Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Peering with Root DNS Servers

The Domain Name System is a recursive system for resolving host names to IP addresses and from IP addresses back to host names, which is really handy, since ideally no one interacts with IP addresses and instead refers to servers by names like google.com or blog.thelifeofkenneth.com.

When you're resolving a hostname like blog.thelifeofkenneth.com, it's actually a multi-step process where you first figure out the DNS server for the .com domain, then ask them where the name server for thelifeofkenneth.com is, then you ask them what the address for the "blog" server is. This is a well documented process elsewhere, but what I'm particularly interested in is that first little step where you somehow find the first DNS server; this is done by asking one of the 13 root name servers, which are 13 specific servers (lettered A through M) hard coded into every recursive DNS implementation as a starting point to resolve any other address.

The reason that I'm interested is because I recently became part of the team running the Fremont Cabal Internet Exchange. IXPs often peer with root name servers to make the fabric more valuable since root name servers tend to be really important for the other networks connecting to the IXP. This is possible because many of the root servers aren't implemented as one enormous DNS server in a specific place like you'd imagine, but are actually many identical copies of the same server advertising the same anycast prefix from every instance.

This means that even though we're a small IXP in the bay area, we actually stand a chance of an instance of several of the root servers being close by, or being willing to ship us the equipment to host an instance of them. We have spare rack space, so hosting their hardware to be able to increase our value and make the Internet generally better is worth providing them the space and power.

For curiosity's sake, I've been stepping through the list of root DNS servers to try and find what information I can on them, and figured these notes would be useful for some small fraction of other people online.


  • A ROOT - Run by Verisign
    • Homepage
    • Status: Only hosted in six locations; Ashburn, Los Angeles, New York, Frankfurt, London and Tokyo
  • B ROOT - Run by University of Southern California, Information Sciences Institute
    • Homepage
    • Status: Only hosted in Los Angeles and Miami
  • C ROOT - Run by Cogent
    • Homepage
    • Status: Only hosted in 10 locations; LA, Chicago, New York, etc
  • D ROOT - Run by University of Maryland
    • Homepage
    • Status: Hosted somewhere in Palo Alto and SF + 135 sites
  • E ROOT - Run by NASA Ames Research Center
  • F ROOT - Run by Internet Systems Consortium
  • G ROOT - Run by Defense Information Systems Agency
    • Homepage
    • Status: Only 6 sites, none in California
  • H ROOT - Run by US Army Research Lab
    • Homepage
    • Status: Only 2 sites; San Diego and Aberdeen
  • I ROOT - Run by netnod
    • Homepage
    • Hosting Requirements: Contact info[at]netnod[dot]se
    • Peering Requirements
    • Status: 68 sites, including one somewhere in San Francisco 
  • J ROOT - Run by Verisign
    • Homepage
    • Requirements include:
      • 1U space, 2x power
      • 2x network, peering LAN and /29+/64 management interface
    • Status: Already somewhere in San Francisco 
  • K ROOT - Run by RIPE
    • Homepage
    • Hosting Requirements include:
      • Provide a Dell server with 16GB RAM, quad core, 2x500GB HDD, etc.
      • Public IPv6 address with NAT64
    • Status: Seems the physically closest one is on TahoeIX in Reno.
  • L ROOT - Run by ICANN
    • Homepage
    • Hosting Requirements:
      • Sign NDA
      • Purchase code named appliance to host inside own network
    • Status: Somewhere in San Jose, per their FAQ they are not joining any additional IXPs.
  • M ROOT - Run by WIDE Project
    • Homepage
    • Status: Somewhere in San Francisco, nine sites total

Summary:
  • Roots that will never be in the bay area: A, B, C, G, H
  • Roots already in the bay area: D, E, F, I, J, L, M
My rationale for the first list is that several of the root servers only have 2-10 instances spread across the world, so they're presumably not in the business of deploying the 100-200 nodes that several of the other ones are. If they don't happen to already be in the bay area, it's not like we can afford to lease fiber out to where they already happen to be. 

Root servers on the "already in the bay area" list is also problematic since our exchange currently is only in Hurricane Electric's building, so if they already have a local node, it's unlikely that we would be able to convince them to build another node in the east bay just for us.

