not a real concern at the moment.

Rani asked the panelists for more information about how much of their traffic is local. Some panelists responded that very little of their traffic is local, and that a main reason for this is that they don’t have local caching for content from major content providers. Saleh asked why IXPs who do have local caching can’t push their cached content to their neighbours. There was discussion about how this depends on individual partnerships between IXP members, among other things.

Arabic Domain Name Operations

Update on the IDN Program

– Sarmad Hussain, ICANN

This presentation is available at:

Sarmad gave a presentation remotely on the situation from ICANN’s point of
view. He covered the ASCII Domain Name Label, the IDN TLD Program, the IDN ccTD Fast Track Process Implementation and IDNs at second-level domains. He concluded with an overview of ICANN’s community outreach and the ways people can get involved with these various programs.

The .ir Experience

– Alireza Saleh, IRNIC

Alireza share an Iranian experience on domain name operations. Instead of using presentation slides, Alireza brought up relevant webpages to illustrate some of the problems faced in Iran with using Arabic script in domain names. He identified the lack of a universal font as being a particular problem for using Arabic scripts in domains, and concluded that one of the important developments at the registry is a tool that shows an image of the name to address these issues.

Universal Acceptance of Arabic Script IDNs

– Raed Al-Fayez, Saudi NIC

Raed reported on user experiences in making internationalised domain name applications (IDNA) in Arabic. He concluded that part of his presentation with the question: How long it will take for IDN email to be fully deployed? He then presented on what a suitable variant management system should have by covering some of the important concepts and requirements along with a brief explanation of master key algorithms and variant filters developed by SaudiNIC.

Experiences Implementing Open Source Registry

– Abdalmonem Tharwat, Dot Masr

Abdalmomen shared his experiences of implementing an open source registry. He confirmed that using international domain names (IDNs) will offer a lot of opportunities with new registrations, new customers and expanding web services.

Network Operations Group BoF

Overview of SdNOG

– Samir Abdullatif, SudREN

This presentation is available at:

Samir gave an overview of SdNOG, the Sudan Network Operator Group, which was recently established and held its first gathering in December 2014, including 178 participants from five countries. SdNOG already has 100+ mailing list subscribers, 600+ Facebook likes, and 50+ Twitter followers and has held two introductory sessions in collaboration with SudREN. Samir highlighted some future plans, including various projects and capacity building activities.

Network Operations Group BoF: Establishing NOGs in the Middle East

Paul Rendek, RIPE NCC, said he was happy for the RIPE NCC to financially support the start of SdNOG, and that he would be happy to hear from other groups, even outside the RIPE NCC service region, who are trying to do similar things in bringing the community together.

Osama Al-Dosary, MENOG Chair, suggested that money doesn’t have to be part of the equation in the beginning, and that the most important thing is to bring people together, even if informally with no budget at first.

Salam Yamout, RIPE NCC Executive Board Member, asked the audience whether they were happy with the MENOG 15 agenda or whether they would like to see changes for next time. She suggested that perhaps the MENOG 15 agenda is quite different from other NOG agendas.

Philip Smith, NSRC, said that NOGs are different all over the world and that they can take on different formats and cover different topics. He also lauded the RIPE NCC, APNIC and other organisations for providing financial seeding for smaller NOGs. He encouraged attendees to use the inspiration they take away from larger NOGs such as MENOG to help start new ones in their own individual regions.

Salam also brought forth the idea of creating a CERT (certified emergency response team) in the region.

Hisham Ibrahim, RIPE NCC, suggested taking a step back to define what a NOG is. He asked how many operators in the room have regular meetings to discuss technical issues with one another.

Paul mentioned that, although NOGs happen all over the world, there is one issue in the Middle East region that is different, which is that regulators are often behind the successful gatherings and asked why the community won’t attend self-organised meetings.

Salam said that in Lebanon, the opposite situation prevails, where the community does everything themselves, and that it’s possible to do so in other regions.

