06 Oct

K root server – Noida anycast and updates

K root in Noida seems to be not getting enough traffic from quite sometime and connectivity does seems bit broken. This is a blog post following up to Dyn’s excellent and detailed post about how TIC leaked the world famous address space used by AS25152. It was good to read this post from RIPE NCC written by my friend Emile (and thanks to him for crediting me to signal about traffic hitting outside!)


The route leak…

TIC AS48159 was supposed to keep the route within it’s IGP but it leaked it to Omantel AS8529 – a large International backbone which propagated route leak further to global table. It was mistake at by both players primarily by TIC for leaking route.


If we look at IPv4 route propagation graph of Omatel AS8529 on Hurricane Electric BGP tool kit, it shows two import ASNs:


Omantel IPv4 routing



This has AS9498 (Bharti Airtel) and AS6453 (Tata Communications). Both of these are extremely important networks and two of large International and domestic IP transit providers in India. Very likely Omantel is customer of Bharti Airtel and if we look at IRR record of Airtel as published in their peeringdb record: AS9498:AS-BHARTI-IN


Anurags-MacBook-Pro:~ anurag$ whois -h whois.apnic.net AS9498:AS-BHARTI-IN |grep -w AS8529
members: AS38476,AS45219,AS45264,AS45283,AS45514,AS45451,AS37662,AS45491,AS7642,AS45517,AS45514:AS-TELEMEDIA-SMB,AS45609,AS38740,As131210,AS45335,AS23937,AS132045,AS8529,AS132486,AS8164,AS133967,AS37048
Anurags-MacBook-Pro:~ anurag$


This also confirms the same. Airtel did picked this route and since it was a customer route, it had a higher local preference then the peering route Airtel learnt from NIXI Noida peering with  K root. For now route leak fixed and Airtel seems to be having good routing with K root anycast instance in Noida.


Current status

From Tata Communications – it’s yet not picking announcement of K root anycast instance from Noida since their peering session at NIXI Noida has been down from long time. NIXI moved over from STPI to Netmagic Sector 63 Noida in August (see heavy drop of traffic in NIXI Noida graphs here). From that time onwards Tata’s domestic backbone AS4755’s peering session seems down.


As per NIXI’s connected parties page, Tata Comm’s IP is From NIXI’s looking glass there seems to no peer on that IP !


Hence for now Tata Comm isn’t getting route at all from Noida instance and that explains reason for bad outbound path.


Example of trace from Tata Comm to K root:


even same stays for its downstream customers who have outbound via TCL:



Another issue which is causing serious trouble around K root is the fact that it appears to be broken IP transit pipe of K root Noida. Due to the way NIXI works, K root must have a IP transit pipe. I pointed long back about broken connectivity of root DNS servers due return path problems. After that both K root and i root got transit but seems like after NIXI moved over, IP transit has been broken for current setup in Netmagic.


Why “local node” of root server needs IP transit?

It needs transit because:

    1. NIXI has a weird pricing of “x-y” where requester pays and this leads to a quite high settlement amount for a network which has a high inbound traffic (eyeball network) – even few x times than that of transit! (paying 5Rs/GB!). This leads to scenario where networks do “partial prefix announcement” to keep their traffic balanced (or slightly in outbound direction) to avoid high settlement cost. Hence most of such eyeball networks announce their regional routes but avoid all routes while they still do learn K root’s route and inject in their IGP.This leads in case where K root’s is leant by networks in West and South India and hence there’s a forward path from customers >>> K root Noida node. Now since these networks aren’t announcing their West or South Indian routes at NIXI Noida, there’s no return path for packets. Thus for root DNS to stay operationally stable (which they should since they are critical) they must have transit / default route to return packets as last resort to IP’s which aren’t visible via peering.
    2. Similar case of some other random leaked routes. E.g if a large ISP decided to learn K root route and announce to customer’s table thus leading to Customer > Large network > K root Noida path while not announcing that customer’s route at NIXI resulting in no return path.



So in short – It does needs transit but just for outbound traffic, not for announcing routes on the transit.

I have informed of broken connectivity issue to RIPE NCC and their team is actively working on the fix. Hopefully it would be fixed very soon!


With hope that your DNS is not getting resolved from other side of world, good night! 🙂


Disclaimer: As usual – thoughts & comments are completely personal.

28 Sep

Good bye BSNL (AS9829) | New link at home!

A blog post dedicated to BSNL AS9829. It just tried so hard to become as irrelevant as it can from everyone’s life (and that doesn’t excludes me now).


So what really is BSNL btw?

