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Connect Working Group session
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28 October 2020
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1 p.m.


REMCO VAN MOOK: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to another version of the Connect Working Group. I am one of the co‑chairs of this lovely congregation, I am joined here remotely by Will, who is sitting right below me on my screen but it might be above me somewhere.

There is Florence, who is here with me as well and she is a lot closer.

FLORENCE LAVROFF: Hello from the other side of the room.

REMCO VAN MOOK: So the Connect Working Group, let's see what do we have? This is not a physical meeting, so I'm not going to start about emergency exits, I do advise you to mind the gap and I would like to thank the lovely people at West Hampstead Underground for allowing us to use their sign.

Let's see... opening, welcome, scribe, I have a list that there was a scribe that was appointed by the RIPE NCC, can anyone remember who that was because I don't have my e‑mail open? Karen is our scribe, thank you so much for willing to scribe. As always, there is other interaction options. There is the minutes of the previous session, in which I learned that I'm speaking entirely too much during these sessions.
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Does anyone else have any comments on those minutes or are we all happy with them? Speak now or forever hold your peace!
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Thank you very much for the RIPE NCC staff for preparing those, and again they have been accepted without any comment. Brilliant.

Let's see... what else do we have?
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Here is the, some housekeeping stuff. You can always ask questions during the session by joining the audio queue in Meetecho, if you do have a question, try not to use the chat for that but use the Q&A so we can actually keep track of what's going on without having to read absolutely everything.

Stenography is available, and of course this session, believe it or not, is actually recorded as well for later perusal.

So, if you are unhappy with that, you have probably already been sitting in recorded sessions, but you should maybe disconnect now.

Okay. With that, I have the agenda, which is ‑‑ the opening which I have just done.
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Then we're going to be hearing from Barry O'Donovan from INEX about IXP Manager. Then we'll listen to Luca who has got a story about Telecom Italia just re peering, a Covid‑19 IXP update from Bijal and that's roughly it.

My fellow chairs, am I missing something?

WILL VAN GULIK: No. I think it's good, I just promoted Barry to speaker, I think.

BARRY O'DONOVAN: Hello, everybody. As Remco said, I am Barry, and I am from INEX, which is the Internet Exchange point for the island of Ireland.

I am here today to give you an update on IXP Manager, which is something we haven't actually done at RIPE in seven years. So, today, what I want to talk about is why we think IXP Manager is an Open Source success story for better Internet connectivity.
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So 2020 was going to be a landmark year for IXP Manager; in fact, it has been. But it was going to be for a specific reason, which is that we thought we were going to find our 100 exchange using the IXP Manager platform. As it turns out, we did a sanity check of the exchanges that we had on our list and we are quite judicious when we do that. We removed ones we couldn't verify. But we found over 13 new exchanges we needed to have. It doesn't have a call home function. So, to find them, exchanges have to let us know they are using it maybe to be added to the website or we have to find them through, for example, some kind of crafted Google search of the kind of text we'd expect to see on a login page.
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I have updated this again for RIPE. So IXP Manager is now powering peering at 145 changes connecting 6,000 networks through 8,000 ports and providing 81 Tbs of member edge port capacity with over 19 Tbs of peak traffic, from one very happy team. And that team is myself, Nick Hilliard, Eileen Gallagher and Jan Robin. Others at INEX who help us vet the platform, such as Roisin King and Denis Nolan, then the very large community that contributes in a huge way through GitHub issues such as bug reports, feature requests, pull requests, interactions on the mailing list that help other exchanges with use with IXP Manager.
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So one very large big team.
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This map is an excuse for me to tell you that we do have a new website which we launched much earlier this year. It's on ixp manager.org and that website has a back end, so when we add new exchanges to the platform, they show up on the map here for example they get counted in the stats. You can see IXP Manager is distributed right across the world which we're very proud of, particularly in South America we found a few exchanges this year where we didn't have any before. That's great to see.
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Just to give you some background in terms of why we open sourced IXP Manager, and our vision for the platform and the basis for making it a free to use Open Source project, was that it might enable the creation of IXPs, wherever they are required, and the existence of these IXPs would in turn create a stronger, open, more robust and interconnected Internet and that's what we're trying to demonstrate through this presentation here today.
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We are also especially proud that IXP Manager helps these IXPs start from the best place possible, which is to say secure by default, which is something that most people who know INEX we're very proud of is in terms of security that we put into the platform, proven configurations that have been tested at INEX and other exchanges for 15 years now, and implementing best practice, so for example, Nick Hilliard was part of the MANRS team to create the IXP MANRS best practice.
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So a lot of that stuff comes baked into IXP Manager.
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The other ‑‑ this next slide here is a screenshot from that new website. If you go onto the website under the community section, you'll find the stats. These are updated every single night so they are always current.
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What you'll see here is the 6,000 networks that are connected. It is of course important to note that the 145 exchanges that use IXP Manager are all independently run and not connected. So, as we'd expect, many networks will connect to multiples of those exchanges, so what we find is there is about 3,800 unique networks connecting to exchanges that run IXP Manager.
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The other thing on this screenshot is the port breakdown. As we'd expect most of the ports are 10 gig, I imagine any start‑up IXP in the last five year will have started with a 40 by 10 gig port switch so 10 gig would have been the default. The other category, for the most part, roughly about 100 of those ports are ports we couldn't identify a speed for, so we put them in a zero. But about 1,100 of them would be made up from 100‑meg and 10‑meg ports. So about 3,400 of those ports are 1 gig and less and we think again this helps show that IXP Manager has succeeded where we hoped it would, which is helping those, the new and smaller exchanges, to kind of give them a boost to get set up and started quickly and securely.
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It's important as well that we tell you about how we come up with these stats so that you don't think that we're giving you statistics that try and tell a particular story.
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Some of you may have heard of the IXF member export. That is an agreed JSON schema amongst IXPs about how to export information about connected networks, so the AS numbers, the in of ports connected, the size of those ports and so on. IXP Manager supports that schema by default, so 77 of the 145 exchanges we pull using IXP Manager's implementation of that schema. To us, those ‑‑ that information is golden, it's absolutely accurate. It's up to date. And again, if you want to find out who peers at a particular exchange, your best thing to do is ask if that exchange supports the IXF export schema, so you can get the information from the horse's mouth where you know it's up to date and accurate.

