West Africa Peering Forum 2021 (ENGLISH)

West Africa Peering Forum 2021 (ENGLISH)

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GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA: Good morning.  Good afternoon, everyone.   My name is Ghislain Nkeramugaba, and I am  your host today for the West African Peering   Forum 2021, and I am delighted to be here. On the agenda today, we have a good program.   Today we will be looking at the peering and  interconnection ecosystem in West Africa.  

Our first panelist will give a brief on the  current situation as far as IXP are concerned.   We will delve into building large infrastructure  communication, where we will have Ndiogou Fall for   Orange and Ben Roberts from Liquid Intelligent  Technologies. We will move forward and talk   about security with Team Cymru. Brian Davenport  is on the team today to talk about security.   And we will finish with Aderemi Adejumo, who  will be talking about cloud infrastructure.   The objective of the meeting  today is really to look at   what can we do as people who are interested  in peering and interconnection in West Africa,   what can be done to improve networks connectivity  and push high speed and reliable, resilient   Internet to the people still underserved at a low  cost as much as possible. That's the reason why we   are looking at a large spectrum of things today. We want to thank our sponsors. Flexoptix is the  

simultaneous interpretation service provider  or the sponsor, and we want to say a big   thank you to Flexoptix. We are as well thanks  PAIX, WAPF, AFRINIC, MainOne, RackCentre,   Facebook, and Team Cymru for make this possible. A  big thank you to those who are representing those   organizations here. So the speakers we have today.   We have Muhammed Rudman. Muhammed Rudman is the  CEO and founder of IXP Nigeria. He will be the  

one giving his first remarks. Then we will have  Ndiogou Fall and Ben Roberts, Liquid Intelligent   Technologies. We will have Brian Davenport from  Team Cymru, and we will have as well Aderemi   Adejumo from Cloudflex. So without further ado,  let me ask the technical team to put the first  

slide and request Muhammed to take the floor  to go through his opening remarks. Thank you.   MUHAMMED RUDMAN: Thank you so much, Ghislain.  Before I proceed, since we are from West Africa,   I am delighted with what ISOC is doing here today,  but again, all the various stakeholders from the   different West African countries to engage  with them regarding improvement and peering,   all that you have been doing, fantastic job in  the African region. But focusing on West Africa  

now is something that gladdened our hearts. So  thank you so much, Ghislain and all the team   behind you in ISOC. Thank you so much. West Africa is one of the five regions of Africa,   and there are 16 countries in the region. Out of  those 16 countries, there are 13 countries that   have IXPs. In fact, in the last ten years , there  were only 3 IXPs Nigeria, Ghana, and Abidjan. But   now with what ISOC and others have been doing, we  have seen significant improvement. We now have 13   countries with IXPs. Those countries that  do not have are Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau,  

and Niger. So about 19% of West African  countries do not have an exchange point.   I put Sierra Leone there, even though it  was recently launched, so in some records   you might not necessarily find it. So this is to just show us what is   possible . Of course, Nigeria is leading the way  with 271 Autonomous System Numbers from AFRINIC,   and the total of around 252. West Africa is second  in Africa. Because South Africa is the highest,   South Africa region is the highest with over 800  Autonomous System Numbers, and East Africa is the   third with around 316 Autonomous System Numbers.  Below you will see the graph of the growth   of those autonomous numbers over the years from  2006, and that was the year that some of the West   African countries started to establish Internet  exchange points, like for example, in Nigeria,   we commenced in that 2006. Most of them  started around that period, and that's when  

some of the smaller service providers  started acquiring Autonomous System   Numbers just to peer at the various exchanges. So this is the total traffic from all the various   exchange points. We have around 355 gigabits  per second, and that is the total for the   region. And if you compare it with other regions  of Africa, it is South Africa that is ahead  

of this region when it comes to traffic. You know,  that's because of the NAPAfrica and Johannesburg   and other exchanges in South Africa. Just  to give us an idea of the traffic within   the region, and the traffic for each country. So  Nigeria has the highest population, so of course,  

it has the highest figures; followed by Ghana,  you know, which has around 80 gigabits per second;   then you have Burkina Faso, that has around 11  gigabits; while the rest are all small traffic.   Next slide, please. So that does it. It's just to give   a background to the peering ecosystem in West  Africa, the countries that have exchange points   and the ones that do not have, so it's a very  short slide. Thank you so much, Ghislain.   Thank you. I will be available for questions. GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA: Thank you. Thank you,   Muhammed, for your remarks. Yes, there are  still work to be done in those countries   where we don't have exchange point because it is  the beginning of the peering and interconnection.  

It starts there first, and then later  on it moves into a bigger ecosystem.   our next speaker is going to talk about  the project by Orange in West Africa,   and I would like to hand over to Ndiogou just  now, who is going to talk to us about the project,   and over to you, Ndiogou. NDIOGOU FALL: Thank you.   Thank you for allowing me  this opportunity to speak.   I am the expert from Orange in this area,  and as you said, I am going to talk about   the project, Djoliba. It's a project that aims  to connect the main capitals of West Africa.   It's a major project that we began to connect  the cities in Africa using underwater sea cables.   So I am going to provide some key information,  and then I am going to talk about the current   situation in West Africa, then opportunities  that are available from the Djoliba project. 

This is the current situation in West  Africa. There are already some connections in   East Africa which have already been mentioned,  and in East Africa, there is a lot of we noticed   there wasn't an integrated network, and Orange  is aiming, therefore, to connect the capitals   in this region. So we are going to hopefully  connect the countries in Burkina Faso and Mali.  So these are the opportunities that  are available. The aim is to secure  

the network in this region using the regional  backbone. So we aim to make these networks secure.   And the possibility of resolving problems  arising from cables being broken, land   cables being broken. So this project  is aiming to develop the ecosystem.   We want to improve the client experience in the  region. We want to create an integrated system   without going through operators. So we had to do  it country by country using national operators.   And that was very difficult. And we needed to  there were lots of people taking part and had  

something to say. To go from Dakar without any  interruption, it was a difficult project.   So here are the advantages offered by Djoliba.  As I said, fiber optic cable through underwater   sea cable. So the traffic will travel on the  underwater cables, and that way there will only   be one point of contact to create a connection  between Dakar to Nigeria and reduce the problems.  

