Lessons Learned from using the RIPE Atlas Platform for Measurement Research

By: 
V. Bajpai, S. Eravuchira, J. Schönwälder
Appears in: 
CCR July 2015

We reflect upon our experience in using the RIPE Atlas platform for measurement-based research. We show how in addition to credits, control checks using rate limits are in place to ensure that the platform does not get overloaded with measurements. We show how the Autonomous System (AS)-based distribution of RIPE Atlas probes is heavily skewed which limits possibilities of measurements sourced from a specific origin-AS. We discuss the significance of probe calibration and how we leverage it to identify load issues in older hardware versions (38.6% overall as of Sep 2014) of probes. We show how performance measurement platforms (such as RIPE Atlas, SamKnows, BISmark and Dasu) can benefit from each other by demonstrating two example use-cases. We also open discussion on how RIPE Atlas deployment can be made more useful by relaying more probe metadata information back to the scientific community and by strategically deploying probes to reduce the inherent sampling bias embedded in probe-based measurement platforms.