Five exchanges don't have a public‑facing IXP Manager instance. They probably use it for administering the exchange rather than a customer portal, but they, in turn, provide an IXF link which we are able to pole as well.

The next is coming from dB. This is where I can demand straight that we err on the side of caution and undercount the stats. As, you know, for a network to show peering on exchange and peering DB, first of all it has to be a member of that end point peering DB. So the 58 exchanges that we gave via peering DB very much uncounts these stats.

Lastly, for the in terms of traffic exchanged, we pulled two‑thirds of the 145 exchanges because they have a public facing graph for the end point which is something in IXP Manager. The other third probably use an older version of IXP Manager or have made their graphs private for whatever reasons.
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This graph here, I just want to show it to you, this shows networks peering at multiple exchanges. On the X axis we have the number of exchanges and on the Y axis the number of networks that peer at that number of exchanges.

For example, 44 networks peer at 5 exchanges, and what this graph tells us, for the changes that use IXP Manager, and I am sure this probably extrapolates to all exchanges in general, 2,750, or 75%, of the networks just peer at one exchange, 90% of networks peer at one or two exchanges. So the big proportion of those networks, that 90%, a big proportion of that would be very much edge and leaf networks that might have one or two IP transit connections and there are one or two IX connections and, from our perspective, we hope that this really does demonstrate where IXP Manager really helps the smaller exchanges, gives them a boost to get up and running and supporting that better connected Internet.
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I think that better connected Internet is a goal that all of us here at the Connect Working Group really aspire to.
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This list, there is 20 networks that peer at ten or more exchanges, this is the list of them. They are also on the website. They are who you'd expect them to be: large content networks, social networks, survey services and DNS services. A particular shoutout here to CloudFlare, followed quickly by Hurricane Electric.

Just in closing, I'd like to certainly acknowledge the patrons and sponsors. The money that they provide to the project, 100% of that goes to supporting our full‑time developer. The patrons are Facebook, APNIC, CIRA, Internet Society. And the sponsors are some of the IXPs that use the platform.

As we go for the in the coming months and particularly next year, what I want to try and work on is to try and talk to some of the exchanges that use the platform to provide an annual recurring amount of money so that we can put more development hours, cover some of the administration expenses, and particularly to focus on delivering the functionality to meet the evolving requirements of IXPs around the world.
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Thank you all very much for listening. Sincere apologies to the stenographers; I know I put a lot into eight minutes. So apologies if I have wrecked your heads on that. Thank you all very much.

WILL VAN GULIK: So I'm looking if I have a question. I had one in the queue. It's gone. No connection Q&A. Oh, yeah, I have got one there.
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Okay: Osama asks: Is there any plan to upgrade the portability to support 10 gig and more? I am referring to the 3,500 port with lower capacities?

