Packets Down Range #11:Retro NSA, Colorado, Nvidia

2022 has come and gone. Welcome, 2023! As, with any other year, not much news this time of year from the connectivity world. Submit any news here.

Data Center & Cloud News

•Some retro news on the country’s largest “spy center“. This article has some interesting tidbits on a data center the NSA constructed in 2013.

•Iron Mountain gives us a 360 video tour of their AZP-1 facility outside of Phoenix, Arizona.

•Google puts the pause button on their Becker, Minnesota Data Center along with other Data Center expansions.

•Looking for your fix of Data Center photos? Data Center Frontier is on Instagram. You can also check out my own Instagram feed, which often has networking-related photos.

Nvidia is doing great in the Data Center Space. Intel Makes their own moves.

Visit for peering and Internconnection.

ISP News
Sonar has a post on using their Billing software to fight inflation”. While this is skewed toward their software, it has some good points for ISPs.

AltaFiber coming to Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

Colorado passes a law that excludes local governments from entering the broadband market.
Artticle #2: The municipal broadband movement got a boost in Colorado as residents in 26 cities and towns and 17 counties voted to overturn a law that limited local communities from building a broadband business even in areas where incumbent telcos and cable operators have refused to upgrade facilities.

KWIKOM expands Kansas footprint.

Podcasts & Blogs

•Tony Mattke over at RouterJockey has an article on AI and Machine learning in InfoSec.

TheNetworkBerg has a video on ZeroTier

•Could AAPanel be an alternative to Virtualmin? Willie Howe has a video on aaPanel.

Other Industry News

•The workforce attitude toward working from anywhere is changing.

HTTP thirty years later. At over thirty years old, HTTP is still the foundation of the web and one of the Internet’s most popular protocols—not just for browsing, watching videos and listening to music, but also for apps, machine-to-machine communication, and even as a basis for building other protocols, forming what some refer to as a “second waist” in the classic Internet hourglass diagram.

Netflix’s new studio is a 300-acre previous Army Base in New Jersey.

•The FBI’s Infragard network has been hacked.

Check out TowerOne Inc for all your tower and safe climbing needs. Tell them Packets Down Range sent you.

Please consider becoming a sponsor by advertising or becoming a Patreon or donating any amount via Paypal for additional content. #packetsdownrange

10 Gig SpeedTest server Intel Nuc

Recently a client testing their 5G solution came to me asking for a solution to testing speed from their CBRS/5G/802.11ax clients.  One of the requirements was it had to support greater than 1 gig speedtests as close to the devices as possible. This particular client has a small cell device which has room for a small form factor PC. The challenge was finding a small PC that could handle a 10 gig port.

In steps my buddy John from Columbus.  John is up on hardware more than I am.  After some talks, we settled on the following two pieces of hardware

Intel Nuc, Sonnet 10 Gig adaptor, Mikrotik HexS

Once we assembled this we need a router for the Internet and DHCP. We chose a RouterBoard hexS

As a not both of these will run off DC power.  The Nuc comes with a 19Volt power supply so if you are running Pure DC you may want to drop from, say a 24volt battery bank to 19 volt with a Meanwell converter.

The Software
Proxmox was installed on the Nuc.  Nothing crazy about this. Just make sure the thunderbolt adaptor is plugged in during install.  For our purposes, we are just using the 10 gig adaptor.  Proxmox recognizes the adaptor without a hiccup.

In some earlier blog posts I wrote about the self-hosted speedtests. (Patreon Subscription Required)

I installed the self-hosted speedtest under a Centos Minimal Install. Everything was put on a 172.16.x.x network.  This was done in order to prevent any conflicts with various types of Internet the Mikrotik may be plugged into.  By default, port 1 is set up to be a DHCP client.  In our setup, the Internet is the bottleneck, but we are not testing the Internet.  We are testing clients on the 5g/CBRS/802.11ax network. Our 10 gig port on the nuc will be plugged into a 10 gig switch at the small cell, and not into our routerboard.  The routerboard is just there to hand out DHCP and allow Internet access, if available.





Intel Nuc

More details and review coming soon. Gi joe for size reference.