This Week in Net: Cloudflare Radar 2022 Year in Review & DNS records (Xmas edition)
Welcome to our weekly review of stories from our blog and elsewhere, from products, tools and announcements to disruptions on the Internet. This is our last This Week in Net of 2022.
João Tomé is joined by our CTO, John Graham-Cumming. In this week's program, we talk about one of our most requested features: DNS record comments and tags are now here. And we go over Cloudflare Radar 2022 Year in Review microsite. In the end, we highlight some of the year’s Cloudflare announcements and give a glimpse of what to expect for 2023. Have a good holiday season and a great 2023!
Read the blog posts:
- One of our most requested features is here: DNS record comments and tags
- Cloudflare Radar 2022 Year in Review
And don't miss the Cloudflare Radar 2022 Year in Review microsite .
Hello and welcome to This Week in Net. Okay, this doesn't work. It's our end-of -the-year slash Christmas special edition.
I'm João Tomé, coming to you from Lisbon, Portugal, and with me I have, as usual, our CDO, John Graham-Cumming, also in Lisbon.
Hello, John, also decorated for Christmas. A little bit, yeah. I was trying to put my sweater or jumper, as you say in Britain, with the lights.
It has some lights, but it's not working now, so bummer.
Well, my hat lights aren't working either.
They're meant to do this. Yeah, you have to click it. Yeah, they stop for a while.
I remember that. Anyway, so we're ending the year in a sense. It was a big year, but before we go into the year, let's go over two blog posts.
I think two interesting blog posts we had this week.
One is related to DNS record comments and tags.
We can start there. So it was one of our most requested features is now here, DNS record comments and tags.
First, why was that one of the most requested features, and what is it really?
Okay, so one of the sort of cornerstones of using Cloudflare is DNS records, and pretty much everybody uses Cloudflare, sets up DNS in Cloudflare, where you have like what the IP address of your web server is, for example, or your mail server configuration, all sorts of stuff in DNS, and yeah, if you scroll down in here, it's a great example, and DNS gets used for all manner of things, validating TLS certificates, SPF and DMARC for email stuff, and people end up having a lot of DNS records, and the problem comes to be that they may forget why they added a record, or they may need to group records together in some way, and there was no way to do that in the interface, and so in some ways, we've added the simplest of all things, which is you can add a note to a DNS record.
So scroll down to the view of the UI, and you can see here, this is somebody who owns mycallwebpage.xyz, and they are editing an A record here, and you can see down this thing here, it says record attributes, and they can leave a comment, and so you can put in literally this is what this record is for, and you can also add tags, and the tags are handy for grouping things together, so if you want to go in and you can actually filter and say, okay, show me all the DNS records that have this particular tag, so for example, this example here is about I'm running some sort of testing, maybe there's testing in your environment or something, and we could mark everything as testing, and you could filter and see what all the testing records were, and all those kind of things, so it's a very simple thing, but it's actually very powerful, because many customers end up with tens, or hundreds, or even thousands of entries in DNS, and figuring out which one you're looking for, why you entered it in the first place is, you know, required record keeping separately from within the Cloudflare system, so now you can do it within Cloudflare, as you say, one of our most requested features, I mean, literally hundreds of people ask for it, so.
And it's here, it's here now. It's here, yes, it's a little holiday Christmas gift for our customers.
True, and I saw a lot of comments on the Internet, in terms of people just saying, oh my god, this will save me so much time and trouble, so a lot of people are really excited about this, because it has a real-world influence on their work, right?
Well, the thing is, it's one of those situations where, you know, you think about all the stuff that Cloudflare does, the DDoS protection, and the WAFs, and all the Azure Trusts, and all these great products, there's another side to it, which is, you know, if you actually manage the tool on a daily basis, you have to worry about how you manage it, right?
And so all the features that are around how you log in, and how you have users, and groups of users, and who has access to what, all these things are very, very important in terms of the usability of the Cloudflare product.
We want it to be very usable, and this particular one, which seems almost silly in some ways, where you want to add a comment to a DNS report, really isn't, because it turns out that if you're managing a lot of DNS records, you will inevitably have difficulty managing them.
