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Bird Spy provides detailed information on individual route servers status

The very first open source project of the NIX.CZ Association is a tool called Bird Spy. It is based on a product called Bird's Eye (also open source) created within the Euro-IX Association, mostly on the premises of the Irish peering node, INEX.

The main goal of Bird Spy is to monitor the status of individual route servers and evaluate operational data, chiefly for monitoring purposes. The secondary goal is then to allow members and customers a remote view of their interconnections within the NIX.CZ platform. The BIRD Spy tool provides a detailed view of the status of individual connections, the transmission of routing information and compliance with network security. A novelty of these route servers is also the direct support of the Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI), which serves to mitigate the consequences of incorrectly reported routing information.

What are route servers?

At the beginning of this year, the NIX.CZ Association introduced completely redesigned route servers. This, now the basic service of each interconnection node, ensures secure, controlled and transparent interconnections of subscriber networks. In addition to direct connections, route servers also enable fast connections of new networks, without the need to configure each network separately, which greatly simplifies the management and setup of routing protocols. Thanks to the already built-in security filters, such a connection is also protected against configuration errors or misuse.

Route servers are used to exchange routing information between interconnection partners using the BGP protocol. Data traffic that does not flow through these servers is the control part of network routing (control-plane). Route servers, which are duplicated in each segment (to ensure their high availability), pass instructions on where to route traffic based on data from individual networks.