25 Oct

NIXI root DNS servers and updates

Has been a while since I checked the status of root servers which are hosted at NIXI. The list as per their official member list stays the same i.e i root in Mumbai, K root in Noida and F root in Chennai. 

i root seems to be up!

K root seems to be down!

F root seems to be up!

Atleast while 2 out of 3 root servers seems to be up but for some reason my connection in Haryana isn’t  hitting i root. F root instance it is taking me there for sure. 

i root latency check from my home: 

That’s clearly too high latency. Latency from my location to Mumbai is typically 30-40ms. Let’s trace to the i root. 

Thus Airtel is taking me to all the way to London (while LNX = Airport code for Smolensk Airport, Smolensk, Russia but route clearly shows it’s being exchanged at LINX. Someone in Netnod got into habit of writing LINX as LNX which is confussing). 

I see the same by querying id.server and hostname.bind in CHAOS class.

So, for now, Airtel is preferring route learnt via LINX peering over route learnt at NIXI. In a check by all Indian RIPE Atlas probes, I see that out of 50 RIPE Atlas probes, 23 are hitting s1.mum in Mumbai, 19 are hitting LINX London (s1.lnx) and 1 (which is hosted on NKN) is hitting s1.amx in Amsterdam (json data here). 

Why this happens? 

It’s often the lack of peering and/or case of prefered routes. For smaller networks, it’s simply missing peering. For larger networks, it’s about which route they prefer, which not. Here’s a view of networks with their ASNs sorted by latency (wherever RIPE Atlas Probe) was present (measurement link here). 

So what can be done about it? 

NIXI needs to be more attractive to various (smaller) networks which clearly it is not since it just does not has any content player connected to it due to policy issue. Furthermore customers of Airtel need to buzz it and request for a better route to i root’s local instance. 

Comments & thoughts expressed in the post are personal and have nothing to do with my employer. I am also volunteering for supporting tech platform for BharatIX to facilitate peering.

26 Oct

K root route leak by AS49505 – Selectel, Russia

There seems be an ongoing route leak by AS49505 (Selectel, Russia) for K root server.

K root server’s IP:
Origin Network: AS25152


Here’s trace from Airtel Looking Glass, Delhi PoP


The routing information (show route output) from their looking glass doesn’t seems useful since it shows that it’s learning K root Noida route via NIXI. This is likely because routing information is different from actual forwarding information in that device.

So the trace looks extremely weird. It’s leading traffic to K root which does has anycast instance in Noida, landing into Russia!


Why is that happening?

Let’s look at what Tata Communications (AS6453) routing table has for K root’s prefix. I am looking at feed of AS6453 which it’s putting into RIPE RIS RRC 03 collector.

anurag@server7:~/temp$ awk -F ‘|’ ‘$5==6453’ rrc03-table-26-Oct-2015.txt|grep
TABLE_DUMP_V2|10/26/15 08:00:03|A||6453||6453 20485 49505 25152|IGP


Let’s analyse this AS_PATH

  1. AS25152 is orignating prefix to AS49505 (Selectel Russia)
  2. AS49505 is “leaking” route to it’s upstream AS20485 (Trans Telecom, Russia)
  3. AS20485 is further propagating route to Tata Communications AS6453 making route visible globally via Tata Communications IP backbone


What impact of it?

Impact is much higher latency with K root from India. Here’s how RIPE Probe 170111 hosted at my home finds latency to K root:



As per graph change, leak started on 24th Oct at 9am UTC and this resulted in jump of latency of over 180ms.


Disclaimer: Post, comments, thoughts and analysis is in personal capacity and in no way linked to my employer.

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.