But you'll notice that between those two lists, there's only 12 roots... K root isn't in the bay area. 
So I did some more digging. Using the Atlas probe in my rack, I can see that K root is currently 70ms away from us, so it has a not quite optimal latency to the bay area. It looks like it's currently reachable via its node in Utah, but it has a physically closer node in Reno connected to the TahoeIX.

TahoeIX is interesting for two reasons:
  1. They're a fantastic example of another tiny IXP who has done a remarkably good job of collecting value-add peers to their network; Verisign, PCH/WoodyNet, Akamai, AS112, K root, and F root.
  2. Hurricane Electric is in "provisioning" with them, so presumably at some point soon, HE will have access to K root from Tahoe, dropping its latency to the bay area quite a bit.
So this opportunity posed by K root being the last root server not yet built out in the bay area very well might disappear soon. This is a bit of a drag since that might make RIPE less likely to entertain us hosting yet another California node, and the K roots don't come for free. We would need to provide a Dell server meeting all of their specifications, which I just priced out at $1475 for a Dell R230.

Bummer.

So, at this point, it's possible that I will be able to get F root to join FCIX, since they're just a cross connect away in the same building (and I happen to already be friendly with them). D, E, I, J, and M are in the area, so getting them on the fabric is conceivable except that they aren't in our building, so that problem would need to somehow be solved. And K is currently several states away, so I'd need to convince them that yet another west coast node is worth their bother, and we'd need to pony up $1500 to get the gear they require.

There are other value-add networks we can work on getting on our IXP, such as AS112 to trap bogon DNS requests, CDNs like Akamai, CloudFlare, and (maybe?) NetFlix, and it seems like there's also 13 DNS servers for gTLDs, but I can't find much information on who hosts those or how they're rolled out.

Overview of Fiber Optic Transceivers

Video:


Thanks again to Arista Networks and FlexOptix for helping make FCIX possible.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Hamvention 2018

Hamvention is one of the largest amateur radio conferences in the world, and this year I finally decided to give it a try. It always falls on the same weekend as Maker Faire Bay Area, which I had always found more attractive than the idea of the largest ham con, so even I'm a little surprised that my Ham Radio Workbench Podcast buddies managed to convince me to come out and give it a shot.

In order to limit the number of days out on PTO (It's spring, so I've been taking a lot of personal time off for Wildflower Tri related activities), as well as save on travel / hotel expenses, I thought it would be a good idea to take a red-eye out to Dayton Wednesday evening to land there Thursday morning to help with set up Thursday.

Boy, was I wrong...

1. The 10:30PM to 9AM red-eye leaves you in a very odd mental state, so maybe not the best flight plan for me.
2. I had been expecting a Maker Faire-like set up day, where everyone is setting up their booths and hanging out and having a good time, which really wasn't the case.

Most, but not even all of the vendors, were there setting up their booths, but as soon as each one finished set up, they generally just threw a tarp over their stuff and rolled out. Not quite the "the event without all the crowds" experience I was hoping to get being there a day early.
What was exciting was that this was the first time I got to actually meet Jeremy, KF7IJZ, in person. We've been friends for a long time, since I'm a "friend of the podcast" for the Ham Radio Workbench Podcast, but since he's out in Ohio we had not met yet. George happens to be local to me in the Silicon Valley, so we've met a few times.

The meet-up went just as well as I could have hoped. We were using DMR for the weekend, so when Jeremy heard me call him on the radio, he was at first a little confused since they hadn't gotten the Internet-connected hotspot gateway running in the booth yet, until a moment later when he finally realized that he was able to hear me because I was in actual simplex range. I, of course, forgot to take a selfie with the two of us capturing this historic moment in HRWB history, but we all survive.
Set-up went as should be expected. Lots of people running around, lots of missing power drops, lots of not quite working Internet service, etc etc.

Friday and Saturday at Hamvention were both very similar agenda-wise, but clearly Friday was the day to be there. More stuff left at the flea market, more stuff left at the booths, and many more people to run into and share the experience with.

I started the day with Smitty, KR6ZY, checking out the flea market and generally walking around seeing the other vendors until the rain picked up, at which point we took shelter in our expo hall and I spent pretty much the rest of the day working in the Ham Radio Workbench booth talking to people about our podcast and what we're all about, as well as selling our bare PCB "kits", which I really like as a kit model: We sell you the board, and you're free to source all the other components yourself or click on the Digikey shopping cart link in our documentation to have them sell you all the parts, because Digikey is obviously much better at counting out resistors and LEDs into tiny bags than we are.

