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  1. #1

    My own worldwide cluster / CDN

    Hello everybody,

    I offer download services. I want my users to download from the closest server possible. CDNs like Akamai & Co are perfect for me, but I need to rund small PHP scripts (really very small) and the dynamic pages CDNs cost a fortune.

    So - I had my idea to set up may be only for those dynamic pages my own small CDN with lets say 5-10 servers worldwide.

    Each server should have at least 2Ghz CPU, 1 GB RAM and the most important - the best peering connectivity which is available in this one country.

    Traffic per server: max. 50 GB per month

    My idea was:

    Europe (6 servers: UK, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Russia)
    USA (3 servers: West, Center, East)
    Asia (1 server: China / Japan)

    Can somebody help me organizing it? (Especially regarding peering quality). How should we do it (with GeoIP) ?

    Thanks!

    P.S. In Germany we have already 5 servers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Nevada
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    887
    Do you really mean 50 GB per month?
    That is miniscule.
    Did you mean 50 TB per month?

  3. #3
    Hi Dennis,

    we have around 10 TB static traffic that we handle through Akamai (at least at the moment).

    We have around 500 GB traffic of dynamic content (php). We can't run dynamic on Akamai. We need our own CDN.

  4. #4
    I can understand the need to use Akamai in order to make your static highly available and offer it at fast download speeds worldwide, but is your dynamic content really that needy? I'm certain you could run it on the east coast of the USA and get a fast tier 2 provider which would cover both US and EU, as you would be looking for a provider with multiple peerings and good transit, such as Mzima.
    For the Asian servers though, you would most likely need to look for datacenters there as the distance will be felt even on dynamic content.
    478east
    High Bandwidth Servers
    Custom Hosting Solutions

  5. #5
    Which providers offer servers at Mzima?

  6. #6
    Off the top of my head I can remember WebNX and Ubiquityservers, there are of course more. Mzima was just a simple example, you may want to do your research as maybe you will be able to find a provider with a BGP mix of superior quality. I'd wait for more opinions .
    478east
    High Bandwidth Servers
    Custom Hosting Solutions

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,108
    Try Ubiquityservers.
    semi-retired

  8. #8
    happyuser,

    I have some questions for you in this little venture. My first question being why are you using Akami to serve static content when they are one of the more expensive CDN providers out there? Have you looked at other providers like:

    www.cachefly.com
    www.edgecast.com
    www.voxel.com - voxcdn
    www.cdnetworks.com
    www.pantherexpress.com - cheap

    Have you contacted any of these providers about doing dynamic content on their cdn? Why not just have a couple of boxes in one location and do a caching cdn?

  9. #9
    Before choosing Akamai, we tested almost 8 different CDNs regarding their download and ping. We tested from 5 different locations in Europe.

    The best were Akamai (100%), Limelight 90%) and Pantherexpress (70%).

    But we need real performance, every % of the speed we need. And -30% average for Panther is not acceptable.

    The price for Akamai is 4 times higher - but it is worth. We didn't find ANYTHING yet that would be similar performant.

    The pricing for dynamic content is although astronomic, it costs around 20x higher per GByte than normal dedicated server traffic.

    That is why we are thinking of setting up - or partnering with somebody - who could provide us a quality solution for a private CDN.

  10. #10
    So you are all about performance but you want to setup a cheap CDN using geodns instead of going with an anycast CDN like pantherexpress, doesn't really make sense to me as it seems you are contradicting yourself but I wish you the best of luck. I also think your little test is probably off a bit but I don't think I'll change your thinking.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,574
    happyuser,

    I'm trying to do the same thing. I'm testing servers in several countries and I suggest you Frankfurt (for the entire Europe and Russia), New York City and San Jose (Americas) and Singapore (Asia). I'm trying Tokyo (just 100ms from Singapore) but it is expensive and it seems nobody want to speak English there. If you can afford, Chicago/Dallas, Sydney, Cairo, and Cape Town could be an option. (I have servers in Chicago, Dallas and Sydney but the traffic is somewhat low).
    Last edited by dotHostel; 12-23-2007 at 08:44 PM.