And even me, actually, in my account, I have a small number of records, it'll be kind of useful, because occasionally there are particularly text records that get added for some reason, and it's like, well, why did I add this text record?
It was probably for verifying a TLS thing, or some service, or something else, but just being able to say, oh, this thing is related to that, super useful.
No doubt there. And it's really wonderful to see all the feedback coming in just before Christmas.
We also have a Christmas gift of sorts that does a sum up of the year, the Cloudflare Radar 2022 Year in Review.
And this was like a project that, in a sense, is not only a blog post, it's also a microsite that people can interact, and it's dynamic.
And you worked on this, so you know how much crazy amount of work went into this, which is that, so for people who don't know Cloudflare Radar, which is the site you just showed, is a place where we publish close to real-time statistics about things that are going on the Internet, so you can dig into traffic in different countries, and attacks, and popular sites, and all sorts of stuff.
And so anyone can go to Radar at any time and look at those things.
And it's super useful, look at outages, look at what's happening with BGP hijacking, all sorts of stuff.
And then we have a special microsite, which is the Year in Review 2022, which really consolidates a lot of information about what's happened on the Internet from Cloudflare's perspective, because of course Cloudflare has an incredible view of what's happening on the Internet across the world.
And so actually, let's do Portugal, we're sitting here in Portugal, let's see what's happened in Portugal this year from Cloudflare's perspective.
So there we go, and if we scroll down, the first thing we're going to see in the Year in Review is the traffic growth.
And this is pretty interesting, so traffic has actually grown quite a lot in Portugal, a lot more actually than in the rest of the world.
So all of the world has seen a pattern a little bit like this, which is that Internet use seemed to be, it grew a little bit, but was kind of flat right for the first part of the year.
And after the summer, Internet use grew a lot worldwide.
I think if I remember well, it grew about 23%.
And it looks like in Portugal it's grown even more. So you can see that we are continuing to use the Internet more and more on a per country and worldwide basis.
Yeah, 23%, there you go. So you see a similar sort of pattern, right? And I mean, it's a little bit, you know, answering the question of why it's got a kind of interesting is that we had the World Cup towards the end of the year, we had everything around Black Friday towards the end of the year, we had the death of Queen Elizabeth towards the end of the year, like lots of things got people onto the Internet, I think.
So you sort of see, anyway, we're seeing pretty consistent growth now since July.
True, and it's interesting, even in this worldwide view, that is the one I'm showing now, you could see the summer in the northern hemisphere months.
Most people, there's a very high percentage of people that live in the northern hemisphere.
And we can see that in our data that when the summer in the northern hemisphere, Internet traffic goes down, even in the worldwide scenario.
But also in Portugal, we were showing Portugal, also in Portugal, which is pretty much interesting, I think.
There's also the United Kingdom here. Yeah, lots of growth towards the end of the year there.
Similar sorts of patterns. Now, what if we go to the southern hemisphere?
Let's take a look at South Africa. I was checking actually a spike in traffic on September the 8th when the Queen Elizabeth happened there.
Yeah, you sort of see it there. A similar sort of pattern though, it's interesting, right?
Because summer and winter being inverted there, but still lots of Internet traffic towards the end of the year growing.
But there's an increase here in July, for example, in August.
Yeah, which we don't see in the northern hemisphere.
And then if we scroll down, you can kind of get a sense for what's in the radar.
So we can look at what areas we're seeing growth throughout the year, what was popular in South Africa, for example.
And you can actually run through the year interactively, see different parts of the Internet.
And you can go down and you can look at what services are popular.
This is an interesting one this year, because we've spent an enormous amount of, I was going to say money, an enormous amount of time on our ranking methodologies.
So the team that works on radar has built this, and there's a big blog post about this, built this big machine learning model that helps us use DNS data to estimate traffic to services.
And perhaps unsurprisingly, Google is number one. I mean, you see about all the ways people use Google globally and Facebook.
But it's interesting that Apple and TikTok tied for number three, that Apple, from an online perspective, is really, really up there, right, in terms of all the things people use Apple for.
That was pretty fascinating. It is. And even TikTok being there, we changed methods.
So last year, we had a different method. We used this only in the blog post last year.
Now, it's in the microsite for people to interact. This data is not specific to countries.
That would require a little bit more work, and it's more difficult maybe next year.