Paul mentioned that the RIPE NCC has started hosting member lunches in different regions throughout the RIPE NCC’s service region, and that part of the aim is to inspire local communities to organise such meetings themselves. He said that smaller gatherings are possible, not just larger institutionalised ones.

Attendees discussed what takes place in their own regions and whether operators meet regularly, formally or informally, to discuss technical issues. Others emphasised that NOGs do not have to be large, organised, formal meetings, or have large budgets, in order to be considered NOGs; instead, any gathering of operators with the purpose of sharing knowledge and experiences can be considered NOGs, and are an important way for operators to stay in touch.

Day 2 – Thursday, 2 April 2015

Technical Operations I

What’s Happening at the IETF?

– Chris Grundemann, ISOC

This presentation is available at:

Chris gave an overview of the activities of the IETF, the principal body engaged in the development of new Internet standard specifications. Chris explained the way the IETF operates and gave examples of past IETF protocols, including BGP, DNS and HTTP. He said that current topics of interest for the IETF include enabling the Internet of Things, strengthening the technical foundations for privacy and trust in the Internet, and promoting real-time collaboration through web browser-based communication.

There was discussion about the importance of having policy makers attend IETF meetings to better understand how policy affects technical issues.

An attendee asked why the uptake of IPv6 is taking so long and what role the IETF plays.

Chris replied that the IETF was responsible for the IPv6 protocol itself on a technical level, and that he thinks it hasn’t started to really be deployed until now because companies and enterprises are only now starting to run out of IPv4 and they simply haven’t been forced to deploy IPv6 until now. He said that it is starting to happen now, albeit slowly.

Chris said that more participation in the Middle East region would help attract the attention of the IETF in terms of hosting a meeting there. He encouraged everyone to get involved online in the working groups and mailing lists.

IPv4 Transfers in the RIPE Region

– Andrew de la Haye, RIPE NCC

This presentation is available at:

Andrew gave an overview of what’s been happening with IPv4 transfers in the RIPE NCC service region. He explained how RIPE NCC members can obtain their final IPv4 allocation as well as IPv6 allocations, how IPv4 transfers take place and the RIPE NCC’s role in the process, which is to keep the registry up to date.

Maher Kassem, Masco group – Dataprolinks, asked why there are more transfers taking place and whether the RIPE NCC would be willing to give trainings on IPv6.

Andrew explained that organisations still feel they need IPv4, but that some companies who have sold their own unused IPv4 space have used the profits to invest in IPv6 deployment. He also said that the RIPE NCC has two IPv6 training courses available to members, in addition to IPv6 webinars, and a Train the Trainer program for people in the Middle East region to help spread the word about IPv6.

Rani Alami, Coolnet, encouraged the RIPE NCC to do whatever possible to push the uptake of IPv6. Hisham Ibrahim, RIPE NCC, encouraged Rani to get involved in the policy development process in order to help bring about the changes he wants to see.

Introduction to Software Defined Networking

– Ahmed Maged, CISCO
(This presentation was given remotely)

This presentation is available at:

Ahmed explained the basics of SDN (software-defined networking), which he called a “new approach” to networking. He then gave an overview of why there is a need for it, some SDN trends taking place, as well as some use cases for operators and how they can plan for SDN.

Maher Kassem, Masco group – Dataprolinks, asked about Ahmed’s focus on Linux. Ahmed said that Linux has done a good job, but gave details of other libraries and tools that have been developed and are useful in SDN.

Updates from the EcoSystem


– Axel Pawlik, RIPE NCC

This presentation is available at:

Axel Pawlik, RIPE NCC, gave an update on the RIPE NCC’s activities. He covered topics such as RIPE Policies that the RIPE NCC is implementing, the launch of the new RIPE NCC website, and the upcoming RIPE NCC General Meeting that includes voting on the charging scheme for 2016 and the election for two RIPE NCC Executive Board seats.