Also, we are very committed to quality, and  also, if we are able to deal with problems   relating to the cable, the underwater  cable. And we create locally managed   networks from in Senegal. So here you can see the  architecture of 10,000 kilometers of fiber optic   cable. So 2569 kilometers in Mali. 3353 kilometers  in the Ivory Coast, and Burkina, 955 kilometers.   So we are looking at 10 gigabytes using POPs in  each country, from Dakar Ouakam, Dakar Medina.   We have some in Mali as well. In terms  of the Ivory Coast, we have other POPs,  

and Burkina Faso, we are also present there.  And Ouaga Balkuy, on the border with Ghana,   we have other presence there. Accra, Rack  Africa, and the Lagos Rack Center. Of course,   there are other sites in other countries, but  in terms of the project, these are the countries   where we are doing the most work on the project. So here you can see how we have connected the   cables overland with the underwater sea cables.  We have also connected the Ivory Coast to   Burkina Faso, and we can see that we've done  this through the cities that are on the border   from Guinea, we can go to Ghana and  then on to Nigeria. Of course, there is  

an underwater cable that links these, so there  are three ways of connecting this network.   So here you can see the structure of  the network, which is made up of IP   equipment that are interconnected, and  it's the IP network that's going to give us   sufficient capacity, transmission capacity, and  the interconnection between the various countries.   So you can see the route that the connectivity  takes right to Nigeria from Senegal.   This is WDM architecture, and it's based on the  same principle. Fiber optic cables have been  

deployed in different countries, and it goes from  Senegal to Mali, Cote d'Ivoire, the Ivory Coast,   and potentially on to Liberia and Sierra Leone.  You will see that in the following slides.   So Djoliba, this is what it can offer at  the moment in terms of 85 POPs available   across the world and 13 POPs in Africa. So we  have our strategy for growth has allowed us to   create a connectivity in this area of Africa  and go from Dakar to Nigeria. So these are the   areas that we have created the connectivity. So it's been a very good strategy in Africa.   It's a more dedicated and singular  approach. Before it was difficult to  

create links between countries. Each operator,  we had to negotiate with each operator,   and obviously, there were issues of competition,  but thanks to this implementation of Djoliba, we   are able to provide a transmission network  that connects these countries much more easily,   either using an international private line or  an EVPL, and 100 gigabyte transmission level.   So this shows you the solutions that Orange are  able to deploy using Djoliba with allowing free   access to mobile data thanks to these networks.  And the networks will be far more extensive in   Africa, and of course, all of the services will  benefit from Orange's portfolio of security.  

This is how things were before. So if  there was a client or an operator in Dakar,   for example, they had to go down,  in order to connect to Ouagadougou,   they had to go through different operators,  and they had to negotiate with Sonatel   or other operators to connect through this  link. But each operator had to negotiate with   operators in every country. And they had no  choice about who they had to negotiate with.   Therefore, we have overcome these  problems, these difficulties.  

And now, this is the Djoliba network. You  can see that we have created a cluster and,   therefore, it's a centralized network that  we can offer from Senegal, the Ivory Coast,   on to Nigeria, end to end network.  And the network is able to   it's one single connectivity network with one  single point of contact. And thanks to Djoliba,   it's possible to be connected in this area  of Africa. It's very simple, and it's very  

simple to be negotiated, to negotiate the  transmission and the access and connectivity.  And that's Djoliba. It's not going to stop there.  It will continue to other countries, Liberia   and Sierra Leone and Mauritania, so that would  be the next phase, and this will be an integrated   network. At the end of 2022, we hope to have a  fully integrated network over those countries.   GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA: Thank you very much. You  have even answered the question already about   Liberia, which was asked in the Chat, and you have  answered that. It's going to be dealt with.   Thank you very much indeed, Ndiogou. You  can have a look at the questions in the Q&A  

and perhaps answer them directly. Then we will  have an opportunity to ask more questions.   Ben, it's over to you. Tell us  more about Mombasa to Kinshasa.   BEN ROBERTS: Hi. Thank you, Ghislain.  And welcome, everybody. So my name   is Ben Roberts, and I am with Liquid Telecom. So yeah, so I really want to talk about Mombasa   Kinshasa. We have recently changed our name from  Liquid Telecommunications to Liquid Intelligent  

Technologies. Internally, we call ourselves LIT.  Today I will be saying Mombasa to Kinshasa is LIT,   and I will be suggested that Africa  is no longer a dark continent.   I have said things before, but just to recap,  we have seen a few trends during the pandemic of   traffic on the Internet. We have seen traffic  shifting from I think using Internet in the  

offices a lot to using Internet at home, but  more importantly, we have seen an uptick in   collaboration, this is adoption of  Microsoft Teams, Office 365, but   we have seen a huge uptick in  collaboration, video, and file sharing   as we are working in new and different ways  in the pandemic, and even this webinar is a   demonstration of this. We wouldn't have been  doing this two years ago. We would have gone   and meeting in Lagos or something for this  meeting. So it's a demonstration of what we   are doing. So traffic on the Internet is shifting  between networks, but it's being exchanged at IXPs  

between the consumer networks, business networks.  But traffic is predominantly shifting to Cloud.   And IXPs are being used to exchange  traffic between operators.   The new normal, it's exposed the digital  divide, but it's made us, as humans, transform   in the way we do things. We have had to adapt.  For those that were quite digital anyway, we have   changed our digital habits, put it that way. I am going to recap because I am going to talk   about latency and the laws of physics. It's  pretty simple theories and some constants,   which basically tell you what the RTT, the  latency is. It's a factor of distance. So  

if you have a glass, that's about two thirds the  speed of light, and the delay is really caused by   the distance between two points on the network. As  a couple of physicists here, Isaac and Newton, but   underneath that is Captain Scott of the Starship  Enterprise, and he was an engineer that did a lot   of great engineering things, but he recognized  you can't change the laws of physics.   So in 2018, I talked about Mombasa Kinshasa,  but I talked about how traffic was routing   across South Africa from east to west. Back then,  although it was only about 4,000 kilometers,   the shortest route from Mombasa to Kinshasa, it  is taking a lot longer, should be 38 milliseconds,   that latency, by distance. But taking a lot  longer. Traffic was coming from Mombasa,   it was heading to Europe, going into  France, going into London, and then back   around to Kinshasa, so we were seeing traffic  exchanged in Europe, but more importantly as well,   between English speaking and French speaking  countries. We are seeing traffic passing through  