But this is the worldwide perspective here.
And we build from the new methodology seen on radar, the domains area.
And there, people can see the top 100 by country, actually, which is interesting.
But it's raw data. So it includes infrastructure, it includes Google APIs, or G-Static, or Google Video, DoubleClick, like it's ads.
Some of those domains are related to ads.
But this is a more curated, more humans using services type of list, the one we have here.
Yeah, here we've curated it and said, these things are all Google, and these things are TikTok, etc.
So it's a slightly different view.
Hopefully, it gives us a clearer view of what's happening against social media.
While we're talking about social media, we should talk about Mastodon, right?
Because Mastodon, I think we have some specific information. We have a chart, also worldwide related.
But actually, there's a few countries there, if you select some of the countries that have data, you would see the increase specific in that country.
And this is South Africa, which is South Africa. Yeah. Let's go back to worldwide though, from Mastodon data, because I think what's interesting there is this growth.
Obviously, Mastodon, if you don't know what it is, is a Twitter-like service.
It's a way of publishing status or activity and sharing it.
It has a very different architecture to Twitter. It's what we call federated.
So people run their own Mastodon servers, and they all come together to share their status.
Centralized. It's decentralized, exactly. And as you can see, throughout the year, well, it was somewhat popular and it was slowly growing.
So I kind of imagined this. And then, Elon Musk happened, right? And so what happened was Elon Musk's buyout with Twitter happened.
And then there was a lot of kerfuffle about where he was making decisions about how things were going to be run at Twitter and what was allowed and what wasn't allowed.
And that has driven a lot of people to go over to using Mastodon.
And you can really see that here.
It's pretty amazing. I remember where we're aggregating traffic from a large number of big Mastodon servers.
400. There you go. Right. So pretty, pretty incredible, right?
So Mastodon has clearly taken off. I guess we'll see. And we're going to keep these charts updating as well.
That's the other thing as we go through the year.
So we'll be able to actually look at what's happening with Mastodon through 2023.
Yeah, that will be really interesting. Just to give you a sense, for example, here, it increases first on November 11, and then around November 11, then around November the 23rd, and then drops a bit.
I was checking the more recent data actually this week, and it drops a bit to not to the previous levels before September, but to lower levels.
And then on this weekend, on Sunday, it rose again.
And this Sunday was not only the World Cup final, but also we have some trends about the World Cup final in our Twitter radar account.
People can check.
But it was also like the day where a new policy from Twitter was announced, like people posting their Mastodon direct links would be banned or suspended.
That was retrieved.
So Elon Musk took that back. But some high profile accounts, even Paul Graham's account was suspended because he was stating that he was in another social media.
Yeah, actually, his account was an interesting one, because the policy was that you couldn't post a link to another social media website.
Mastodon was one of them.
He didn't even do that. He said, I've got a Mastodon account.
The link to it is on my website. He didn't link to his website. He had to be like, OK, I'll look up Paul Graham's and find it.
Nevertheless, he got banned. So I think that sort of kerfuffle back and forth kind of stuff has really driven people to look at alternatives.
And it's pretty exciting. It is. We also have some data.
It's not here, but I can state Mastodon in our top 10. We have the top 10 list of domains at the top, like we were showing.
It does not enter in the top 10 of social media here.
We also have a bunch of Asia popular social networks, like Why and others here.
But Mastodon rose to number 18 of the list. And this includes more than 30 social media networks.
So Mastodon was out of that list. And then it appears in number 18 in late November.
So that was also an increase there. A really significant increase.
Yes, yes. But yeah, we also have bots, if people want to check bot traffic for specific countries.
So the interesting story on bots is that it's gone down towards the end of the year.
And in fact, it's gone down because humans have gone up.
So it's relative. That was interesting. In fact, that the bots are still out there.
It's not the bots went away. If you look at that growth of Internet traffic that we saw in all those graphs, that's actually human traffic.
So it's interesting that there's been a slight downward trend as humans have spent the rest of the last part of this year doing more online.
Well, more humans and less bots in the last part of the year.
And makes sense, given all of the things we know, Christmas, buying periods.
There's the singles day in November in Asia.
