Whois lookups (was: 2010.10.04 NANOG50 day 1 morning notes posted)


Whois traffic has been going through the roof; they
added more proxies in front to support it.
Apparently, there's IP management packages that do
whois queries. It would be good to find out who is
doing it, and talk to ARIN engineering, to find a better
way of handling it.
We can't keep up if so many machines on the internet
keep doing it like this.
Source addresses are all over, they're all over, not
sign of bots; could be a DLL or mac system startup
that's doing it.
Please, don't embed whois lookups in everyone's computers
like this!!

The only thing I know of is that packages like fail2ban that perform WHOIS lookups when blocking IPs to generate abuse POC notification emails. So more SSH bruteforce attacks = more whois lookups.


Or the new whois doesn't scale as well as the old one.


Seth -

  New WHOIS scales much better than the old one; it would have
  extremely challenging to assemble enough equipment to handle
  the current query rate. Look at the NANOG presentation slide
  for the exact query rate graph, but we're handling orders of
  magnitude more queries at present.


Looking at the graph on your 3 slide, it looks like ARIN is getting around 3200 whois queries per second. How much of that query load is a result of non-port 43 queries (that is, making use of the REST features in the new server)? It looks like the exponentiation in query load started around the same time the Whois-RWS was deployed...


Traffic increases a lot over the course of a day and follows a diurnal
pattern. Right now we are seeing close to 7,000 queries per second during
the height of the day. The original Whois cluster that Whois-RWS replaced
could not serve more than 800 queries per second.

There were two spikes. The first was right after we deployed Whois-RWS. For
two months, we saw a consistent load maxing at 2400 queries per second. The
second spike happened on Sept 6. At that point, traffic jumped almost 3x to
the current max of 7,000 queries per second and has been pretty consistent
over the past month.

The patterns that we see are interesting. Most interesting is the spike
asking for ip addresses login servers for the likes of Facebook, AOL, and
Yahoo. This pattern emerged on Sept 6. Various people have been looking at
this but no good explanation has yet been found. Your guess is good as mine
what the cause of this query growth.