BARRY O'DONOVAN: I'm not sure what that means, so of course IXP Manager does support port speeds of 1,000 meg, 1 gig, 10 gig, 100 gig, 40 gig, 400 gig. What I suppose maybe what he is asking is, for example, in a 10‑gig section. If a member has a 2 by 10‑gig LAG, that's counted as two 10‑gig ports. I don't know if that answers.

WILL VAN GULIK: Okay. I have got a question, I will grant you audio.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: This is [Lance] from IXP [MD]. I'd like just to thank you you guys in IXP Manager because the tool that allows us in the last year, especially in Covid times, to show tremendous development and ease of management especially this is an exchange which is run as part of ‑‑ so that administrative part is also an issue and IX manager just makes it run really smoothly and fast, so thank you on that.

BARRY O'DONOVAN: Thank you very much. It's lovely to hear. Thank you.

WILL VAN GULIK: Let me check again the questions. I think we're good. I don't see any other questions, so, with that, I thank you very much, Barry, and it was a really good talk and thanks for doing that. I mean, everybody likes IXP Manager, I guess.

BARRY O'DONOVAN: Thank you very much.

WILL VAN GULIK: Luca is going to talk to us about the Italia telecom re‑peering.

LUCA CICCHELLI: (On mute) Now it's working. First, thanks a lot and meanwhile ‑‑ do you see also my screen shared?

FLORENCE LAVROFF: We do, thank you.

LUCA CICCHELLI: I am Luca, and, as you can see, I am talking also on behalf of MIX and NaMeX, because this of course is a joint presentation, we already did it at ETF, but we thought it was good also presenting to a different audience, also to share the information, the experience that we all had and we are all having now in Italy with the Telecom Italia peering, so because it's a re‑peering, so we start from the past, because ‑‑ wait a moment, because I changed the presentation mode ‑‑ now it's better I think.
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So, having stepped back to the past and just to better explain to the audience, when we talk about team, we are talking about the incumbent, also known as Telecom Italia, for people who are not living in Italy, but for ‑‑

WILL VAN GULIK: Luca, you just have a black screen for now.

LUCA CICCHELLI: Okay. I go back out of the presentation mode. I apologise.
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So, we ‑‑ Telecom Italia, for outside Italy, is sometimes known as Telecom Sparkle, it is the global network that is totally owned by Telecom Italia and I think all the people here are know Telecom Italia and as its owner it's number 6762, but the mother company that is Domestic Network, who has its own AS3269, also known as interbusiness for grey‑haired or no‑hair man ‑‑ that is me ‑‑ that is the largest eyeball in Italy with, let me say, more than 50% of the market share. So it's the real incumbent.
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What's happened in the past, in round the year 2K, the company settled the free peering with other ISPs for different reasons, we don't have the time here to tell all the story, but there was an intervention from the regulator and that's opened the peering, that it continued also on the next year till 2013. Also because it was an opportunity for them also for marketing stats. By the way, also Dr. Peering talked about it on its blog.
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Having that said, we had the stop of the peering in 2013. But as mentioned here in the slide, the discussion continued keeping on for different reasons, also for special knowledge that about different people. By the way, I have to disclose that I worked in Telecom Italia for joining TOP‑IX many years ago.
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So, what's happened this year?
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This year, with the Covid‑19 pandemic also, they asked to re‑peer again and it was a bottom‑up approach. So, it wasn't forced by any government institution and so on, just to be clear. So, they knocked again on our door and they say I would like to peer again, and they started, as you can see, at MIX and NaMeX, followed by TOP‑IX one month later, and in the end of the same month, at VSIX.
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This initiative has been that it was initially planned until the end of June, the end of July was ‑‑ has been extended because the situation of the pandemic is continuing, and so we have a partial line at the end of this year.
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So, we share the observations and the next steps that we can have on that.
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First, is that the traffic expectations are below about what initially was thought, especially by them. So we have around 20% of the traffic related to the deployed capacity on each IXP, but of course, as you can imagine, the greatest impact is on the latency from and to the AS3269 and this has been welcomed especially from remote workers that now with a huge increase of the smart working means that a lot of people, especially the 50% of of them working with Telecom Italia connectivity at home, well appreciated it.
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The next ‑‑ even if I have no hair, we don't have the crystal ball to predict what will happen in 2021, but a great ‑‑ this fact is again on the agenda also at a political level because team is now ‑‑ has been involved with the new access company that is working that aims to work on the new access network in Italy, and meaning the last mile access network, with a merger with its competitor open fibre, that is pushed by ‑‑ at political level, but others are not happy about that. So, you can imagine, and I am stuck here because I am closing the time and it's ‑‑ it will be a long debate.
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But anyway, a part of this high level points, so at our level, about the inter‑connection, some point that we will hope to have an answer at the end of the year or if they continue or not in peering. If they still maintaining this, not mentioned before, but their selective policy that they are applying now, and if they are ‑‑ they want to set up more IP POPs, more edge IP POPs in Italy because actually they are mainly exchanging with the Milan Metro area and the Rome Metro area, and of course, last but not least, if they want to continue working in cooperation with the IXPs if they will add additional services, so, there are many IXPs are their own market places, so this is an open point that we will happy to discuss later.
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So, I am thanking also on behalf of my fellows and if there are any questions, I am here. And apologies for the slides.

