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News from the AGM

Another great AGM done and dusted! Thank you to all who came and the Committee and staff who helped make the meeting happen. We sent out a post-event survey that returned some overwhelmingly positive feedback. Thank you to those who completed the survey; your feedback is valuable and always welcome. For those who were unable to attend, if you would like to see the AGM slides, they are available for download.  

Held at The Longroom in Ponsonby, Auckland, the meeting kicked off with the usual meeting open and a report from the Chair. Chris gave us a great overview of each IX, the Committee, and its plans in general. Dave followed on and gave us the Treasure’s Report, we won’t rehash the details here, but he gave us a nice summary of FY21/22 and an excellent breakdown of expenditure (past and future). You can access the financial report anytime on our website if you’re interested. Tom delivered the Secretary’s Report, and for those who know Tom you would know that he resides in the US and managed to make it over to deliver the Report IN PERSON! It was great to catch up with him again over a beverage rather than a laptop screen. He reported that we have seen a growth rate of 88.5% since 2018 and 2.08% since 2021, and continued to talk about our policies, the Incorporated Societies Act 2022 and our Service Agreement with IAA. Followed by another international traveller, Aaron Chidiac, delivered the Technical Report, giving us a detailed overview of network traffic and future plans.  

The evening quickly moved into the Committee Election, and it was announced that we had four nominees: Greg Wills (NOW NZ LTD), Jocelyn Bateman (Amazon), Liam Farr (ISP Limited) and Simon Allard (2degrees). The votes were very close, with Jocelyn Bateman being newly elected and Simon Allard being re-elected. We’re so happy to have Simon returning and Jocelyn joining us! Thank you to all who submitted nominations and nominees who were not elected this time; we appreciate the community support and wish you all the best.  

The meeting closed soon after, with Chris delivering other business and closing the meeting. There were a few questions during the open discussion on the IX, and the evening ended with some much needed in-person socialising! 
 

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Vocus has been in contact and has requested that we move racks! This will take place as soon as the new rack is delivered and our MTP structured cabling + dual-power is ready for use. At this site, we initially deployed hardware in the shared community rack, but as we grew and the site evolved, we moved our 100G hardware to a dedicated half rack which has continued to be our main presence since. However, there are still a few customers in the shared rack hanging off a legacy 48x 10G port device.  

A simple three-step process is underway to migrate everything: 

Step one 
Migrate any core links out of the shared rack to go via our existing MTP structured cabling from the OFDF directly to our current dedicated rack. For us, this work was completed on Monday, 29 August 2022 (https://status.ix.nz/incidents/2hdzwm79xqr1) and went well as expected with no issues.  

Step two 
Complete an audit of each existing customer in the shared rack and determine if we can migrate them to go via the existing structured cabling system. This is currently underway by the DC, and once verified, individual members will be notified of an estimated 10min outage of their 10G port as we migrate it to our dedicated rack into our 100G switch. Once completed, this will allow us to vacate the shared rack and decommission legacy hardware – WOOHOO!  

Step three 
This step is pending rack readiness which is expected to be around mid-October, and involves migrating all customers to the new rack in one fell swoop! All affected members will receive an outage notice two weeks prior to the commencement of work including details of what to expect as works are completed. Spare hardware is ready for this so that it will be a simple config clone, shut down the existing device, re-patch the MPO connector ends of the structured cabling at the OFDF to our new MTP cables toward the new rack, and just like magic, it will all come back up! 

It’s a simple process, but you must expect the unexpected. Rest assured, this is being planned meticulously to account for the unforeseen, and we will have techs onsite to resolve any immediate issues in addition to a large outage window to give the slack needed to do it right the first time!   

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Work is now underway to begin the Auckland Expansion project – codename AKL_EX22 – as it has now been officially approved by the NZIX Committee! The new point of presence, Datacom Orbit Drive, is at the sign-up and rack allocation stage, and contractors are being lined up to deliver 1x 96F MTP structured cabling to both telco rooms 1 and 2. New dark fibre paths will enter the data centre from separate entries and telco rooms to increase diversity.