Osama Al-Dosary, MENOG Chair, asked if there was work to have training teams across the five RIRs work together on training material that people across the world can use. Axel said the RIPE NCC’s training material is publicly available and that they want to get people certified.

Osama asked if it would be available under creative commons. Paul Rendek, RIPE NCC, said the RIPE NCC has hands-on training courses and that they developed material jointly with APNIC. He said the RIPE NCC is happy to give their material to other RIRs and let AFRINIC and other organisations use it. Paul also said the Train the Trainer program is a big deal and that they will let trainers from outside the RIPE NCC get involved with it.

Osama said creative commons rights would have a multiplier effect in terms of spreading the material. Axel said there was an issue of quality control and that the RIPE NCC wants to certify trainers.

Osama said the community is huge and only a fraction are involved with RIPE and the RIPE NCC, and that spreading the material to others would be a great thing that would benefit the whole community.

Kaveh Ranjbar, RIPE NCC, said the RIPE NCC has a great track record of using creative commons licences with their software, so this bodes well for doing the same with training material. He said the RIPE NCC likes to share and that he doesn’t see that changing with regards to training material.

Fahd Batayneh, ICANN, mentioned the APNIC survey and noticed that APNIC supports national NOGs. He asked how things work in the RIPE region.
Axel said it was the same here and we support NOGs, through funding and attendance, and helping to start them when they’re not there.
Fahd asked if the RIPE NCC goes to the NOGs or vice versa.
Axel says it works both ways, so we respond to requests and also go out there and offer our support. We see the benefits of our support with people we support showing up at the bigger meetings like MENOG and RIPE.

ICANN: The Middle East Strategy

– Fahd Batayneh, ICANN

This presentation is available at:

Fahd gave an update on ICANN’s strategy in the Middle East.

Martin Levy, CloudFlare, Inc., asked if there was a big difference between efforts put in here by ICANN and other regions. Fahd said there were strategies in other regions but with different priorities. He said the domain name industry and Internet governance were common to all strategies.

The IANA Transition Stewardship Update

– Paul Rendek, RIPE NCC

This presentation is available at:

An attendee asked if there were other proposals besides the CRISP proposal. Paul said it was just CRISP from the numbers community but it included input from all of the community and that the community appointed the people on the CRISP team.

Salam Yamout, RIPE NCC Executive Board, asked who was responsible for global IP policies. Paul noted there was a well-defined global policy development process but that it doesn’t get used that often. He said most policies happen on a regional level, and this is all very well documented and defined.

ISOC Update

– Jane Coffin & Michuki Mwangi, Internet Society

This presentation is not available online.

Jane and Michuki explained the work that they are doing in various regions.

Updates from the IGF

– Salam Yamout, RIPE NCC Executive Board

This presentation is not available online.

Salam explained what’s happening with the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). She noted it was a big year, as the UN will vote this year on whether or not to continue the mandate for the IGF. She discussed whether it is going to be a global platform for policy-related discussions, what the outcomes of the IGF going to be, and whether this is this is a bottom-up process. She also discussed the role of governments in Internet governance in general.

Jane Coffin, Internet Society, said the regional IGFs are noticeably focused on national issues.

Salam asked about the Arab League and their position on multistakeholder issues. Fahd Batayneh, ICANN, said it was a complicated issue with the Arab League and it was perhaps better to leave them to do their own thing.

Technical Operations II

Multiple Generations of Mobile Backhaul Technologies

– Khalid Samara (MADA)

This presentation is available at:

Khalid gave an overview of mobile backhaul technologies, which involve the backhaul portion of the network comprising the intermediate links between the core network and the small sub-networks at the “edge” of the entire hierarchical network.

There was discussion about the various technologies involved.

Smart City: Bottom to Top Concept

– Rani Alami, Coolnet

This presentation is not available online.