There's the Black Friday week. I think that's now a global event, the Black Friday week, not only in Europe or in the US, but even outside those areas.
So that's pretty much interesting. We also have this... Let's go back to the outages thing, because you were just looking at that, and I think there's a couple of things that are kind of fun here.
So if you click, if you move that over to July, we should be able to...
So July, you've got a big outage in Canada, and that's the Rogers outage, which was a really big deal in Canada, right?
So that was one of those outages, which was pretty stunning what happened there.
With millions of people affected in that case. Millions, and phone service, and emergency services, and ATM machines, and all sorts of stuff.
That was a major disruption. We wrote a blog post about that, and it was one of the most popular of the year blog posts.
People were trying to understand what happened.
And Iran, I mean, obviously, outages do happen in Iran, but obviously more recently.
So if you go forward, I think once we get into September, we start to see Iran, 30 outages, where there's the government there was shutting down the Internet because of the protests that are happening there.
Exactly. And still going, right? Still going. If you go back to June, though, well, Ukraine has outages all the time because there is a war happening.
But go to June, and June is an interesting pattern.
And then the question for everybody is, what's happening here?
Why is this? And I believe the answer to this is exams.
There are a bunch of countries that shut down the Internet when exams are happening, including in India and Pakistan.
And so I think this is the pattern here you're seeing.
This is kind of exam season showing up. They shut it down, stop cheating happening, because people try to use the Internet to cheat.
And that's been happening throughout the years.
That's not even a 2022 thing. Yeah, that's not new.
Absolutely. Yeah, it's really interesting to see. Actually, it's like different aspects and views on the Internet in different countries for different purposes, right?
May that be protests or exams, but also the war. Yeah, the war.
Actually, June, there's no outages in Ukraine. But especially after October, that was when the energy infrastructures were mostly targeted.
You could see more outages in Ukraine.
And some of them were having an impact in the whole country in terms of dropping traffic.
Yeah, it's pretty much incredible.
A reminder that the Internet depends on electricity. And so if you hit electricity, you hit Internet.
So you see those kind of outages happening. What were you going to say before that?
You were going to talk about something just down below, I think.
Yeah, Starlink. We also have some interesting data from Starlink in this case.
One of the topics of the year in terms of not only because of the war, Starlink helped having better Internet connectivity in Ukraine after the war started.
But also, generally speaking, they've been growing. They've been on the news for good reasons, in a sense.
So there's a clear increase in traffic here. There is a very clear increase, in fact, throughout the year.
Look at that graph. It's just steadily going up and up and up as they increase the number of subscribers.
And actually, you can see on some of the country level charts, when it gets approved or becomes available in those countries, you suddenly see this.
There it is.
You say, for example, presumably right there in March, Starlink became available in Poland.
It's like, ah, off it goes and off it grows, etc. And you see this happening around the world as it becomes service people combined.
Brazil, a little bit later, April, but there it goes.
And there it goes, there it goes. Yeah.
Do we have any data from Ukraine? Yes, show us Ukraine while we're here. Yes, so it's just been steadily, it became available briefly after the war began.
Yeah. You were saying? I was going to say, I don't know if we have data for Antarctica, do we?
No. Countries where we don't have good enough data.
Yeah, maybe that's right. We are seeing Starlink traffic from Antarctica.
IPv6 is 25 years old.
And it is, and still not as adopted as it should, say like that.
Yes. Exactly. I mean, India, obviously doing an incredible job there, primarily because of Reliance Geo, who've just done, they use it.
Yeah, they use IPv6 for everything.
But plucky Belgium is always in there as well, right? Belgium's always there with this incredible IPv6.
Belgium is one of those that has high percentage of IPv6.
Yeah, look at that. It's because of their ISPs, which is interesting.
But Portugal, not that much, for example. Portugal, not that much. It's not little, but it's not like one of the highest ones.
But if you go to Africa, sometimes that's lower, in a sense, for example.
Real low percentage. Okay, yeah. It's not great, is it?
It's not. There we go. So IPv6 still, so India's up there. It's number one there.
Number one, yeah. Always number one. Saudi Arabia, also Malaysia.
Yeah, different countries. Often countries where there's more mobile usage, actually, because often the mobile providers are using IPv6.
So if you have more mobile users, you often get more IPv6 usage.