both Paris and London in particular. So that  was taking about 300 milliseconds of latency,   so it should have been 40 milliseconds,  and it's taking nearly 300.   So things have moved on. We have been busy  building infrastructure. We are working hard   on these routes, but there are about three we  are really working on across the continent, but   the southern east west route is complete, which  is going all the way from Kinshasa, going into   Tanzania, crossing Africa that way. We are working  on a pink route, you see there, is between Kananga   and Rwanda, which will make it even shorter. But  just on the left you've got a picture of Africa at  

night, and this is the lights coming from street  lamps and other things. And you see that these new   routes are really crossing large areas, which are  not completely dark, but pretty dark. Not as dark   as Sahara, but we are lighting up fibers through  areas which are actually quite highly populated,   but they have big spaces in between of uninhabited  land or dense forests, which you know, are causing   some which have hindered progress in building  the infrastructure, put it that way. So   the roads and other infrastructures across  these regions have been underdeveloped.   Now this is what has changed  in terms of latency.   This is the route which is active, the  southern route, Kinshasa, Lubumbashi,   Zambia. It's limit is 72 milliseconds. It can  be 150 milliseconds. Signal IP equipment and  

MPLS equipment adds on a bit of time and delay  to any end packets being moved, but we are really   getting quite close to that. And then when the  route is finished, it will knock it down. That's   a big difference, from satellite latencies to  15 milliseconds, it means you can play Internet   games with each other, multi player video games.  You can do other things that were not available   with the high latencies that were there. Now, as well as reducing latency, these new routes   that we are deploying are impacting millions  of people by addressing gaps in what we call   the first mile or the middle mile. The  first mile is the sort of main routes to   get from sub sea cables or peering points to  the main cities, so in South Sudan last year,   we first got into Juba with the first fiber  into Juba, so addressing the first mile issue.   In the DRC case, that route is accessing cities  Sango, Bindu, these are not small places,   not villages. These are places with over  a million people, some of these places.  

Very populace settlements and large  places that have never had fiber before,   only relied on satellites and high latency. So  really making a difference on the middle mile.  But it comes with some challenges,  and you know, just mentioning Juba,   I haven't got any pictures of this to show,  but I mentioned before we had to do quite a   lot of demining on the routes. There was a lot  of unexploded artillery from recent conflict that   prevented such infrastructure from being built.  And in DRC, we have some quite enormous river   crossings to do here, and there are no bridges. We  are looking at using pylons to cross these rivers.  

This is not even the River Congo. This is  near I can't remember the cities, but it's   over a kilometer of water we have to cross with  fiber optic cable. Things we have done before.   When we are doing things like this, although  we are crossing fiber and using pylons, we have   been deploying and using free space optics  technology, what we call FSOT. We used it some   years ago to cross the what was it? the Limpopo  River, but now the bandwidths available on this   technology are much higher, and the devices  we are using, free space optics, capable of   doing two times ten gigabits per seconds, so  quite high bandwidth to cover short distances,   much more capacity, and you can get radio links. The other picture on the right,   this is the N2 route, the route we are taking  from Kananga to Goma. This is the route. We are   building fiber in areas where roads have not yet  been constructed. I think at some point roads  

will come. There's been a lot of infrastructure  development across the continent. But there is   some of the engineering challenges we are having  to solve. And you know, we announced last week   that this route was being built in partnership  with Facebook, and obviously one of our sponsors   today. Part of the partnership we have with  Facebook is just working together to solve   these challenges. And they have got some good  engineers at Facebook, and they have got unique   techniques of satellite imagery and artificial  intelligence, adding skills to what we can do   with our people on the ground and our knowledge  and experience of building fiber. So working   together in partnership to solve some of these  massive challenges that we have to deal with. 

I am going to come back to digital divide,  one of my favorite subjects at the moment is   talking about education is the key to unlock rural  connectivity. But much as we are doing relevance   all the time in the first mile, middle mile, there  is a lot of development that needs to be done on   what we call the last mile, which is connecting up  villages, communities, people, and schools. So we   have done a lot of work in this regard, but I  think the pandemic exposed the digital divide,   but no more so than in education. So it's going to  be our aim to carry on to universities and to try   and impact all the schools that we can connect. Part of what we are doing which is unique on the   DRC project, we have a school mapping project  where we are mapping out all the schools in the   area where we operate. But as we are building  the fiber in DRC, our contractors on the ground   are not only building fiber, but they are also  collecting data to tell us where the schools are,   all the schools that are near the fiber. We are  mapping those out and showing their proximity to  

the fiber with an aim to getting them connected.  So you know, we will obviously put the fiber in   first, but then we know where we are, so we have  the information, we have the data so that we can   sustainably get connectivity to the settlements  close to the fiber, not leaving anyone behind.   When we are building long distance fiber, where  there is a small village, there is a school, we   don't want to leave that community unconnected. Then the big impact of kind of megatrends going on   in African networks is that globally, there are  a lot of cloud providers, cloud is expanding and   being invested in. We are seeing investments where  you have hyper to users being developed. We are   seeing in other cities like Lagos, Nairobi, the  case for edge caches, where they are being put in   to tap into data. All this is part of the  development. Having the east west routes,  

it's not just about connecting those areas  to the unconnected, but it's going to enable   users in Lagos, in Kinshasa, anywhere  in West Africa to access those routes,   to access Cloud servers in Nairobi, Mombasa,  United Arab Emirates in the Middle East,   while it's going to be speeding up  and reducing the time it takes to   process packets. It's going to impact our  quality experience when using cloud.   Then the 2020 figures showing gradual expansion  of the intra African traffic. We are seeing   still in the West African perspective a lot of  traffic flowing between Nigeria and Ghana, and   I think the figures that Muhammed showed for the  capacities in the Internet exchanges I think are   proof to this. I was very surprised and interested  to see how much traffic is being exchanged in   Burkina Faso. That was unexpected for me. But we  are starting to see more of the West African being   interexchanged between the countries, and the  Orange network will be developing that as well.  