Rani called the smart city an “inevitable challenge” and explained various implementation models, how to pitch the concept of smart cities, the challenges involved, and future models. Examples ranged from digital menus in restaurants to online parking systems to free hotspot banking access and more.

RIPE Atlas & RIPEstat

– Christian Teuschel, RIPE NCC

This presentation is available at:

Christian gave a technical overview of the RIPE NCC’s main data collection system, RIPE Atlas, a global network of probes and anchors performing active Internet measurements, and its main data provisioning tool, RIPEstat, a web-based interface that provides all available information about Internet address space and related information for countries and hostnames. Specific examples from RIPEstat included tools for analysing IPv4 transfers, BGP routing, and geolocation data. RIPE Atlas highlights included the “quick look” feature, which lets users ping a specified IP address using 100 probes from around the world and displays results as they are collected in virtually real time.

Responding to questions from attendees, Christian explained in detail how operators can use RIPE Atlas probes and anchors to get an external view of their own network from all over the world, or from a specific region of interest.

Introduction to OpenStack

– Yaman Hakmi, Cisco

This presentation is not available online.

Yaman gave on overview of OpenStack, a cloud computing platform. He explained how OpenStack works, who it is aimed at, and the underlying architecture.

Banking on Secure Networks

How Hot is Your Network?

– Simon Forster, Spamhaus Research

This presentation is available at:

Simon showed the results of his organisation’s measurements on security, specifically in the services sector.

Security – Implications of Recent Breaches

– Sebastien Madden, Protection Group International

This presentation is available at:

Sebastien looked at the implications of recent cyber security breaches. He talked about some high-profile cases in the media this year, such as the attack on Sony.
His work focuses on the implications for the banking industry, which is a popular target for attackers for obvious reasons.

Online and Mobile Banking Threats: Detecting and Preventing Risks

– Asim Azmi and Amr Ismail, Kaspersky

This presentation is not available online.

Asim and Amr gave an overview of online and mobile banking threats, how to detect threats and how to prevent risks in the first place.

An audience member who used Kaspersky services asked how to prevent screenshotting and key logging.

Asim said they were protecting the top of the browser process. He also said they encrypt the keyboard driver in the computer’s kernel.

Technical Operations III

IPv6 Deployment Case of Sudan/SudREN

– Samir Abdullatif, SudREN
(Samir Abdullatif gave this presentation on behalf of Samir Saif)

This presentation is available at:

Samir explained how SudREN managed its IPv6 deployment, explaining the training involved, traffic and other data collected, hardware used, methods employed and challenges faced.

Nishal Goburdhan, PCH, commented that Samir showed some results where IPv6 traffic was faster than IPv4 traffic. Kaveh Ranjbar, RIPE NCC, commented that RIPE Atlas also sees some cases where IPv6 is faster, and he attributes that to operators being smart with their routing and employing best practices. He also said that RIRs should share what they do with their own IPv6 address space as use cases for others to use.

Routing Table Report

– Philip Smith, NSRC

Philip shared “his” view of the size of the Internet routing table, something he’s reported on for more than 15 years. He detailed how he aggregates the table to look at how much bigger it is than it theoretically could be, and showed how some operators announce two to three orders of magnitude more prefixes than they could by properly aggregating them. According to Philip’s BGP feed, the routing table has been growing at an exponential rate since the dot-com bubble. He also showed some de-aggregation trends over time.

Elvis Velea, v4Escrow, asked whether some of Philip’s findings could be explained by a lack of training for engineers, and Philip agreed that could be the case. Elvis also commented that, in his experience, some people like to have a lot of prefixes announced in the routing table so that they look like they’re large organisations.

Elvis and Philip also discussed the magnitude of changes in the routing table caused by industry trends and the 512k bug.

Martin Levy, CloudFlare, Inc., said that he is frustrated by operators who wantonly de-aggregate because the results have no financial effect on them. He encouraged all attendees to think about aggregation as a crucial part of engineer training and education.

