Neubot is now using M-Lab

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Starting from Monday 12 December 2011, Neubot has started using Measurement Lab (M-Lab), which is an open, distributed server platform for researchers to deploy Internet measurement tools. In practice, this means that Neubot can now perform its measurements using more than 60 servers distributed around the globe.

The availability of servers in North America, Europe, Oceania and Japan is going to benefit a lot Neubot users and developers. Until now, Neubot has used a unique server hosted in Turin by the TopIX Consortium. As a consequence, nonitalian Neubot users (and especially noneuropean users) were typically too far away to get reliable and quality measurements. Now, instead, it is possible to redirect nonitalian users to the geographically closest server, improving reliability and quality. While Italian users will keep using the TopIX server.

One practical consequence of using M-Lab is that, if you are not Italian, you should see that Neubot now performs measurements against another server. And, depending on the distance between you and the new server, you may also see a performance boost. Especially if you do not live in Europe. By the way, even if there are countries (or group of countries) with more than one server, Neubot will, for now, always use the same per-country server. So, it should not happen that one test is performed against one server and the subsequent one against a different server. Of course, it should be nice to use servers more efficiently, and we will do that in future, but we have chosen to start with a simpler and more predictable deployment. If you're curious, here's the link to the piece of code that fills the map between a country and its server:

    https://github.com/neubot/neubot/blob/next/M-Lab/redir_table.py

To comply with M-Lab policy, the Neubot client will use the server platform if and only if you have provided BOTH the permission to collect and to share your Internet address (i.e. publish on the web). If you don't provide the permission to share, we are not allowed to redirect you to M-Lab and we fall back to our TopIX server. Given the tremendous advantage of using M-Lab, starting from the next version, Neubot will NOT perform tests UNLESS the user provides the permission to share its Internet address.