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Data Quality in the RIPE NCC Service Region

Mirjam Kuehne

In an earlier article on CircleID, Registry Data Quality Assessment, we discussed the importance of high quality and accurate IP registry data. At that time, we focused mainly on the accuracy of legacy address space: IP addresses that were given out prior to the existence of the RIPE NCC and that are not part of the current registry system.

In this article, we want to present the efforts to keep the address space that is the responsibility of the RIPE NCC up to date and well maintained. When the RIPE NCC allocates addresses to a Local Internet Registry (LIR), the LIR is then the authorised holder and has responsibility for the registration and maintenance of all assignments it makes from this address range.

The RIPE NCC audit activity proactively checks the quality and validity of registry data, both in the internal records maintained by the LIRs and the public records in the RIPE Database. In 2011, approximately 400 audits were opened, which means that the LIR's records were reviewed and, if necessary, together with the LIR, corrected and updated. Taking into account that there are over 7,800 LIRs in the RIPE NCC service region, this might sound like a drop in the ocean. However, an LIR's registry data is also checked every time an LIR requests additional address space. This means that specific audits are carried out in addition to these regular checks and are often performed for LIRs that have not been in contact with the RIPE NCC for a longer period of time.

In the image below, you can see the type of issues that occurred during the audits in 2011. Note that multiple issues can be found in one audit.

During an audit, the following issues are typically found:

  • Invalid records, such as:
    • more IP addresses registered than were approved
    • unapproved network names
    • missing network objects in the RIPE Database
  • Overlapping assignments registered in the RIPE Database
  • Resources returned
    • assigned PI or AS number resources are no longer valid or in use and are returned to the unused pool
  • Internal records updated
    • Organisation contact data
  • Assignment window (AW) abuse
    • if assignments are made that exceed the LIR's AW or are otherwise not compliant with the AW policy

The RIPE NCC works with the LIRs during an audit to assist in the resolution of any issues. An audit is closed only when all issues have been resolved or the audit is no longer relevant for other reasons, such as LIR closure, acquisition and so on.

Please refer to the 2011 Audit Results on RIPE Labs for a more detailed description of the audit activity and some other statistics.

By Mirjam Kuehne

Related topics: IP Addressing, Regional Registries

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