Nishal Goburdhan, PCH, asked about different customers who looked like they could have had aggregated space but were in fact quite separate, and asked how much de-aggregation might be caused by such factors. Philip said it’s difficult to tell from the numbers.

Nishal also asked about filtering, and whether there’s some public effort to clean up the routing table. Philip responded that commands to get rid of de-aggregated space has been discussed before, and the code already exists, but it hasn’t been implemented by vendors yet. However, he also pointed out that some operators actually want de-aggregation in order to attract traffic from neighbouring networks.

RIPE NCC Technical Services Update

– Kaveh Ranjbar, RIPE NCC

Kaveh gave an overview of the current status and future plans for the RIPE NCC’s technical services, including RIPE Atlas, RIPEstat, DNS services, research and analyses performed by the RIPE NCC, and plans for an expansion of the K-root name server cluster that will let organisations request their own K-root instance.

Nishal Goburdhan, PCH, said he is really excited about the K-root expansion since there are no instances in his region. He said that in his region it can be difficult to obtain specific hardware and asked about possible solutions for allowing other hardware if necessary. Kaveh responded that having different hardware can be beneficial for technical reasons, but that for maintenance reasons, the K-root expansion has been designed around one specific type of server. He said the RIPE NCC should look into ways to make this easier for organisations.

Nishal then asked about using a virtual model. Kaveh said the RIPE NCC had carefully considered that option but that it wasn’t feasible in practice for root name operators to run virtual machines for various reasons.

Nishal asked whether he could run a K-root instance in his home. Kaveh said the requirements and process for requesting instances will be published soon, and that the idea is for organisations with extremely stable connectivity to host the instances.

Nishal asked about Kaveh’s assertion that only three out of five K-root core nodes are needed in order to handle average peak traffic, and that it seemed to go against the standard recommendation that up to three times peak traffic should be covered. Kaveh explained that actually three core nodes would be able to handle six times this requirement.


– Santhosh Kumar, Etisalat

This presentation is not available online.

Santhosh promoted Etisalat’s new interconnection point in Fujairah, UAE.

Academic Research

Salam Yamout, RIPE NCC Executive Board, introduced the session by giving some background on the RACI (RIPE Academic Cooperation Initiative). She explained that RACI was set up after the RIPE NCC heard feedback, especially from the Middle East region, that there needed to be better links between the Internet community and the academic community.

She said this is a beneficial relationship for both sides, because the Internet community benefits from research that businesses usually don’t have time to carry out, and the academic world specialises in research and innovation that can have real-world benefits for operators. She said the RACI initiative brings new blood and new ideas into the community and helps to ensure a vibrant community well into the future.

Salam said the funding available through RACI means academics and researchers can travel to events like this one when they otherwise wouldn’t get the chance, allowing academics to build their contact networks, promote their work and develop their careers. She also said that their research is published on RIPE Labs.

Salam said the RACI program for MENOG 15 received 27 applications from all across the region, which is a fantastic response for its first instance at MENOG. She said the RACI presenters from MENOG may have a chance to present at RIPE Meetings to help build the relationships between the MENOG community and the RIPE community.

She continued that the program has had excellent feedback from the community and the model at MENOG is one that will continue to be used and perhaps expanded on for future events.

Closing Plenary


– Ramez Quneibi, Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization

This presentation is available (in Arabic) at:

This presentation was given in Arabic.

Lightning Talks

Six different speakers gave five-minute lightning talks on a range of topics from what to do about spamming and how network operators can benefit from academic partnerships, to a forecast of future IPv4 transfers and the IETF’s efforts to push IPv6.