One of the exciting things for HRWB this year is that we've partnered with Digilent (including putting together an Analog Discovery 2 + accessories bundle specifically for HRWB listeners) and managed to convince them to come have a booth at Hamvention! We had a "visit both booths to get entered in a drawing" deal going with them, and it was all around great to have another group of people passionate about electronics education near-by. HRWB had Kaitlyn from Digilent on earlier this year on episode 41 to talk about the Analog Discovery 2.

After a full day of almost solid wall-to-wall people talking to us at the booth, we all went out to dinner with Digilent, and then headed back to the hotel to record the 50th (!) episode of this crazy Ham Radio Workbench podcast that was originally going to maybe run for six episodes if they were able to find enough to talk about. We are no longer concerned we'll find enough to talk about.

We all promptly went to our hotel rooms and passed out for the next day.

Saturday was about the same, but with what felt like fewer people and less chaos. I had already seen much of the convention, so I generally stayed in the booth for most of the day and continued to spread the good word of making and building your own projects. It was great.
One part of Saturday that was awesome was that my very good friend Jeff Glass, KK9JEF, drove down from Chicago and I got to hang out with him during the day. He had actually been my original exposure to amateur radio waaay back in middle school when he already had his license, so it was great fun to hang out at Hamvention with him 15 years later with us both as active hams.

A quiet evening doing some local shopping and dinner, passing out in our hotels once again, and then it was Sunday.
Sunday was laid back; breakfast with the HRWB entourage, a few of us dropped by the fairgrounds to kill another few hours, and I was off to catch my flight.

The Flea Market Haul

I was a little limited by having flown to Dayton, but if anything that was a very positive restriction on what I could buy at the flea market; no buying a boat anchor or 19" rack cabinet for me. Continues to avoid eye contact with Smitty who drove from California and had space in his car.

One of the first things I found was a neat little bayonet lamp holder, which includes a turnable ring to make it dimmer! I spent the rest of the weekend looking for the right bulb to put it in, but never did manage to find a booth selling the right lamp I was willing to spend money at. (The surplus dealer in the constructed tent had them, but their prices were so comically high I wasn't willing to buy anything from them)
 The Anderson PowerPole is the standard 12V DC power connector used by hams, myself included, so I've built hundreds of them, and have been meaning to get a real contact insertion/extraction tool for PowerPoles for a long time. For $15, I figured this was that moment when I'd finally own the right tool for the job. Life is too short to not have the right tools for the job.
 Of course, my favorite radios from Motorola don't use PowerPole, but the "bullet" or "RV" power connector, so I found some really nice 10AWG cables which I can cut in half and terminate with PowerPoles to be adapter cables from all of my 12VDC gear to Motorola.
 Little 20W 12VDC flood lamps are great for little work lamps when you've already got lots of 12VDC around. I'll be putting PowerPoles on this and throwing it in my DC power box.
 I finally broke down and got a DMR radio last week, so to make it generally more useful, I decided to get the ZumSpot kit, which has been a very slick hotspot experience. Take it out, put it all together (including a pre-imaged SD card), connect to the wifi AP coming from the Raspberry Pi, configure everything specific to how I want to use it through the web interface, reboot, and done. Now I can hang out on DMR talkgroup 31075 from my apartment or anywhere that I bring the hotspot tethered to my phone.
The hotspot now hangs out in my living room, pulling power off the USB port on one of my WiFi APs. HRO had a few cases for the ZumSpot, but those sold out early so shame on me for not buying it right away but waiting until the end of the day.
 This was one of those things at the flea market where I got super interested when I saw it on a table, and the vendor was happy enough to see someone interested in it to just give it to me. I'm a total sucker for vintage engineering textbooks. :)
 My second book for the weekend wasn't actually bought at Hamvention, but Saturday evening when I went to check out the local bookstores as a nice quiet way to spend the evening.
Probably my best deal for the weekend was talking one of the vendors down to $40 for a bag of ten SFP+ SR optics, which I can use to run 10Gbps Ethernet between my servers in my Hurricane Electric rack.
My favorite find was actually a mechanical camera shutter release timer, not because it's at all useful, but because it became a fun puzzle to hand to people all weekend and have them try and figure out what the hell it even was. I do technically have a digital camera with a threaded shutter release, and I did come home and prove that it works, but using the internal timer is much easier... Still $2 well spent.