The new MDR <> Datacentre220 path has been submitted to Chorus with an estimated eight-week lead time. While we patiently wait, our optical circulators (basically an external BiDi) are on order and will be ready for installation once the fibre is tested and ready for production. This will give us true physical diversity on this existing point-to-point path and will allow us to expand its capacity to 2x200G giving us 400G of available bandwidth between the sites – WOOHOO!

As most of you are aware, hardware delivery timeframes are currently unreliable with the chippaggeadon, so we’re waiting to confirm the actual dates of our 400G Muxponder+Transponder big $$ order to be delivered before locking in delivery dates for other fibre orders via Vodafone.

We hope to deliver on the project’s promises before the end of the year – a 400G redundant and diverse ring network incorporating a new point of presence, Datacom Orbit Drive, with a path forward to the 400G Switch + 800G/1.2T ring future. We will keep you all up-to-date on the progression of this project through our social media channels.

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Kia Ora

Welcome. We’ve had much change in our governance since we last talked so let’s kick off with that. I’m Dave, your new Chair, not to be confused with Dave, your old Tres. Chris is now Treasurer; I’m Chair. We swapped roles – not rigged at all. I’d like to thank Chris for his years of service as our previous Chair. Tom retains Secretary finishing out an officer election as predictable as UFB throughput – sorry, Aussies!

We also welcome Jocelyn Bateman to our committee. Jocelyn brings a wealth of experience to our virtual boardroom, not least from her current Global Interconnection Strategy role for AWS. We’re extremely fortunate to get the level of expertise that comes with the many internationals on our committee. Apologies, Jocelyn, for already loading you up with many roles! We thank the outgoing committee member, Barry Murphy, for his efforts at NZIX. I’m happy to say Simon was re-elected for another term at our recent AGM.

At the AGM, we presented our financials, tech, and other general admin, and then plied all attending with booze and grub – Marketing came up with the idea.

In useful stuff, we’ve commenced our Auckland ring upgrade, which will also incorporate Datacom Orbit Drive into our blazing new 400G ring. Orbit has been a long-requested data centre missing from our footprint, so we’re excited to finally commence this project. I’m sure Aaron gained worthy life experiences from submitting 47 different technical project plans over the last few months. We’ll keep you updated via our socials on how the project advances – or doesn’t, as often is the case with fibre/DC builds.

On the day of our AGM, we held a day-long committee strategy session with separate general governance and technical sessions. This was great; after years of endless Zooms, it was fantastic to see each other face to face and discuss the challenges and growth of the IXs. What could have taken days of VCs we nutted out in a one-day session. One outcome of that session was that we should stick to our knitting, that is, building and maintaining IXs, and not carry on with our Educational ISP concept (for now, at least).

Well, that should bring you all up to speed. There will be a test at the next AGM – the winner gets a bar tab.

Nga Mihi,

Dave Mill
Chair

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At last year’s AGM, Chris set a challenge for everyone to come up with ideas for investing the Society’s funds into some new initiatives. Some offered ideas straight away, with one particular idea really standing out – an educational ISP. In a nutshell, this project will create an environment where you can be shown a national New Zealand network working, be a customer of this network, go in there, change it, figure out how it works, break it, fix it and most importantly, LEARN! The educational ISP will also allow engineers to test out new technologies and features such as EVPN, segment routing, QoS and more. In the interest of the day to day running of it, we’ve thought about supplying the environment to educational institutions as a learning tool and providing guidance to them through a curriculum.

This idea is based on current issues with NZ network engineers: the lack of skill, an appropriate way of learning these important skills, learning the old ways of doing things to ensure engineers aren’t solely relying on automated systems and gender diversity. With the wide usage of the Internet, residential ISPs are no longer a feasible learning ground. In the good old days, breaking Paradise Net, Max Net, or Rural Link was the way engineers learned, and in this day in age, breaking a network and wiping people offline is a big no-no! There is also the issue of current engineers holding on to their jobs, preventing new blood from coming in, but one thing at a time – let’s start with educating the next generation!