  12. #12
    @RossH - I think you didnt understand me correct. For static files - we can afford Akamai. But for dynamic content (php) - we would pay around 2000 EUR for 100 GByte traffic. Pantherexpress and Limelight dont offer dynamic content either under 2k EUR (just because we are obviously not large enough for them). And I am pretty sure, that we can set up few servers worldwide (high premium traffic) for under 2000 EUR and put them as a private CDN just (!) for the dynamic content. You agree with me?

    @dotHostel - Thank you for your recommendations. Do you have also concrete advices which providers to choose of whom you know they have best connections? Thanks!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,574
    I'm a long time Softlayer customer and I'm using The Planet for a while too. Both are good but IMO Dallas is not a priority to place a "worldwide cluster" node. :-)

    Regarding the other providers, it is very recent to recommend anyone. I think Germany, in special Frankfurt, is "the" place to operate servers targeted to European and Russian audiences - good prices, good networks, low latency, skilled and serious techs and providers. You surely know this because you are hosting a couple of the servers there. Said that, if you are planning to host a server in London, clustered.net is doing well and beware RapidSwitch (aka 49Pence) - crap servers, crap company policies. In Asia I suggest you to go with a provider hosted at QALA. In America, I'm planning to move provider from Los Angeles to San Jose due the massive NTT/Verio connectivy to Asia. In NYC I'm planning to give voxel.net a try.
    Last edited by dotHostel; 12-24-2007 at 07:33 AM.
    You will only find out how good a provider is when the going gets tough

  14. #14
    dotHostel: Just ouf of curiosity, could you give ISP names instead of just cities / DCs? There are always worse and better providers in same area and tried solutions are probably better
    Also, did you mean colocation at NTT/Verio's DC in San Jose (bought straight from them) or is there any good & tried ISP out there that I'm not aware of?
    ...comming soon?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,574
    I'm intending to get a dedicated server from a HE.NET reseller.
    You will only find out how good a provider is when the going gets tough

  16. #16
    7 posts about global load balancing, latency, quality, peering, etc; and then you go with an HE reseller?
    ROFLMAO!!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Birmingham, UK.
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by 1-dollar-per-mbps View Post
    7 posts about global load balancing, latency, quality, peering, etc; and then you go with an HE reseller?
    ROFLMAO!!
    Based upon your post history, you seem to have a personal grudge with HE.NET. What is your history with this company?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Posts
    3,795
    For east coast, I'd recommend Gnax for your servers. They have great connectivity to EU as well.
    AYKsolutions.com - High Bandwidth Specialists - 100TB/1Gbps/10Gbps Unmetered/CDN/DDOS Protected
    Over 20 Global Locations - Asia, Mexico, Brazil, India, Australia, US, CA, EU - Bare Metal and Virtual Cloud. All Managed.
    View our current Specials.
    We are Professional. Painless. Polite.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by happyuser View Post
    @RossH - I think you didnt understand me correct. For static files - we can afford Akamai. But for dynamic content (php) - we would pay around 2000 EUR for 100 GByte traffic. Pantherexpress and Limelight dont offer dynamic content either under 2k EUR (just because we are obviously not large enough for them). And I am pretty sure, that we can set up few servers worldwide (high premium traffic) for under 2000 EUR and put them as a private CDN just (!) for the dynamic content. You agree with me?
    I don't think you understand and need to do some more research. Your little cheap geodns CDN will have no where near the performance of a real cdn, if it did no one would be paying Akami's prices.

    So what I suggest you do is go buy a server to generate the dynamic content and then buy a proxy type CDN solution from someone like PantherExpress who has no minimum monthly fee and that you can get $.25/GB/month.

    I really think the idea of doing a cheap CDN yourself using geodns is silly as you don't realize how much time you'll truly invest into it. You'll be paying $200/month for a decent DNS solution because you'll need something that can do GEODNS and autofailover. Patching, regular system maintenance, network outages, hardware breakages, etc.

    You seem to have made up your mind so if you want to continue going down this path I wish you the best of luck, if I were going to do the solution you were proposing I would do this:

    DNS:
    http://autofailover.com/

    Servers:
    West Coast: www.softlayer.com (seattle) - I don't find any other providers on the west coast that good
    Central: www.gigenet.com
    East Coast: www.voxel.net

    Europe:
    UK - www.coreix.net
    Mainland - www.leaseweb.com - important, lots of peering

    I haven't really looked into Asia, Africa, the Middle East. Best of luck to you.
    Last edited by RossH; 12-24-2007 at 11:00 AM.

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