  • A Govt of India telco sitting at a extensive fiber of over 600,000 Kms across the country (staying just unused and unavailable for anyone’s use!)
  • A telco which has an extensive last mile copper (which is very poorly maintained and barely works!)
  • A backbone with over 200Gbps of IP transit capacity (which completely sucks due to rotten routing)
  • An integrated telecom provider offering services from landline to DSL broadband, from leased line to datacenter services! (out of which everything fails miserably from product line to technical ground level operations)
  • An extensive manpower (which is terribly arrogant and from top to ground level staff anyone barely works!)
  • Although telecom industry just boomed, it went from 10,000 crore profits in 2004 to 8000 crore losses in 2015. And still politics goes around it!
  • While private sector was busy with focus on 4G LTE deployment, BSNL’s market share dropped below 10% in 2014
  • While private sector firms like Sterlite, Radius Infratel focused on FTTH rollouts, BSNL rolled out FTTH plans for 4000 INR/month for 50GB cap and FUP speed of (amazing) 512Kbps to ensure no one uses it
  • While Reliance Jio is about to come, Airtel is extensively launching 4G LTE, cool companies like ACT are getting more investment, BSNL is putting 6000 crore in public wifi infrastructure to give few mins of free wifi and with hop of users paying it afterwards. (Wow?!)


All above tells nothing but ways in which BSNL is 100% screwed up for now. I don’t expect it to ever pick up again. Politically, technically, and fundamentally it’s a mess.

I became BSNL broadband user in 2008 and it has been over 7 years of (painful and terrible) experience with them. As a company which put so much of infrastructure to connect India worked extremely hard to do as many stupid things as possible. For me trouble remained that in my city they were only wired telecom provider for retail services.


Last month I got a long haul circuit from Airtel (provisioned on fiber) between my city and a friend’s ISP PoP for 10Mbps bandwidth. Circuit is delivered at a Airtel BTS site location (slightly away from my home) and I have installed Microtik SXT Lite 5’s shooting link from there to my home (around 1km link with clear LoS). This is a usual long range fixed wireless RF link over un-licensed 5.8Ghz band. (Thankyou govt. of India for delicensing it in 2007 and making available for public use). Thanks to companies like Microtik and Ubiquiti for opening up world of good fixed wireless radios and antennas which really work great and are available for quite good prices. I got pair of SXT Lite5’s from Amazon.in at 7700 INR (~$116).

Fortunately BTS site has a private WISP tower and the owner of tower agreed to let me use his tower for my radio for reasonable price.



Some statistics about my new link


Airtel BTS site

Airtel BTS Site




LoS of tower (from home)




Radio at my rooftop

Radio on rooftop



(Water tanks pipes were tall enough that I didn’t had to mount any pole and used those pipes)


Closer look

Radio at home


Link quality checks

Radio link stats


I am getting end to end bandwidth of around 35Mbps between radios (while provisioned bandwidth is 10Mbps on backend). I am using 5Mhz of channel bandwidth with 802.11 protocol and usual WPA2-PSK works to have encryption between radios.

End to end latency between Rasberry Pi (connected via wired to my home router) to other end radio:


And lastly speedtest from a server far away from here:



(Note: Hided ISP name to avoid un-needed DDoS attack on them which are hitting my blog from few weeks)



Some thoughts on fixed wireless links

  1. Work great if LOS and free channels are there. India does has serious problem of very low unlicensed open spectrum permitted for outside use.
  2. Hard to predict capacity for large country like India – may work somewhere, may not somewhere.
  3. WISP stupidly use 20Mhz and HT beams of 40Mhz when even 5Mhz can do job for many of their links. (More “bandwidth” usage = reducing channels for others + more potential chances of interference).
  4. Links work well given 1st Fresnel zone is cleared. Special thanks to my friend Brough Turner for pointing this out. He runs an ISP based on this technology in Boston & surrounding areas. (Checkout netblzr)
  5. Fixed wireless is NOT mobile wireless (understand the difference!).
  6. Some other successful ISPs using this technology – MonkeyBrains in San Francisco (on unlicensed spectrum) and Webpass (using microwave links).
  7. Tikona in India used it a bit but with mesh to increase coverage and eventually got a network with latency & packet loss issues. Wireless links work well but for point to point and very little point to multi-point. Not good choice for a large network with wireless nodes acting as transport in between. Indian media as usual stupidly took technology as swiss knife solution to broadband issues. (checkout NDTV review of Tikona).
  8. Tech and NOG community across India have to support for more un-licensed spectrum for use in India. (Excellent article on this here)
  9. I am overall motivated by excellent paper – America’s Broadband Heros which gave very detailed understanding of technology and limitations
  10. I am overall happy with 2.5x increase in download speed but a whopping 20x increase in upload speeds. Fixed wireless has a good edge over upload speeds when compared to DSL


Ending this blog post with Cacti graph of my home broadband connection for last one month. There’s high amount of systematic transfers of routing table data and some other stuff. I do keep a Rasberry Pi running all the time as home server. 🙂


Home Broadband Graph