But what is going to happen is as we get more as  cloud is going to be developing in those major   cities, cloud will be developing in Lagos and  Kenya, in South Africa, more cloud coming, we will   see more and more of these routes, we will see  more traffic flowing to West Africa, particularly   Nigeria to Kenya, but we will see DRC to Kenya as  well. All using these paths, these superhighways.   It's not just about Congo. So it's going to be  influencing all the way the traffic flows. And I   think in about 2014 there were some sub sea cable  cuts in the Red Sea, multiple cables were cut,   and at that time, we called up SEACOM and asked  them to move up all our capacity we had going   from East Africa to Europe, we moved all that  capacity between East Africa and South Africa,   and these events that have happened have changed  the way that the traffic have flowed. And I will   probably predict that at some point cables going  from West Africa towards Europe will probably get   cut, and then we might see a shift, a change in  behavior where West African networks will suddenly   start sourcing their Internet from South Africa,  from Kenya. We need more interconnection between  

the big networks and big backbones in the region. But then just lastly, I want to touch upon   digital trade and digital innovation. I think what  excited me most and we talk about the Africa free   trade area, but all these emerging tech startups  are (video froze) that is going to be afforded   by this inter African connectivity. It's going  to enable Nigerian countries to spread their   services to East Africa, Southern Africa,  and North Africa. I think for me that's an   exciting point. Other industries like banking,  as well, will benefit from this. But for me,   it is the this is the growth area that is  going to be fueling the growth of future   networks. So thank you very much. I am looking  forward to having good questions. Thanks.  

GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA: Thank you, Ben. It's  really packed and full of questions, and probably   you mentioned and that will be probably  a question to think about, but it will   be my first question when we go to Quan. So you  talked about the civil engineering challenges.   So should we assume that all the other challenges,  like cross border, are no longer there?   Those are the things that we want to know more  when you have when we go into the Q&A session.   So just for a minute, not to take too  much time on the presentation, let me   welcome Brian Davenport from Team Cymru, who  will just give us his presentation on security.   We talked about infrastructure. Ben touched a  little bit about cloud solutions, so how do we  

secure all these in exchange points? Brian, over  to you to talk about what Team Cymru is doing.   BRIAN DAVENPORT: So first of all, thank you for  having me on, and I was just looking, you got over   a hundred attendees, so that's really  awesome for the first one of these. So   again, thank you all for your time. So just myself. I will go through this really  

quick. I am part of the outreach team here at Team  Cymru, and basically, what we do is webinars like   this, and we build free tools for the community.  Right? So who doesn't love free stuff? Team Cymru,   in and of itself, has multiple divisions, which  I will talk a little bit about, but really,   we are going to focus on how you can use the  free offerings that the outreach team has built   as an IXP or an ISP to help secure your  infrastructure and kind of what that means.   I do have a dog, and normally you would see  the dog sleeping behind me, but I have the   green screen up today, so I  got the background going.   All right. So outreach. So free tools are awesome.  We really we have two more that are going to be  

announced soon that we have been working on. But  the really popular ones for, like, IXPs and ISPs   are the bogon reference, which we have. So we kind  of grab all of the IP addresses that shouldn't be   allowed out on the Internet, so you can think of  private addresses, addresses that have not yet   been registered, and basically provide that as a  list you can download. So people will use that for   traffic filtering. Right? So not allowing bogons  on the Internet. It's a free service. You can   peer with us to grab the list, and it's really  popular. People sign up for it every day.  

Nimbus is one that we have recently  built, and what we kind of saw was   there's a lot of, like, enterprise grade  or even open source NetFlow collectors   that you kind of have to build yourself. But we  thought we had a really interesting place to fit   by offering a free flow collector. And really, if  you don't know much about Team Cymru, that's fine,   but the enterprise side of it or I guess the  part of the company that keeps the lights on,   right, and sells product really has a  really high fidelity host reputation list.   So it's regarded as one of the best in the  world. You can think like antivirus vendors  

or firewall vendors might subscribe to that  list in order to OEM it into their product.   What Nimbus does is it allows for that particular  ISP to get the host reputation list for free in   reference to the IP addresses that they transport.  Right? So basically think if you are an Internet   service provider, all of the traffic that's going  across your network you can compare to these   host reputation lists for free and it will give  you alerting and also give you statistics on   peering information. But really, the goal there  with most of these products is to give away or   give back to the community in a way that they  can get some of this technology that's sometimes   prohibitively expensive for free, and from a  service provider, it's great because, you know,   you can provide downstream reporting to  your customers, or if you are an IXP,   right, in a lot of your the people that are peered  with you are utilizing something like Nimbus,   it's a way to monitor all the bad traffic and try  to reduce that, so more bandwidth for everybody. 

And then Unwanted Traffic Removal Service  or UTRS. Again, DDoS mitigation can be very   expensive. This is a community DDoS mitigation  project that has close to 2,000 members or 2,000   ISPs would be a better way to say that, and some  very large ones that we are very thankful for   participating in it. You can kind of think of  it as remote trigger black hole but a little   more global where Team Cymru facilitates  it as the steward of the announcements. So   Internet service provider A or entity A is under  a DDoS attack. They can make a BGP announcement to   Team Cymru, and then we basically propagate that  announcement out to everybody within the UTRS   ecosystem, and locally they will  black hole the traffic. It gives you  

all this traffic that's flowing across here that  shouldn't be, it gives us the ability to cut it   off locally at each ISP that's participating  in UTRS. And we have UTRS 2.0 coming out,   which is going to add a lot more features  like flow spec and some more IPv6 support.   Yeah, but totally, teamcymru.com. Go to Free  Services, it's all free to use, feel free to  

sign up, check it out. If you have any questions  about anything, feel free to put it in the Q&A.   Also, for CSIRT, this is one of the ways we  try to make the Internet a better place as well   is the anybody that's in national SIRT, we will  actually give them the entire reputation list   for their region, so their whole constituency,  so it gives them the ability to see,   for the people that are kind of within our  organization, you know, what kind of bad traffic   are they producing, and then there is an  ability where they can send daily reports to   the people within their constituency to help them  gain visibility into the traffic. We also do some   consulting with them on best practices and stuff  like that. The CSIRT Assistance Program is for  

Team Cymru to extend their reach out there. Then we host a bunch of events. There's four   major ones a year. We try to go to locations  throughout the world. It's been a little   difficult, obviously, with COVID, so we are  doing our RISE event in the U.S. this year,   but we will have our underground economy event  abroad. But we do a bunch of webinars, stuff   like this. You can find out about all of that  stuff on our website to see what we are up to.  