So it's related to this graph. I find these graphs mesmerizing to watch as they unfold.
It's like the little lines go up and down.
Yeah, that's true. We also have more security area related to types of attacks, mitigated attacks, or mitigated traffic in this case.
DDoS is one of the techniques more used, of course.
One of the most popular types of attacks.
Yeah. And there's trends here also related to country or worldwide. Yeah.
HTTP anomaly was the most applied WAF rule in South Africa, for example.
Yeah, that's quite common worldwide, which is people trying to do things by messing with HTTP and then the WAF catches it because they're just doing it wrong.
Technology, top 10. Oh, we also have top 10 source of email phishing worldwide.
Yeah. That's right. Now we have the area one email security product, which is protecting people from phishing.
We see this pretty amazing data now on the sources of phishing emails.
So in fact, interesting enough, USA, USA, USA, number one in sending phishing emails.
So that's true. Probably also number one in sending emails in general, but...
Oh, look at Germany. Oh, Germany, late entrant there in November, Germany.
That's true. The source of phishing emails. So, yeah. So, I mean, phishing comes from all over the place and it's something people need to protect against.
So really, generally, actually one of the biggest threats to companies is phishing emails.
So as we at Cloudflare have seen over the last couple of days, somebody did a big phishing campaign against us.
That's true. Unsuccessful.
Unsuccessful as usual, but it doesn't mean they don't try. It happens, yeah.
So people can check this on radar.Cloudflare.com, or there's also a link, more direct link, like Cloudflare .com-2022, it redirects to this website.
So people can browse their own trends in a sense here.
Yeah. We also have a few minutes, so why not do like a sum up of the year very quick?
Some of the year, but I also want to start with a game for you.
Very short. How many blog posts we wrote in our Cloudflare blog in 2022 that you reviewed?
That I reviewed? I mean, I reviewed all of them.
It's around 100, 300, 400 or 500. I'm going to say it's 300.
It's 418. Oh my God. A lot of blog posts, more than one per day.
Of course, we concentrate a lot of those in innovation weeks, or innovation weeks have much more blog posts than other weeks.
And we had seven innovation weeks, which includes security week, platform week, Cloudflare one, GA week, birthday week, developer week, and impact week.
So a lot of innovation weeks also there.
Crazy. And we are now working on the next one. Exactly. Can we say which one?
Yes, we can. These things aren't a big secret. CIO week. CIO week coming up on January the 8th, I believe.
Everything that, you know, one of those days, second week in January.
Exactly. There will be a lot of content if you are a CIO or interested in things CIOs are interested in about how to use Cloudflare in your organization.
So that is underway right now being prepared. Yeah, that will be interesting.
And it's another innovation week, close by, but already in a new year. So it's coming.
It's coming. Yes. We, in terms of the year, do you want to do like a sum up, if you can, of some of the most relevant things possibly we added this year, like for the normal, typical customer or someone just interested in what we do?
Goodness, it's hard for me to pick something we did this year. I mean, so much.
I can throw a few things I saw in terms of, it's related to blog posts that were somewhat popular in a sense.
Announcing turnstile, a user-friendly privacy-preserving alternative to CAPTCHA.
Yeah, that's a good one. Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely.
The hardware key to making phishing defense seamless with Cloudflare Zero Trust and Yubico.
So it's a hardware key in a sense. We use it at Cloudflare, but we are also like helping others to use that.
Yeah. That's true. I have mine. Can you see that?
Does that come through? I have all of mine on novelty key rings. This one says Dinerific.
Often when you put one of these keys into a service, they ask you for a nickname for the key to remind you what the key is.
Because I have multiple of them.
I have these novelty key rings. Occasionally I'll say, you need to insert Dinerific into this.
I have another one here. This is a key ring I got at the MoMA in New York.
I call this MoMA Blue. I use that one. It says, insert MoMA Blue. I didn't saw that one.
Show it higher. Oh, sorry. It's just a little simple key ring like this.
I have another one, which is somewhere here on my desk. Those are good ones for sure.
It's a way to remember them because otherwise I would lose them. Where's the other one?
It's a fun method to remember. Oh, here it is. This one. Follow me.