FLORENCE LAVROFF: That's okay, Luca. Thanks a lot for this presentation. It's really great to see something coming from three Italian IXPs, so that's good news. So, please, everyone, if you have any questions, feel free to let us know. Just ask for a voice to be put on the audio queue or just write something on Slido for the written Q&As. Any questions?

WILL VAN GULIK: I have Stefan, who asks a question, I will grant audio.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: Hi, Luca, good talk, and let me start with wish you all the best ‑‑

WILL VAN GULIK: Who are you Stefan, please?

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: The exchanges in Italy after Covid and that you can find a solution for the selected peering policy. But my question is a different one, and 20% of deployed capacity, can you give us a number in terabits of traffic you have now more ‑‑ and it was Stefan from ECIX, by the way.

LUCA CICCHELLI: Okay. So ‑‑ well, I can give you ‑‑ cannot disclose the connected capacity because they did not allow us, but ‑‑ so that's why we reported it 20% of capacity. It's not ‑‑ I would say it's not ‑‑ we're not talking about large numbers. Anyway, I cannot give you a real figure because, as you can expect, mainly the traffic, high volumes of traffic are going from contents in the eyeballs. They do ‑‑ they are not hosting big contents and also other Italian IXPs are not hosting big contents so, that's the reason why we are not talking about huge numbers here, but very ‑‑ but few compared to the volumes that we are ‑‑ normally are used about when a big content is changing to a big eyeball. So, again, the main advantage is on one side for remote workers, as myself today, I'm not a customer, by the way, at home, but especially when they need to give access to ‑‑ I can mention a story for that about what we had in TOP‑IX because there are some workers of the local public administrators, administration, sorry, that when ‑‑ and 50% of them are working remotely at home with team providing their ISP connection, but when they needed to be connected to the application that are hosted by a local content provider, they needed to trombone in Frankfurt, so near ‑‑ close to your home. And in terms of latency, it was not good. After the peering, of course, it was much much and more better.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: Thank you, Luca.

FLORENCE LAVROFF: Excellent. Do we have some more questions for Luca? I can't see anything on Slido. No? One, two, three... okay, let's move to our next speaker, who is Bijal, who is going to present the latest about the IXP world and Covid‑19. We are very happy to have Bijal in our ‑‑ presenting in our Working Group. This is something which we are traditionally doing. So, Bijal, welcome and the floor is yours.

BIJAL SANGHANI: Thank you. Hello everyone. I am just going to share my screen. So if I have got this right I am going to put this in presentation mode, and that should be all fine.
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Okay. So, thank you, Florence, for the introduction. I am here today to talk Euro‑IX. This is really a quick summary.
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So, we are still a membership association for Internet Exchange points and today I am very excited to say we have 71 IXP members.
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We also have patrons, and patrons are typically organisations that work closely with Internet Exchange points or have some sort of relationship, and these are typically data centres, vendors, and you can see that we have CIRA and ISOC who also work very closely with Internet Exchange points.
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One thing that we have been doing during this session actually is giving updates from IXP member news but before I start that, I just want to really say a big congratulations to Barry and Nick and the team at INEX and also the things they have done with IXP Manager, I think this is such good work and yes, big congratulations to them from us, all of us at Euro‑IX, I should say, and the community of course, and also I'd like to congratulate the three Italian IXs which Luca has just talked about. I think it's really nice to see, you know, at tough times, the community coming together to make the inter‑connection a better place and make the Internet better for everyone. So a big congratulations and well done to you all from us at Euro‑IX.

Other IXP news I have for you today is from DCix with the availability of the IX API Version 2 which now includes Cloud connectivity and point‑to‑point connections.