  • IPScoring – request for feedback
    – Elvis Daniel Velea
  • Greasing the Wheels of the Internet Economy
    – Fahd A. Batayneh
  • Network Operations and Academia: Better Together
    – Zakaria Al-Qudah
  • IPv4 Transfers
    – Elvis Daniel Velea
  • Internationalized Domain Names
    – Abdalmonem Tharwat Ibrahim
  • Deploy360
    – Chris Grundemann

Open Mic: The Future of MENOG

Hisham Ibrahim, RIPE NCC, said that some attendees had asked for published information about how they can become further involved in MENOG. He said that the MENOG team will do this and encouraged everyone to start by getting involved on the MENOG Mailing List.

Elvis Velea, v4Escrow, said he noticed a change from previous MENOG Meetings and said he would like to see even more relevant topics and technical presentations, such as sharing IPv6 deployment and DNSSEC experiences.

There was a discussion about why most of the presentations at MENOG Meetings are given in English, as well as the merits of having translation services available.

There was a comment that if discussions that start during meetings don’t continue on the MENOG Mailing List, attendees have to wait until the next meeting to follow up on things. The suggestion was to think about other communication tools.

Rani Alami, Coolnet, brought forth the possibility of evaluating the different presentations given, the meeting itself, and having a follow-up with attendees on their experiences and opinions. Organisers asked about what attendees wanted, in terms of rating the presentations, having a follow-up session at the end of the meeting, etc. and asked everyone to keep in mind that each possibility carries its own cost. Rani also suggested that the Programme Committee (PC) get more information from presenters ahead of the meeting, in order to understand more about what they’ll be presenting.

Elvis also commented that attendance dwindles throughout the meeting compared to initial attendance numbers, as well as after session breaks, and suggested offering a prize at the end of the meeting to entice people to stay. Paul Rendek, RIPE NCC, suggested that networking is a very important part of the meeting and that it’s to be expected that not everyone will attend every session.

Philip Smith, MENOG PC Chair, said that people will attend the sessions interesting to them, and encouraged everyone to tell the PC what topics interest them most. Bijal Sanghani, EURO-IX, echoed Philip’s comments and said that feedback from meeting attendees is extremely valuable.

Yaman Hakmi, MENOG PC Co-chair, suggested doing more specific evaluations for each presentation. There was discussion about the merits of doing this online immediately after each presentation.

Bijal suggested that feedback on sessions and presenters would also be valuable. She also said that it’s more efficient to rate these things during the meeting itself, rather than after the fact. Elvis suggested that evaluating things both during the meeting and after the fact would be useful.

Osama Al-Dosary, MENOG Chair, said that at RIPE Meetings, there are two metrics for evaluation: the quality of the content and the quality of the presentation. He suggested both should be evaluated at MENOG Meetings as well.

There was a suggestion for attendees to receive an SMS during each presentation, asking them to evaluate the presentations. Several people said that would be expensive, but there are other channels that could be used. Osama asked Rani and Yaman to take on the issue of evaluation at future MENOG Meetings. Rani and Yaman said they would send a proposal within the next few weeks.

There was a suggestion for each MENOG Meeting to have a unique slogan for people to remember when they go home.

SdNOG said they could host a future MENOG Meeting. There was also an offer from several others.

Hisham extended a call for potential meeting hosts in the next three weeks.

Elvis asked about the frequency of MENOG Meetings going forward since there was only one this year, and MENOG Coordination Committee members explained that there will be two a year and that this year was an anomaly.

Osama said that some places are difficult as host sites because of political challenges, but that the team would work with any potential hosts who are interested.

Osama reviewed the tasks for the PC and others who gave their feedback: he asked Salam to help develop a survey to evaluate the meetings, Yaman to help think about translations, and Elvis to help solicit the kind of content he said he would like to see.

Closing Remarks

– Paul Rendek, RIPE NCC

Paul thanked everyone for attending and contributing to the success of the meeting. He also thanked all the sponsors and pointed out that this was the first MENOG Meeting that included media partners, saying it’s important to spread the word about what MENOG does. He also gave special thanks to MENOG PC Chair Philip Smith for all his work over the years, and Philip announced that this meeting will be his last as PC Chair but that he is confident future meetings will be successful.