As NZIX is in quite a neutral position between large and small industry players, we felt it was a good opportunity to build something that could neutrally benefit everyone. To achieve this vision, we’ve done a bit of homework and thought that we could use existing relationships to get cheap/free transit and IX services (we have already received some offers) and enable learners to get a Chorus connection into an NZIX lab at cost, although we are aware that we do not want to undercut our current members in a commercial sense. We’ve tossed around the idea of members needing to sponsor the person in order to access the ISP, but there are a few more ideas that we can explore in this space. We’ve started to chat with various vendors to provide switches/routers/BNGs and provide AAA containers, providing bandwidth (we’ve had some success for this one already), support, and licenses for hardware at no to low costs.

We are happy to report that we received a good amount of positive feedback at the NOG, with more offers of support from various organisations. We look forward to sharing more information with you all at the AGM.

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The plans are locked in for the upcoming AGM! You would have seen the save the date sent out earlier in June, inviting you all to register to attend. This year’s AGM will be a hybrid event with attendees having both options of attending in person or virtually via Zoom.

Date: Thursday, 28 July 2022
Time: 5:30pm, with formalities starting at 6:00pm NZST
Location: The Longroom, 114 Ponsonby Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland (or via Zoom)

We’ll be hearing from various committee members about the previous financial year, what we have achieved and learned, and future plans for the Society.

If you would like to join us in person, please RSVP via the Member Portal or email us at admin@ix.nz or to attend virtually, please RSVP via Zoom.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


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After being postponed, the NOG finally took place in May! It was a great couple of days starting with Dan Faulknor’s Bootstraping an ISP and finishing with Liam Farr’s Starlink Hacks – Hardware is Hard Easy. With a good turnout, we managed to catch up with a few members and handed out some of our swag!

IAA Peering Engineer, Aaron Chidiac, gave a fantastic, detailed update on our network, including details of our plan to upgrade AKL-IX and build the western path; he even threw in a few jokes for our entertainment! Our Chair, Chris Browning, followed on with an interesting update, where he discussed the potential new educational ISP and asked for industry feedback on the potential project.

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Recently, CHC-IX has seen more content members deploy, and our traffic levels have shot up to peaks of ~14Gbps. We expect growth to continue with more content providers coming onboard, providing local access to a plethora of content so users can access their favourite content across shorter paths.

May 2020
May 2021
May 2022

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Over the past three months, plans to build the new western path through Auckland have continued to be discussed with IAA’s Peering Engineer, Aaron, providing a detailed overview of the draft 1-2 year plan at NZNOG in May. The plan’s end goal is to have a 400G redundant and diverse ring with massively reduced single points of failure. Potential new sites include Datacom – 6 Orbit Drive, Rosedale, Auckland and CDC Hobsonville.

The 220Q site is seeing steady growth with four recent 100G orders (2x Zscaler and 2x Starlink). Our priority for this site is to insert a new 100G switch, totalling two, to terminate either end of the ring on each switch – giving us greater resiliency and members requesting multiple 100G can terminate on both switches. 

The MDR site is maintaining solid growth and port capacity is limited! In the near future, we will deploy a new 100G switch at the site as we have already installed an additional 96F structured cabling to the MOFDF.

The VDC Albany site is experiencing slower growth, and as per Vocus’ request, we are planning to migrate racks within our datahall and exit the shared rack to ensure all customers are via our structure cabling MTP system. As with 220Q, this site is also set to get another 100G switch for the AKL Expansion to ensure ring paths land on different hardware and are able to provide multi-100G to members across different switches.

The Datavault site is experiencing slower growth; however, we have recently deployed a Packet Clearing House (AS42 and AS3856) DNS server – provided by them – to help serve critical DNS infrastructure!

Check out the increase in traffic over the past two years, looking at three different graphs from the month of May.

May 2020
May 2021
May 2022

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We’re happy to report that Wellington has been off to a great start and continues to see more peers connecting every month. We are expecting more content providers to come onboard in the next few months, and we expect to see the traffic notably increase again! We’re always keen to see more content providers onboard as they are vital to good connectivity, so if you would like to see any particular CDNs on our network, let us know at admin@ix.nz

A quick reminder that it’s free to peer on WLG-IX until Tuesday, 1 November 2022 – get in quick to make the most of the free connectivity!    

December 2021
May 2022

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