And then there's just a mail  list that you can subscribe to,   which is a way to just inform the community about  what's happening in the information security   space. So it's a once a day email, and you will  get topics of what we are seeing happening.   We try to keep it just lightweight, bullet points,  here's what's going on. You can kind of see   the different things you'd get alerting on. It is  vetted, do we do there's like an approval process  

to get on it, but it's not too prohibitive. So  if you sign up with a legitimate email address,   we are able to figure out that you are a real  person, you will likely be added to Dragon   News Bytes, and I encourage to you do that. Then the last slide is just a little bit about   Team Cymru. As I mentioned, there is an outreach  division, which is really cool because our job is   to create free solutions and give them away, and  then interact with the community, and it's really   interesting to work for a company that is  founded by people that helped build the Internet   and wanted to dedicate a portion of  the company to give back to that.  

There is also running any business, there's  themes that Team Cymru sells, so there is a whole   enterprise grade of different software that's  available there as well. But it's mostly for,   like, enterprise customers; whereas, outreach  is more focused on Internet service providers,   Internet exchanges, or the community as a whole. That was quick. I've got two minutes left here.   What I will do again is just say thank you.  There's a couple helpful links there. If you   are interested in Nimbus at all, again, it's for  collecting NetFlow, but NetFlow is a very generic   term, so NetFlow, sFlow, JFlow, all that stuff.  If you have any questions at all about NetFlow,   I have been working with that protocol for about  a decade, so I can help you configure devices,   understand what it looks like, show you  how the data is correlated to the lists,   all that kind of stuff. I do that very  frequently in my day to day. Take a look at UTRS,  

our DDoS mitigation project. Again, we've  got about 2,000 people in it today. Everybody   that joins the better it gets because it's a  community driven DDoS mitigation portion.   And then connect with us on social  media, and if you are on LinkedIn,   there's like a hundred people out there, if you  find me on LinkedIn and connect with me, I love   seeing who I am presenting to or talking with out  there. Just I think the previous presenter was   saying how it's like this new normal of we are  doing a lot more webinars, so it's always nice,   doing these things in the past, where you could  do them face to face. It's nice to actually see   the people out there. If you are on LinkedIn,  definitely send me a connection request. I try   to only post meaningful stuff when I do post,  so I won't spam you. But that's really it.  

So I got it done in nine minutes. Thank you  all. I am going to stop sharing my slides.   GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA: Thank you, Brian,  for these insights. I think the community,   the exchange point community, will be very, very  glad to work with you more, and I think they   will benefit from it. And the whole ecosystem  will benefit from it. Thank you very much.  

Last but not least, let me welcomeADEREMI ADEJUMO,  talking more about building Cloudflex in Africa,   lessons learned. As well, Ben  mentioned that we are going cloud,   so let's hear from someone who has already  started. Aderemi, the floor is yours.   ADEREMI ADEJUMO: Hi. Thank you so much. So  Cloudflex started in 2016. Our idea was that   we wanted to set up a cloud locally in Nigeria,  and this was long before COVID, but we just felt   that there wasn't anything like that here in  this region. And we wanted to put something   here so that at least we can have something that  is local to our market and also to the region.   So we started with RackCentre. It's quite  interesting because when we sent out information  

and we try and describe to people, they don't  believe we have data centers in Nigeria,   and they don't believe we have international grade  data centers in Nigeria. So we have RackCentre as   well as others, so we start with RackCentre. We  went for Huawei equipment because of the cost,   and we chose VMware as our hypervisor layer. So we built two cloud platforms. One is in   RackCentre. The other one, which is a tier 3 data  center, we built a second one in CloudExchange,   which is a tier 4 data center. Our third  platform is going to be in the next month or two,   which is going to be in the Liquid telecom  Africa data center. They are building a new  

data center in Nigeria, so we are going to  be in there. The reason behind that behind   the strategy is to open us up into the African  markets because, as the previous speaker spoke,   what Liquid what LIT is doing, Liquid Intelligent  Technologies, are doing is to interconnect Africa.   So by us being on their platforms, it's our  gateway into Africa, the African market.   The other thing mentioned are the fintech  platform and businesses in Africa, is you   have a business based in Nigeria that wants to do  business in East Africa, so we want to be able to   take advantage of that connectivity, that we  will have a platform for Nigerian businesses,   and they can do business in these other  countries with the connectivity as that   is developing. So that's the idea behind that. So we are also VMware verified. We have a DevOps   platform. I put this slide in just to show the  reason and the benefits of us being with VMware,  

because VMware don't see themselves as a cloud  platform as much as they have platforms within   platforms. So they are existing in all the  platforms available. So AWS, Azure, Google, IBM,   and so on. So there's an interconnectivity and the  ability to interchange in the cloud platform from   all these different players in the market. Ghislain mentioned about the challenges   building a cloud platform in Nigeria, it's  more leading towards the hyperscalers,   Azure and AWS. But for us here in Nigeria, what  we try to do is build something local, so we take   advantage of being local. I think it was Brian  talking about the latency and all that. So we have   a latency of less than 50 milliseconds thanks  to what Muhammed Rudman talked about in terms   of the IXP and the interconnectivity in Nigeria.  Without IXP, our traffic would be routed to Europe  

before coming back to somebody who is sitting  in Nigeria as well. But with the IXP in Nigeria,   our traffic is local, and it's reduced our latency  to less than 50 milliseconds, much better in some   networks depending on what we have there. What I did was to put the sub sea map in here   to show what it looks like. There are eight  of these available in Nigeria at the moment,  

