New LINX Route-Server Looking-Glass

The process for replacing the LINX route-server looking-glass with the Alice looking-glass and Birdwatcher has taken some time to achieve since it was first announced in the Summer of 2019. The old looking-glass was designed in-house in around 2003 to work with the original Quagga based route-servers. Over time more code was added to function with the BIRD route-servers. This code carried some engineering debt and only a few engineers were able to maintain the code for this looking-glass.
After much needed work on the route-servers to enable RPKI and upgrade the route-servers operating system to Ubuntu work finally started on the Alice looking-glass replacement in February 2020, just as the COVID lock down set in.
Testing was initially carried out using a VM on one route-server emulating RS1 with Birdwatcher on LON1. This worked fine until we decided to see how things worked with all LINX route-servers connected to the looking-glass in a test environment. It became clear that we needed more memory resources and decided to deploy the looking-glass on a physical device with more memory which seemed allow Alice to work better.
Now with the Alice looking-glass in place it brings so much more than the previous version did. It offers the feature to globally search for prefixes, ASNs and peers, as well as search for prefixes for a particular tagged community. We have also branded the front page with the LINX colours which makes it look much more appealing than the old style looking-glass.
LINX members can access the new Alice looking-glass for our route-servers via the LINX portal or via https://alice-rs.linx.net.
Written by Mo Shivji, Senior Network Engineer and Ariel Smutkochorn, Systems Reliability Engineer