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RIPE87 - Local Hub Belgium

·527 words·3 mins

The idea to create a local hub for RIPE87 came from Mike from MikeNetworks and Vesna from the RIPE NCC. He told me that going to Rome was going to be difficult because the hotel that they’d be staying at is not easily accessible with public transport, so he wanted to create a local hub in Belgium. I thought it was a great idea, so we decided to put it under the BENOG website.


Planning for it started around August. We got in touch with DCStar ( by Datacenter United) to see if we could use their venue. They were very happy to help us out and helped us organize the event. We were able to use their meeting room in Oostkamp, Belgium.

We also got lucky that they offered us a datacenter tour. We were able to see their Oostkamp datacenter up close and learn about how they were cooled, powered and operated.

For connectivity, they provided us an ethernet port where we could tunnel our connection from. MikeNetworks asked the RIPE NCC if they could provide us with a temporary /24 IPv4 allocation, which they gladly provided. As for IPv6, we decided to use an existing unused range from MikeNetworks.

We invited people from the Belgian networking community that were close to us. We were glad that a lot of HOWEST showed up. We had also invited a few ISP’s, but they were unable to attend.


We planned the event to only follow 2 out of the 5 RIPE87 days.

Basic setup was fairly simple, we had a few tables, a projector and a screen. We used the screen to follow the RIPE87 stream. However, the Raspberry Pi we brought to stream the video was unable to handle it, so we switched to using my laptop.

For the networking side, we used a Dell R720 as a router running Debian and WireGuard and an Ubiquiti Access Point.

Setup image

Our setup was fairly simple. We had a WireGuard tunnel to our BGP router that forwarded the prefixes to the R720, which then forwarded the announced ranges on its 2nd interface. The Ubiquiti AP was connected to the 2nd interface and provided Wi-Fi connectivity.

We did notice a bug in Ubiquiti’s firmware that caused the AP to not allow IPv6 traffic to pass through. We disabled the captive portal and it worked again.

The event

For some of our unexpected challenges we had to get creative with our solutions, things went great for a first time and gave us great experience for the future. Even though we had a few of our guests that unfortunately couldn’t make it, it was nonetheless a great networking event.

The datacenter tour was also fun, Nick Meyfroodt from DCStar/Datacenter United toured and gave explanations on every aspect of the datacenters and its operations.

DC Tour

We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the datacenter, so we only have a few approved pictures we can share.

Meeting floor


Even though it was a first time for all parties, we were very happy with the result. We had a great time, and we hope to do it again in the future.