IPFIX export for detection customers to analyse traffic flows, so this would help their customers understand the origin of the DDoS attacks and there is a new IXP launched by them.
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We also have some news from GRIX, which is the Internet Exchange based in Greece. They have caught a couple of sites, their biggest one being in Athens, and very excellent news that they have connected their 100th port in Athens. They also reached a new traffic record of 2508 gig.
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Something that Euro‑IX has also been ‑‑ has actually taken up this ‑‑ during this time, is to talk about issues in the industry and how to make ‑‑ how we can evolve ‑‑ continue to evolve the industry and making it better for everybody.
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One of the panels ‑‑ so Euro‑IX is doing a let's talk /let's act series and the idea of this is to talk about certain issues that are in the industry but then also to act on them and try and do something about the issues that we talk about.
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So, the first panel that we had was how can we attract and engage younger people in the industry? I think this was a real kind of eye‑opener panel, and, you know, there was lots and lots of takeaways and I am just going to mention a few because I am short on time.
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So, for example, you know, for new people coming into the industry, you know, attending a physical meeting is actually quite daunting and intimidating, so having a virtual events makes that a little bit easier because they can be more active and contribute. So that was one thing to take away.
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Something else was fellowships that are currently available for students. You know, that would be ‑‑ is there something that we as an industry can do to encourage and, you know, most of the young people to be more involved, and perhaps there is space for a fellowship there.
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For the more mature people in the industry, I am talking about those of you who have been in the industry for 15 years plus, we need to do more to support the young people in the industry and, you know, if they have questions and things they want to talk through, I think we need to remember that it was like to be a new person in the industry, but also, what it was like to be young.
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The next panel that we had was inclusivity about women in networking. This again was an excellent panel, you can tell by the panel here, they shared a great deal of information and knowledge and tips and ideas that they think you know people can take away and actually, you know, listen to and perhaps make small changes that will make a difference in our industry.
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You know, key things that came out of here is the importance of diversity, you know, and the value that that brings to associations, or organisations. You know, there is a need, I think, to engage younger girls, and not just younger girls but I think younger people in general to ‑‑ and, you know, and also show that tech isn't just for men; it can be interesting and fun for women as well and young girls.
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And, you know, I think this was a good one as well, which was to encourage, you know, women to apply for positions and keep motivating women to keep moving forward and, you know, making the change and bringing diversity to the workplace.
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The other next panel we did was the business continuity. And one of the reasons we did this is because, at the very beginning of Covid, in my last presentation during the Connect Working Group I talked about the different meetings that we had and the knowledge‑sharing that was done during this crucial time. Now, with ‑‑ the idea of this panel was to find out what's happening next. You know, we have talked about being in Covid, but how are we all going to ‑‑ what are we all going to do in 2021? Budgets? Strategy? I think the key takeaway here was that we need to be flexible. And also, you know, relationships, it's ‑‑ this year has been really hard to build new relationships and, you know, maintain old ones, so it's really important that, you know, we all make that effort to maintain the relationships that we have spent all these years building and, you know, try and continue to build new ones in this time when we can't physically meet.
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All of these virtual meeting sessions you can find on the Euro‑IX website. Want to do a really quick IXP database update. That is, we now have 252 IXPs in the database and we are looking for supports, so if you are interested, please come and talk to me. And I think that's all I have time for. Thank you.

FLORENCE LAVROFF: Thank you, Bijal, I really appreciate the presentation and the use of those panels. Thank you. Do we have questions for Bijal?

WILL VAN GULIK: I think we do. I see Leslie having a question... or not. No.

FLORENCE LAVROFF: I can't see anything on Slido at the moment. Do we have any audio questions, maybe?

WILL VAN GULIK: There was one that popped up, but then it went away. So... let me check the chat. Lots of thank you in the chat.

FLORENCE LAVROFF: Please, everyone, rate the presentations, that's what we want to hear.

WILL VAN GULIK: Please rate the talks, that's helpful to make good choices and so on for the next meeting. I don't see any questions...

FLORENCE LAVROFF: We don't see anything else coming, so, Bijal, thank you very much.

BIJAL SANGHANI: Thank you everyone and enjoy the rest of the week.
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(Virtual applause)

REMCO VAN MOOK: So I guess that brings us to the end of Connect Working Group. We have two minutes to spare. Imagine that, so we can all start queuing for the barista. As just said by Will, please don't forget to rate the talks. Thank you all very much for attending from wherever you are. Mind the gap and see you next time.

WILL VAN GULIK: See everyone, thank you for attending.

FLORENCE LAVROFF: See you, everyone, and take care.
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(Coffee break)