My Final Thoughts

Processing all of Hamvention hasn't been easy, and it's taken me a few days to really decide how I felt about it. Granted, my thoughts in one or two years will likely be different from here, but this is what I've got now:

The Good


  • Hamvention itself was very well run. Garbage, Restrooms, Food vendors, facilities; it was all very well taken care of from what I saw. This even went as far as they clearly came out Friday evening and laid down more gravel + hay on what had turned into muddy soup Friday during the rain.
  • Getting to see my friends from Ham Radio Workbench and Digilent was great and made it a fun weekend.
  • The mobility scooter traffic wasn't nearly the disaster other's have always joked that it was at Hamvention. Granted, I did hear that there seemed to be notably fewer scooters than usual, so maybe the mud disaster of last year scared many of those people off. The coordinators clearly made an effort to keep the conference accessible, so even by the end of the weekend you could still drive out through the flea market on their nicely graveled pathways.
  • Getting to talk to many of our excited listeners and many new people interested in what we were talking about was very touching. I always appreciate the reminder of what a large impact a few of us with microphones can make.

The Bad

  • Would you believe I missed the APRS forum? I wrote my bloody masters thesis on APRS, and then totally lost track of time and missed it. So embarrassing. 
  • It sure must have been a good thing that there were fewer mobility scooters, because even still I nearly got side swiped by a few of them (why do they think they deserve to roll faster than the rest of us can walk through a crowded building?) and got rammed in the ankle by one that the operator totally lost control of.
  • I was still disappointed that the fairgrounds didn't feel particularly social Thursday. Everyone set up and then cleared out.
  • Which might have been partly because there was apparently a separate Four Days of May QRP conference in a near-by hotel Thursday night. This being my first time at Hamvention, and between putting little effort into investigation myself and not getting a clear understanding of what everyone else was doing, I later found out I missed out on a lot of these sorts of events during the weekend simply since I didn't know about them. I just wasn't well plugged into the unadvertised parts of the conference.
  • More than anything else, Hamvention felt like a place to come buy things and talk to commercial vendors. Ham Radio Outlet and Maine Trading Company and 100 other retailers were there to take your money, and the big radio vendors like Yaesu were there to talk about their new and up-coming rigs, but I wasn't particularly interested in that. It felt like even the few individuals with booths at Hamvention were still more interested in selling you one of their projects than talking about it. It might not be fair to compare the Hamvention experience to Maker Faire, but that's the sort of experience I was looking for with an amateur radio focus, and that's definitely not what I came away with from Hamvention. 

The Ugly

  • I hadn't really braced myself for dealing with amateurs still salty about the FCC dropping the morse code requirement, so that came as a bit of a shock this weekend when several times I caught flak for being one of those lowly "no code" amateurs who isn't a "real ham". One gentleman even came up to us at the booth and said he was glad that we were fulfilling the moral imperative of amateur radio by building things, so that at least a few of us and our listeners were finally true hams. Like everyone who does anything else with the hobby except building their own SSB rigs for HF aren't also valid amateurs. I know that these guys and their opinions shouldn't have been a damper on my weekend, but they can go fuck themselves with their elitist, exclusionary, opinions on what the hobby should be. 
  • Between our booth and Digilent's booth, we had a few ladies working our booths and talking to people, and disappointingly, I over-heard several inappropriate comments made about them either to their faces or out of their ear shot. Amateur radio has a serious diversity problem, and making inappropriate comments about the few ladies who do come out to an event like this isn't helping. I've even run out of patience for terms like YL or XYL, because I don't think they're cute or endearing to distinguish the females in the hobby like that, but I would have gladly dealt with a few awkwardly forced references to YLs over what was said this weekend. We as a community need to stop tolerating harassment and call each other out on it. 

Conclusion


So, would I come back to Hamvention? Right now, given that it's always the same weekend as Maker Faire Bay Area? 

Pfth. Not a chance.

It was absolutely fantastic to get to meet the rest of the HRWB podcast crew, and all our great listeners and fellow makers, but the small subset of people at Hamvention who were on the same wavelength as me with regards to why they were there just doesn't compete with the vast majority of the people at Maker Faire who are there for the exact same reasons as me. I consider myself a maker first and an amateur second, so I think it's reasonable that I should spend the third weekend of May at a conference that is all makers first and amateurs get a part of one aisle instead of a conference that is all hams and makers get a small fraction of the booths.

