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  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    685
    Here are my thoughts from testing out OnApp CDN so far:

    Quote Originally Posted by lockbull View Post
    One of my questions about these federated CDNs is how is performance guaranteed and what are the SLAs, if any?
    There are certainly no strict SLAs with it. But, they do enforce specific hardware requirements in order for an Edge Server to be accepted into the global federation.

    The dashboard mentions they do passive monitoring of the edge server every 10 seconds, and active monitoring every 60 seconds. So, hopefully an edge server failure is detected quickly and automatically taken out of service.

    Other notes from testing:

    Terminology and documentation has a lot of room for improvement. For example, they use the word "publisher" in the global dashboard to describe something called an "edge resource" in another place.

    Setup was a little bit tricky. I followed the documentation, but had to get OnApp support to fix two things that I couldn't figure out from the docs. (#1 - cdn edge node template was not installed and #2 - my custom domain somehow just "didnt work")

    The backbone of a CDN is the DNS infrastructure. So, to use the OnApp CDN you have to trust and use their DNS. I've done some testing on their anycast dns network and it works OK. Performance is not as good as DNSMadeEasy but they did take traceroutes from me in order to attempt improvement. However, during testing I noticed that one of their authoritative DNS servers was broken (not answering any dns queries) which was concerning. That was fixed within a few hours of reporting the problem.

    Interfaces are still a little bit clunky since they are merging Aflexi stuff in with new stuff they are developing. For example, if you want to subscribe to another CDN node in the federation it takes 3 steps in 2 different systems: 1) subscribe in the global dashboard 2) edit your cdn edge group to include it and 3) edit and re-save your CDN "site" (a.k.a. CDN Resource). the 3rd step was not intuitive and I had to contact support to figure that out.

    When you create a new CDN Resource, it takes "15-20 minutes" until it will work, according to support ticket 388327. This is not documented and counter to the "Status: Active" that the control panel shows you.

    As a provider, you can't deploy edge servers in multiple geographic locations unless you also have a OnApp cloud deployed there. I wanted to add a edge server in another location, but that would require 2 physical boxes and $140/mo in OnApp fees. They said that is something they want to allow but not in the next few months.

    Routing requests from clients to the Edge Servers works pretty well but I need to do more testing. It seems that the request will pretty much always go to an edge server in the same *country* however in the US, my requests do not go to the geographically closest edge server. It would be nice if they had documentation about how their request routing worked.


    Interested in hearing what other providers think of it ...
    Last edited by TQ Mark; 04-25-2012 at 01:42 PM. Reason: clarification

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Posts
    4,974
    Quote Originally Posted by lockbull View Post
    One of my questions about these federated CDNs is how is performance guaranteed and what are the SLAs, if any? I don't know much about MaxCDN, but I do know CloudFront offers an SLA (though it's not great in comparison to the pure play CDN vendors). I suppose you could use a multi CDN strategy with a cheap, federated CDN and then a backup, more expensive traditional CDN to fill in any performance gaps, and use something like Dyn's CDN Manager or 3Crowd's CrowdDirector to manage it, but that's a layer of complexity (and cost) that's probably only warranted for larger customers.
    Cloudfront started without any SLA, and introduced that lately. We will be doing something similar in steps too.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Posts
    4,974
    Terminology and documentation has a lot of room for improvement. For example, they use the word "publisher" in the global dashboard to describe something called an "edge resource" in another place.
    Ah hah, we will fix the terminology.

    Setup was a little bit tricky. I followed the documentation, but had to get OnApp support to fix two things that I couldn't figure out from the docs. (#1 - cdn edge node template was not installed and #2 - my custom domain somehow just "didnt work")
    Template should be a syncing issue, I'll ask our dev about that.

    As for custom domain, is this fixed? Do you have a ticket? Need to check on that. I suspect it could be some capitalized letter in the domain and our strict checking system rejected it because we only support lowercase, but this is now improved.

    The backbone of a CDN is the DNS infrastructure. So, to use the OnApp CDN you have to trust and use their DNS. I've done some testing on their anycast dns network and it works OK. Performance is not as good as DNSMadeEasy but they did take traceroutes from me in order to attempt improvement. However, during testing I noticed that one of their authoritative DNS servers was broken (not answering any dns queries) which was concerning. That was fixed within a few hours of reporting the problem.
    Thank you for the feedback, we will attempt to improve the latency in the coming weeks.
    Interfaces are still a little bit clunky since they are merging Aflexi stuff in with new stuff they are developing. For example, if you want to subscribe to another CDN node in the federation it takes 3 steps in 2 different systems: 1) subscribe in the global dashboard 2) edit your cdn edge group to include it and 3) edit and re-save your CDN "site" (a.k.a. CDN Resource). the 3rd step was not intuitive and I had to contact support to figure that out.
    Yes, we will have tighter integration in coming releases so that you don't have to do the 3rd step. And hopefully we can automate 2nd step as much as possible.
    When you create a new CDN Resource, it takes "15-20 minutes" until it will work, according to support ticket 388327. This is not documented and counter to the "Status: Active" that the control panel shows you.
    Configuration will take up to 5mins to populate to all edge servers. Designed to populate close to real time, but normally we suggest to wait for 5 mins.

    Routing requests from clients to the Edge Servers works pretty well but I need to do more testing. It seems that the request will pretty much always go to an edge server in the same *country* however in the US, my requests do not go to the geographically closest edge server. It would be nice if they had documentation about how their request routing worked.
    DNS redirection - we detect your NS IP instead of your connection IP, so if your NS is sitting on West coast, while you are on East, most probably you'll be sent to a West coast server. We are developing EDNS that Google and OpenDNS supports, that would give us much better accuracy of your actual location.

    I'm sorry with the teething problems you've encountered, and I assure you that we are working around the clock to improve the services. Nevertheless, I really appreciate the feedback that you've given, hopefully the next time you have any review, it's nothing short of spectacular experience with us

  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    685
    Quote Originally Posted by wheimeng View Post
    Nevertheless, I really appreciate the feedback that you've given, hopefully the next time you have any review, it's nothing short of spectacular experience with us
    Thanks, it is a really exciting product and seems to be working overall!

    The support team is good, getting problems addressed in an hour in many cases. I look forward to working with it more.

  5. #20
    When I ran Gomez against OnApp and compared them to Akamai, EdgeCast, LimeLight, Level3, XDN and MaxCDN I found that OnApp was in the middle, close to EdgeCast. I also did some a/b testing to try and get a feel for performance but I don't had a site big enough to prove anything.

    If OnApp is not optimizing for Gomez, then the performance puts them up with the other major providers, ahead of MaxCDN but it's a unfair comparison since I did not have the APAC add-on from MaxCDN.

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