and what that does is that reduces the cost of  Internet in Nigeria, and I think the next slide   shows the next two that are coming up, which is  quite interesting, which is the one by Google   and Facebook, which I believe it's going  to it's better that you have two companies   that lay their cable and I think I would say  without debt. I think that's going to make the   prices to become quite interesting. And also as  a fact that the world sees Africa as the next   large market, there is that huge investment  in these sort of capacities and these sort of   things coming in, in conjunction with what Liquid  Intelligent Technologies are doing as well. So   what you have, interconnectivity from  the world, interconnect within Africa,   I think it's making the future of Africa rather  interesting and also greater connectivity.   So this is just a table showing the data centers  we have in Nigeria because, again, as I said,   people are not really aware of the development of  data centers in Nigeria. Without a data center,  

we can't have a cloud platform in Nigeria,  so we are dependent on this. And the fact   that there is a lot of investments in here and  a lot of international standard data centers in   Nigeria makes it quite easy for us to  develop and grow our cloud platform.   This is just showing the tiering and the  definition of the tiering. This is quite   interesting because one thing I will say whenever  I give this talk is to talk about experience with   data Center, we have been there for six years and  have never had a minute of downtime with them.  

I think the testament of the quality and what  has been done in Nigeria and of the team that   were able to give us such a platform and  give us such uninterrupted service.   So this is just showing what we did with our  cloud platform. Basically, we have, again,   people always interchange between cloud platform  and the data center. We have our hardware in the  

data center. We have our hypervisor layer. And  we have our VMs in there. So our ecosystem is   working with RackCentre, CloudExchange,  and African Data Centre, which is Liquid   Intelligent Technologies. We use Huawei because  of the cost and they are boots on the ground,   so we feel comfortable with the support we get  there. We have VMware. We use Veeam for backup.   We use Cloudian for SDN storage. We have a  platform there so we can provide services in   terms of backup, archiving, and any data storage  requirements that are required on there. And we   use Fortinet for our edge firewall. Even though  VMware has its own firewall infrastructure  

internally, we have this as a secondary firewall.  And the reason for this also is it allows us to   give the virtual reins to our customers and hand  over the control of the edge firewall to them and   for them to be able to do their own configuration  and have a degree of independence from us.   So that's just showing more  of the cloud architecture.   So this is just showing VMware bought Bitnami,  the marketplace. Also this is showing our DevOps   infrastructure, the DevOps setup we have. We  have set up the containerization and Kubernetes   facilities on our platform, and we have a couple  of customers that have development team that   are using our platform for their development. That's just showing more of VMware's stack.  

So these are the services  we provide infrastructure,   backup as a service, storage as a service,  archiving, disaster recovery as a service.   The two data centers we have interconnected,  so we provide primary and backup cloud platform   from that. Again, one of the things talking about  the challenges and the development is that we use   local connectivity partners to provide the  interconnectivity between the data centers and   also with our customers. So the large customers  have their own dedicated VPN onto our platform,   and the smaller customers just go through  Internet to get onto the platform.  

So just showing the advantages of the local cloud  platform. There's a lot of talk around the data   sovereignty and data localization, even though  it's not being enforced in Nigeria at the moment.   Data latency, as I mentioned before, we have  very good latency. Latency throughout Europe  

is about 200 plus milliseconds, where we  have less than 350 milliseconds. One of the   differences between us and the companies,  the hyperscalers, is that we don't charge   shall I say the connectivity community don't  charge for the egress costs. One of the things   we have seen is that we've had a devaluation  of nearly 60% this year in Nigeria. So because   we operate a local currency, we are able to  maintain our prices. Cloud is moving from sorry,   it's the other way around moving from capex to  opex, and you pay for what you use. One of the  

developments I see in the future is what this is  talking about, the local repositories. There's no   local repository in Nigeria for music,  talking about the Spotify or Apple Music type,   they are not local. Nothing for our films. Most of  the local firms, the third largest in the world,   but the majority of that is on YouTube  rather than a local platform. Large datasets,   talking about machine learning and such. In  order to develop such things, there must be large  

datasets locally with local data that this would  be used for, and also credit agencies. We have   dispersed credit agencies in Nigeria, nothing with  a reflection of the country or with the region.   So just showing the different things,  the communities that have local cloud   and the international companies  in comparison with that.   The economics. Again, I think some of the things  I have mentioned, and what's mentioned by other  

speakers about the working from home and increased  requirements of cloud infrastructure. We have seen   a boost in requirements, in people coming on  board over the last 18 months because of COVID,   and we are purchasing more and more in terms of  improvement of our infrastructure, as mentioned   by the other speakers as well, connectivity  within Nigeria, connectivity within Africa,   and also the expansion of the data center. Just to round off, I have this slide showing   the investment across Africa I mean, in  Nigeria, investment in rack center, investment   that Liquid Telecom are bringing into Nigeria with  the data center, and other companies are doing the   same as well. So there's growth, there's  investment coming in. The challenges are   not enough of local government giving us support.  Not enough a lot of the cloud is going outside  

Africa rather than in Africa. I think one of the  speakers mentioned about them just putting edge   devices in Africa, so that they reduce their  latency to them. But really, there's no proper   infrastructure of cloud in Africa like that,  apart from what we and some of the other   companies are doing to provide cloud computing  in Nigeria and also in the region as well.   Thank you for your time. GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA: Thank you,   Aderemi, for your presentation and insight on  cloud services. I think it's very insightful.  