Now, if Hamvention weren't the same weekend as the largest annual gathering of my maker friends (which also happens to be much cheaper to attend since it's local to me) I could seriously see myself attending Hamvention on a regular if not annual basis. It's a perfectly fine event, and it should be on me to pony up and help form it into the event I wanted it to be, but it just can't compete with Maker Faire. I feel bad saying this since I do have several amateur radio friends who I got to see this weekend, but my priorities for this one weekend point to Maker Faire (which they should all come and experience themselves).

My original plan had been to alternate between Maker Faire and Hamvention, and I can still see that being a great plan for a tremendous number of hams more serious about amateur radio as a whole than me, but my interests in amateur radio are all just too niche and my interests in Maker Faire and the crafting and artwork and electronics that comes from that are all just too broad. I think every amateur should come experience Hamvention at least once to see if it's their thing, so I don't regret the experience, but every maker should also come experience Maker Faire.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Creating an Internet Exchange for Even More Fun and Less Profit

Last quarter, I was pulled into the slightly odd underground of people running their own autonomous systems, and since then, our circle of friends running autonomous systems at Hurricane Electric's FMT2 has slowly been growing.
Which is great, except that we're all running autonomous systems, which means that we can set up peering links, and are you really friends with another network engineer if you're not running a cross connect between your two networks? This wasn't too bad for the first few networks joining our little cabal of networks, but due to that pesky quadratic growth issue, the number of new cross connects needed when the fifth or sixth person joined started getting ridiculous. (It's like, four or five!)
This is, of course, an issue that real networks have to deal with as well, so when we had an eighth friend sign a service agreement with Hurricane Electric this week, the idea was (half jokingly) floated that we should just start our own Internet Exchange Point to cut down on the number of cross connects we need for each new member.

An Internet Exchange is basically just a single L2 Ethernet switch which every network plugs into, such that every network can directly set up BGP peering / route packets to each other network on the fabric. Furthermore, to make it even easier to add new networks to an Internet Exchange, many IXs run "route servers," which are BGP peers which re-distribute all the connected routes. This is convenient because it means that only the IX operator and the new network need to adjust their BGP configuration when a network joins; everyone else is already peered with the route server and start getting the new routes (and which router on the switch to send that traffic to) as part of their already existing connection to the route server.

So we were all sitting there, contemplating the idea of ordering seven more cross connects and once again all logging into our routers to update our configs, and at that point, the idea of creating an Internet Exchange instead didn't seem too bad.

We could instead have all gotten cross connects into one of the existing Internet Exchanges in the HE FMT2 building, such as SFMIX, but they charge $995/year for a port on their fabric, which is more money than it's worth for all of us to cross connect for amusement's sake (most of us are amateurs and not making money on our networks). So screw it, hold my other beer, and away we go!

And that's how the Fremont Cabal Internet Exchange was born. 

We even made a website and everything.

We allocated a /64 IPv6 subnet from my /48 (which was originally allocated from another guy's /32), drummed up an IPv4 /24 that was currently between projects, and very carefully selected the private ASN 4244741280, and all that was left to get was a switch to all connect to.
Thankfully, my entire network in my cabinet is built on a Cisco 6506, which is technically a switch, so we called that close enough, and instead of having to find another piece of hardware, just allocated a VLAN on my 6506 as the switch fabric, and we were all set. Besides, we were getting a little worried that there were getting to be too few Internet Exchanges running on Cisco 6500s these days.

Now whenever someone wants to connect to the FCIX (Fremont Cabal Internet Exchange) fabric, they just get a cross connect to my cabinet, I set another port to be an access port to the FCIX VLAN, and they're hooked up to everyone.

It's only 1Gbps to each network, but most of us are only originating a few prefixes for a few servers, so we aren't really pushing the limits of single 1G links per participant yet, but just like in any real IX, as soon as someone starts saturating their link to FCIX, they can start setting up direct peering links to other networks to start shedding that traffic off their exchange links. You know... when that happens...

