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Livelihood statistics of the SKS keyserver network

From: Gunnar Wolf
Subject: Livelihood statistics of the SKS keyserver network
Date: Wed, 12 May 2021 23:15:37 -0500


I have not been active for a long time in this list. I recently
got started on a project that will bring me back to the SKS sphere,
hopefully to help address the crisis in the keyserver network. But
it's too early to get into that.

What I wanted to bring to you all is a work I started doing over two
years ago, then completely forgot about it... And now, looks like an
interesting point from where to start understanding what the SKS
network looks like - Even, possibly, to help try to address its future.

If you are interested, please visit:

The first thing to understand what I'm plotting are the many graphs
that are _not_ present in the summary page: Scroll down to the table
that has many dates. Clicking on any such date will show you a walk of
gossiping servers, starting from basically a random server in the
network (I pick up whatever answers to -
That's why you will see many entries with zero or very few nodes: it
means I was unlucky with the resolution for a given day). The (quite
ugly and ad-hoc) source for those graphs is at:

Do note that at the beginning I sampled the network much more often
(hourly). I decided this was too much, and since June 2019, am now
walking the network only every four hours. I do hope nobody sees this
as excessive!

I am also plotting a single aggregate from all those data points: The
three graphs you will see at the top of the page, as well as the page
itself, are generated by:

This shows the very large drop the SKS network had in mid-2019, as
well as its behavior since then. I am happy, even hopeful, to note
that it seems the network hit reliability minimums between October
2020 and February 2021, but it seems there is a slight trend for
improvement, at least back to the late-2019 levels.

Please do tell me if this data sounds interesting, and if you can
thing of anything to improve on what I'm doing. Of course, I cannot
apply any changes  to already-collected data, but there are surely
many other things that can be considered.


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