We are going to run a poll, but not now. I want to  probably ask one or two questions for verification   as far as cloud is concerned, and then probably we  can run the poll in the next one or two minutes.  So Ben mentioned about us going cloud. Aderemi  mentioned that there are advantages to sit in  

Africa and serve the market in Africa. So  what I want to know is because cloud and the   digital services, it's a value chain, so what  challenges are you encountering in building   cloud infrastructure and bringing music onboard,  movies, all those industries on the platform?   What is being done to bring those  industries on those platforms?   Because you can build the nicest platform, but how  can you put those industries on those platforms?   What are the challenges that we are meeting? BEN ROBERTS: I very much enjoyed Aderemi's   presentation, and what he is talking about  is actually critical. It's big datasets that   you want to have. You need to have local cloud  everywhere, I would say. Every country in Africa  

is going to have local cloud entrepreneurs like  this. And big hypercloud guys, they are they are   not going to come to every single country  in a very short time. But filling the cloud   is the key. And talking of music and stuff, you  know, I think getting in the consumer space,  

not many people are necessarily used to paying  for digital services. You know, so even music,   a lot of people might buy music very cheaply,  they are just buying CDs on the roadside and   stuff like this. So you look at a company like  iROKO, and Jason Njoku talks about most of his   money coming from the U.S. people listening  to African music. There is a lot of music and   film content coming out of West Africa that can be  shared across the whole content as a marketplace.   And I think it's a good opportunity. But  it's just about getting people used to  

paying or finding other business models. So there  are companies like Mdundo who are doing music,   and they are doing it more on advertising funded.  It's looking for alternative business models that   are going to make sure the performers get paid.  But ultimately, people are putting their content   on YouTube, and they are getting no revenue  back from this. They are putting things on music   platforms for the big hosted and private cloud,  like Aderemi's cloud, then they can manage their   content and get the development we want to see. GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA:  

Modernization and business models. Aderemi, did you have something to say about   the question or you didn't hear the question? ADEREMI ADEJUMO: No, I didn't hear   the question. GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA:   So I was saying as cloud platforms are being  built, how do we bring those industries on   those platforms? What challenges are  you meeting to bring the music, the   film, all those industries on those platforms? ADEREMI ADEJUMO: I mean, that's something that   needs to be done, but it's not something that  can be done by the cloud platform only because   the cloud platform can put the music or the films  on there, but the outlets and the delivery.   So take Nigeria. Nigeria is a country of 200  million. The people who have that monthly   subscription of Internet and have all these  services and have access to YouTube are less   than 5 million of the 200 million. So when you  look at our GDP per capita of $2,000 per year,  

we don't have the funds to be able to do that. So  the the way to get to them is through the telcos.   But the telcos are not providing that platform  to get the masses for that and to make it a   viable system at the moment. So that's where the  bottleneck is. Once that is solved, then you will   get that audience, and you will be able to make  it worthwhile to Monday they advertise having a   platform for that in country. GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA: Okay.  

All right. Thank you very much. I think  we are going to run a poll quickly   if team can help me. We are going to  run a poll. So we have a question here.   It is both in English and in French. It  says in your view, what constitutes the   biggest challenge to a developed peering and  interconnection ecosystem in West Africa?   So you will have to answer what do you think  is the main challenge lack of capacity,   lack of investment, lack of enabling policies,  lack of coordination among the member states?   You can poll, and we can let it run  for a few minutes few more seconds.   Okay. So, is it the lack of capacity building  

and training programs, lack of investments,  lack of enabling policies and regulations,   or lack of coordination among the member states  that constitutes the biggest challenge? We are   interested in your opinion on this question. Okay. So lack of capacity, 9%. Lack of investment,   35%, people think that it is a lack of investment.  33% of people think it is a regulation issue. And   lack of coordination, it is 22% of the attendees  that think. So the two highest ones we have   is lack of investment and lack of policies. Probably to ask the panelists, we have seen the  

civil engineering challenge from one perspective,  but what are the other challenges that you think   can help develop the peering and interconnection  ecosystem in West Africa, a general question for   all the panelists. Feel free to start, whoever  wants, Rudman or Ben or Brian or Aderemi.  MUHAMMED RUDMAN: Okay. This is Muhammed. It's  actually a combination of not only one. That's why   maybe the poll that you are seeing, you see those  responses. It's a combination of some or almost   all of the above that you mentioned. The lack of  capacity building, if you look at this for some of   the smaller countries in West Africa, for some do  not even have exchange point. Some of them do not  

have the competent people to even begin to set up  the exchange. I believe as ISOC, you are aware of   that, and that is why you are providing capacity  building. You go onto sites to build exchanges.   For some it's that you go to some of the African  countries, they have the major incumbent operator,   usually owned by the government, and they really  don't care about peering and interconnection. To   them, everything is working fine. You know, the  more people are going on transit, the better.  

To some, you know, it's also the lack of enabling  environment. The policymakers, the decision   makers, especially the regulators, really do  not care. For some you have to get licensing   to set up an exchange point. For some of  the countries you don't need any license;   you can just set up an exchange point. And cross borders is the last one, the lack of   coordination among member states. For example, in  West Africa reason, we have what is called WATR,  

the West African Association of Telecommunication  Regulators, where all the regulators work. In   terms of this peering system, I have not seen any.  They are mostly for cost on the telecommunication   companies. They have not really looked into  the Internet, the peering ecosystem and how  

it works. That's why we are trying to reach out to  government in Nigeria, for example. Right now our   regulators are the ones chairing the WATR, and  we are hoping maybe they will create a summit   within the ecosystem in terms of this peering and  interconnection because some of the challenges we   identified is that the cost of transmission  capacity between the African countries   is extremely high. You know, sometimes it's much  higher than going to the Internet and, therefore,   there is no justification for any South African  region to connect to the Nigerian IXP because   of the high cost of the transmission capacity.  Usually it's up to 80% to over 100% of the cost of  

transit that you would have paid. So I think it's  a combination to me. If you ask me, that's why you   didn't see, you know, you can see 35, 35, 20, so  it's a combination of almost all, if I may say so.  GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA: Okay. Thank you, Muhammed. Does anyone want to take it up?

BEN ROBERTS: Yeah, I would add to the policy  side. I would say that consistency in principles   of data protection and ideas around data  sovereignty would be key for me. And ultimately,   where we see inward looking data sovereignty  policies, where regulation comes out, says you   must keep all your data here in this building,  in this country, in this city, you know, they are   bad; right? They are bad for the development of  the ecosystem, and you know, I think even services   we've seen being band, apps we have seen being  band in Nigeria, again, can be retrogressive. When we look at historical ICT policy, it has  been there from before, and it's about controlling   access to information. It's about limiting the  number of players, about limiting the number of   people who have phone lines. Over the course  of the last 30 years in Africa, we have seen  

a deregulation, seen more competition opening up,  South Africa, Kenya opening up in a big way. But   more countries in West Africa are having, you  know, smaller number of players. Countries like   Ethiopia, as well, have been now opening up. So  it's the opening up that changes the landscape. And Muhammed mentioned WATR, and I remember  a member from WATR saying regulation in West   Africa were different. They were there to protect  the incumbents, basically, is what he said. And   while that is the case, that is nothing is  going to change, so you know, we are seeing   developments. We are seeing what Orange have done  connecting countries is good. But ultimately,   more countries with more competition is going  to be the best way forward because then you get   more players to peer and interconnect, and you  get a bigger growing digital economy ecosystem.

GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA: Thank you. Thank you, Ben. Thank you. I think let's go into the audience.  We have some questions that are opening up.   We have a question from let me see the person, but  it is what are the key benefits of Djoliba project   to the national governments and IXPs in the  West Africa region, and how much bandwidth is   available within the Djoliba West Africa? What are the benefits of Djoliba for   IXPs in West Africa, and what is the transmission  capacity, the bandwidth? I think you said 100,   10 by 10. Is that right? But also,  what are the advantages of Djoliba? The other question was about Liberia.   I think that one was answered. There  was a question to Muhammed Rudman.

MUHAMMED RUDMAN: Okay. So what I am saying is  it all depends on the country's maturity when it   comes to the ecosystem, the peering ecosystem.  So the first one to set up a private exchange,   community based driven exchange in South Africa  because South African ecosystem has significantly   developed, so you now see it in Kenya, you  now have it in Nigeria. And of course, as the  

ecosystem matures, more opportunities come, and  therefore, you will see private exchanges where   you see the big exchange, global exchanges you  have present in some of the African countries. So I can say yes, if there is an opportunity,  and the industry has significantly matured.   And then there is a gap that is not addressed  by the existing exchange points because usually   those new exchanges are set up to address  a gap. So I will urge the existing exchange   points in Africa to ensure that there is no gap by  providing world standard, you know, services and,   therefore, there is no gap or opportunity for  others to set up. But no matter how you do it,  

some data centers will come up with  exchange points, so it's very possible. I hope I answered this question. GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA: Thank  you. Thank you, Muhammed.

There is a question from Andrew  Baskett: Do you have statistics   on the end to end reliability of  the West Africa Orange network? Okay. There is a question from  Kouattara, I think it's for Ben:   What are the challenges of Liquid Mombasa? Is it  a service that other countries can benefit from? BEN ROBERTS: I am not sure I  understand the question there. GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA: Are you intending  to diverge from your hub to hub links?   Are you planning to include  other countries in your planning? BEN ROBERTS: Very much so, yeah. West Africa  is a big push to expand in West Africa. But   also adding in other countries, you know,  that are not part of the network. But yeah.  

We see a lot of potential growth. We've got  a lot of border links that are crossing into   countries where we are not present, like Malawi  as well, so we are seeing a lot of expansion. GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA: Okay. Okay. I think those are the questions  that we have. Probably have a question  

for Brian. So you mentioned about the  collaboration with exchange points   building secure environment. So what's  the process? So they write to you,   and then you respond back? Or you go through a  process into deploying into an exchange point,   so on and so forth? So take us through the process  that you go about joining an exchange point. BRIAN DAVENPORT: Yeah, yeah. So I think one of  the cool things is so if we are talking about  

just like the NetFlow collector portion, so part  of, I think, what Team Cymru does really well   is there are some discussion about, like, an ISP  might be running a very small staff or might not   have the money available to purchase some kind  of like enterprise solutions or might not know   how to configure NetFlow or something like that.  What's nice is they are cloud, so you don't have   to put on premise or spin up virtual appliances  or anything like that. In order to sign up for a   service, typically what we do is like an ISP, or  like if we have an Internet exchange point that   wants to advertise Nimbus to their customers or  whatever, or if you are just an ISP that's part   of an exchange, typically they would go to the  website and fill out a form, what's your ASN,   what's your IP address, all that kind of stuff.  Because we do incur a cost for each Nimbus we spin   up, there is a little bit of vetting to make sure  it's an actual Internet service provider, but from   there we just create a collector, and they send  NetFlow data into it, and they get like a Kibana   interface to explore the traffic, and everybody's  data is their own data. So it's pretty clear. Then for bogon or UTRS, it's  just a peering that you set up.  

It's just signing up on the website for that. GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA: Okay. Thank you very much. Jean Baptiste. (Speaking French)

JEAN-BAPTISTE MILLOGO: Yes, if Ndiogou is  not with us, maybe I can try to answer. GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA: There is a question: What  are the statistics for the end to end reliability   from one country to another in the Djoliba   Orange network? What is the degree of  security of the system, the network? JEAN-BAPTISTE MILLOGO: I  don't have all the statistics   to answer this question fully, but  I am sure Ndiogou will be able to   answer it directly later in the Q&A and provide  all the relevant statistics. But in terms of   availability, with the level of resilience  that we achieve, we connect the POPs,   the reliability is pretty good, but sometimes  a function of meteorological disturbances. GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA:   And what about presence on an exchange  point? On how many IXPs is Djoliba present? JEAN-BAPTISTE MILLOGO :In the case of Burkina,  there are two POPs that are connected.   So that's the two IXPs, the two POPs in Burkina.

NDIOGOU FALL: Sorry, hello,  Ghislain. I had a technical problem. GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA:   I think that Jean Baptiste was able to answer  the questions, but thank you very much. It is the ends of the session. I want to thank  everyone, all our speakers. I don't know if   you have a few seconds, your parting remarks,  one or two last parting remarks? Few seconds? BRIAN DAVENPORT: Yeah, this is Brian  with Team Cymru. I just want to say   thank you all for your time, and a bunch  of people connected with me on LinkedIn,   so that's awesome. So thank you for doing  that. Have a great rest of your day. GHISLAIN NKERAMUGABA: Thank you, Brian. Ben?

BEN ROBERTS: Yeah, I just want to say  having this kind of regional event is good   because we have got some sort of gaps in inter  regional peering, and this West African region   is one good example. I think it's  great to bring the conversation   down at regional level as well as the  conversations we have at continental   level. So thank you for the initiative of  t

2021-08-04 12:19

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