That's a good one too. Oh, another one like announcing D1, our first SQL database.
Then call for D1 was also an open alpha release. More things. Privacy gateway, a privacy preserving proxy built on Internet standards.
There you go. Yeah. Another popular one was Cloudflare Workers and micro front ends made for each other in a sense.
Yeah. That was a really interesting post. More ones. Email routing leaves beta.
So also a possibility. Yeah. Email routing, I use that as a really popular product.
Yeah. More things. R2 is now generally available. A lot of people were asking for R2.
R2 in the sense, can you describe a little bit of R2 just for those who don't know?
Well, I mean, it's a replacement for S3 and R is before S and two is before three.
And it is one less than S3. And what the thing that's missing is egress fees.
We don't charge you when you take your data out. Whereas Amazon and others will charge you to get your data out of their object storage.
We don't. So you pay to store it and it's very inexpensive and we will deliver it.
However, you want to deliver it without charging for it.
And I think that's a huge difference because you shouldn't be locked in like that.
So, you know, hopefully it's taken off enormously R2 and it's a nice building block of, you know, the entire developer platform cloud warehouse.
One here. Back in 27, we gave you unmetered DDoS mitigation.
Here's a birthday gift, unmetered rate limiting. So this was for the birthday week.
Yeah. Rate limiting is very, very popular piece of functionality often used by people with multiple servers, or if they have got a server, which is slow, or they need to just control the number of requests that go in.
And yeah, that's now one of our, it's in the box included services.
Also have here introducing Workerd, the open source workers runtime.
This is workers related for developers.
That's right. So the, you know, the actual core runtime that we are doing.
So, you know, that's absolutely something people can kick the tires on it, incorporate it in their own things.
And then we subsequently incorporate it into our MiniFlare.
So you're actually using the same runtime we are. Actually the creator of MiniFlare, it was not a Cloudflare employee, but now he is.
I interviewed him in our Connect event back in London.
And also TotalTLS, one-click TLS for every host name you have.
Also one of the popular products in a sense. Another one was Cloudflare Adaptive DDoS Protection.
And another one I have here was Cloudflare's Threat Operations and Research Team.
Cloudflare 1 is now GA. Cloudforce 1.
Cloudforce 1. That's a very good name, Cloudforce 1. Invented by someone on Twitter, actually.
Somebody on Twitter suggested that because Matthew asked, do you think we've got any ideas what we should call our Threat Research Team?
And there were a bunch of ideas and somebody said, I can't believe you're not just calling it Cloudforce 1.
Interesting how Twitter works that way. So yeah, used to anyway.
Apparently it's all mastered now. Let's hope it continues. I'm still rooting for Twitter, hopefully.
Just wrap things up. Here also, Cloudflare Pages gets even faster with early hints.
We had a use case in this case related to Shopify and how Shopify used early hints to make websites faster and the experience of their customers faster, which was interesting.
Cloudflare Raider 2.0. We discussed already Cloudflare Raider.
There's a new version of the website there.
And Cloudflare's workers launchpad funding program grows to $2 billion. So it started this year and it grew to $2 billion.
I'm going to give you one tip for this, dear viewers.
You need to follow Cloudflare Raider on Twitter because João and the team tweet out a lot of stuff about Cloudflare Raider.
And it's a good way to get real-time insights or updates on things that aren't necessarily on the blog and you don't have to go looking for the one Cloudflare Raider.
So you do yourself a favor at the end of the year, this is your New Year's resolution, is follow Cloudflare Raider and you'll get to hear from João directly.
And David Belson and we have a lot of...
David Belson and all the other people who tweet there, but it's a great place to get real-time info.
It is, and outages and things like that. And we have some year-in-review tweets programmed already, so you can check them out for the holidays.
There you go. All right, and I think we did a good sum-up. Any short message you can send us, people that are watching for 2023, for what is coming?
I don't know. There'll be some big surprises first week in January. Let's put it that way.
That's good. That's a good teaser for sure. Expect big surprises from Cloudflare right away in January.
Yes, exactly. So I think that's a wrap. Thank you, João.
Yeah, thanks João. Thanks for doing this. Nice to see you again. Nice to see you again.
And have a good holidays and New Year, everyone. Yes. Bye. Bye-bye.