Global Akamai Outage

Mark Tinka mark at
Tue Jul 27 14:10:12 UTC 2021

On 7/26/21 19:04, Lukas Tribus wrote:

> rpki-client can only remove outdated VRP's, if it a) actually runs and
> b) if it successfully completes a validation cycle. It also needs to
> do this BEFORE the RTR server distributes data.
> If rpki-client for whatever reason doesn't complete a validation cycle
> [doesn't start, crashes, cannot write to the file] it will not be able
> to update the file, which stayrtr reads and distributes.

Have you had an odd experiences with rpki-client running? The fact that 
it's not a daemon suggests that it is less likely to bomb out (even 
though that could happen as a runtime binary, but one can reliably test 
for that with any effected changes).

Of course, rpki-client depends on Cron being available and stable, and 
over the years, I have not run into any major issues guaranteeing that.

So if you've seen some specific outage scenarios with it, I'd be keen to 
hear about them.

> If your VM went down with both rpki-client and stayrtr, and it stays
> down for 2 days (maybe a nasty storage or virtualization problem or
> maybe this just a PSU failure in a SPOF server), when the VM comes
> backup, stayrtr will read and distribute 2 days old data - after all -
> rpki-client is a periodic cronjob while stayrtr will start
> immediately, so there will be plenty of time to distribute obsolete
> VRP's. Just because you have another validator and RTR server in
> another region that was always available, doesn't mean that the
> erroneous and obsolete data served by this server will be ignored.

This is a good point.

So I know that one of the developers of StayRTR is working on having it 
use the "expires" values that rpki-client inherently possesses to ensure 
that StayRTR never delivers stale data to clients. If this works, while 
it does not eliminate the need to some degree of monitoring, it 
certainly makes it less of a hassle, going forward.

> There are more reasons and failure scenarios why this 2 piece setup
> (periodic RPKI validation, separate RTR daemon) can become a "split
> brain". As you implement more complicated setups (a single global RPKI
> validation result is distributed to regional RTR servers - the
> cloudflare approach), things get even more complicated. Generally I
> prefer the all in one approach for these reasons (FORT validator).
> At least if it crashes, it takes down the RTR server with it:
> But I have to emphasize that all those are just examples. Unknown bugs
> or corner cases can lead to similar behavior in "all in one" daemons
> like Fort and Routinator. That's why specific improvements absolutely
> do not mean we don't have to monitor the RTR servers.


I've had my fair share of Fort issues in the past month, all of which 
have been fixed and a new release is imminent, so I'm happy.

I'm currently running both Fort and rpki-client + StayRTR. At a basic 
level, they both send the exact same number of VRP's toward clients, 
likely because they share a philosophy in validation schemes, and crypto 

We're getting there.


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