Ideally we would have applied for a public ASN for the exchange, but that $550 + $100/yr for a registered ASN kind of went against the objective of saving money on cross connects, and I figured the chances of someone connecting to FCIX already using one random 4 byte private ASN inside their network was pretty low. Since the IX ASN is never appended to any routes going through the exchange, there's also the fact that no one outside the exchange will ever see this ASN, so it seems like a pretty acceptable trade-off for a group of amateurs for now. (The biggest downside I can think of is that we might not be able to register this IX on peeringDB with a private ASN, to further prop up the facade that this is an Internet Exchange to be taken seriously)

Edit: OK, I stand corrected. peeringDB had no problem and we're now live on there as well. That was not expected.
The last piece to really make adding new members to this peering fabric convenient is setting up two route servers, so that each new member doesn't trigger everyone needing to log into their routers to add a new BGP peer. Instead, everyone peers with the route servers and they handle the full N-to-N exchange of routes. When a new member joins, they set up their router on the fabric's /24+/64, and peer with the two route servers, and the only other involvement needed is from one of the IX admins (which is really just me, currently) to add them to the route server. Every other member doesn't need to be involved and can just enjoy the new routes appearing on their router.
We have two BGP route servers so as I need to restart each one for maintenance reasons, everyone can still trade routes over the other one and I don't trigger a reconvergence every time I restart the daemon or VM. We even managed to get the second VM on a different hypervisor in Javier's cabinet instead of mine, for further fault tolerance.

We're still working to figure out exactly which route server software we want to use. I'm the most familiar with Quagga, but Quagga tries to emulate the Cisco model of all config changes are made on the fly through the console, where I don't want to be hand crafting config changes every time we add a member, so I'm currently taking a crash course in running BIRD as one of our route servers, and will likely be swapping various daemons in for each route server as we learn more.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Measuring the Internet

Progress on the whole "running my own bit of the Internet" project has been going well. We've got a router, and some servers, and even a NAS, so one of the next questions is how well is our network behaving over time?

There are plenty of different ways to ask this question, and plenty of different metrics to look at. For example, to track my bandwidth usage, I'm using LibreNMS, which is a pretty good SNMP front-end to query my router every five minutes to see how many packets I'm moving.


One network monitoring tool that I've discovered as part of this project is the RIPE Atlas. It is a world-wide network of measurement probes spread across the Internet, which they use to measure the health of the Internet as a whole, but also allow others to request measurements on it.

To get started, you can request a probe and if approved, they mail you the simple hardware (clearly based on a TP-Link router running their custom firmware) to plug into your network. Once it's powered on, the probe starts taking measurements from your Internet connection, and you start earning credits to spend on your own custom measurements.
For example, I requested the probe, and although I never got any kind of email, a DHL package showed up about 6-8 weeks later with the probe + some cables inside. Once I plugged it in and registered its serial number to my account, I'm now accruing 21600 credits per day for keeping the probe online, plus another 5000-50000 credits per day for "results delivered" which I presume is running other people's custom measurements.
I haven't come up with any long term custom measurements yet, but to give you a sense of scale, a single traceroute costs 60 credits, so running a traceroute to my network from 10 random probes costs 600 credits, and RIPE's traceroute report is pretty slick.
The main reason I haven't programmed any periodic custom measurements yet is because the probe comes with a set of "built-in" measurements where it automatically measures the latency and packet loss to its first and second hop, all the root DNS servers, and some Atlas infrastructure, which already answers most of my questions on how well my network is doing. I really should set up some user-defined queries to monitor my HTTP servers, but for now I'm just accruing credits.

You can see all the public information coming from my probe here. You can even order Atlas measurements specifically from my network to your network if you specify the measurement should be sent to probe #34742, which I find rather amusing.

One thing I noticed right away is that I'm seeing 100% packet loss (solid red) to a few IPv6 root DNS servers... This is actually because Hurricane Electric and Cogent have been having a peering dispute over IPv6 for... pretty much forever, so the IPv6 Internet is actually split brain and I'm just not able to reach some parts of the IPv6 Internet from my Hurricane Electric transit...

One of the perks of running my own autonomous system is that I'm able to work on getting myself blended transit from someone other than Hurricane Electric and fix this problem myself... (Anyone with blended IPv6 transit on the west coast want to help me out?)

The probe uses about 3kbps to take its measurements, so the network load from it is what I would describe as "pretty much undetectable" considering my main transit link hovers around four orders of magnitude higher than that. This plot is from LibreNMS for my "DHCP" /29 subnet, which I use for my Atlas probe and plugging in my laptop to a spare port on my router when I'm standing in the datacenter working on my rack.