Behind The Scenes #1

Posted: 15 Jun 2018, 17:11 by FollowMyChallenge

Introduction

Welcome to 'Behind The Scenes', a new blog item that we will be doing every now and then. 
In these items we will take you along on what's happening behind the scenes. 
There is a lot more going on besides connecting the dots, answering e-mails and drinking coffee! We will be, for example, talking about technology, software development and company related updates. 

Serving the world

Our cloudserver platform that serves you our tracking maps is hosted in Serverius, The Netherlands.  
Now, imagine that you are located in Australia and you want to view a tracker.
Your computer requests the tracking page and our server responds by sending back the tracking map.
This data now travels all the way from The Netherlands to you in Australia covering more then 16.000 kilometers! Who even decides what route that data takes?

That can't be fast.  It was not fast. Changes were needed.

Content Delivery Network

The first step into speeding things up was to make use of a CDN.
The Content Delivery Network now serves most our static data (like images) from multiple data centers all over the world. Imagine requesting data from a server that is near you instead of 16.000 km away. 
Less distance = faster loading times! 

We are now serving you from The Netherlands AND 151 other locations from all over the world.

Argo

It sounds like a movie but it is not. 
Now that our static data is served to you from around the corner, there still is the dynamic data: the dots. All location data is still being stored in The Netherlands. 
It usually takes about 10 'hops' through different datacenters and connections to bring the final bit of dynamic data from The Netherlands over to your browser.

Wouldn't it be great if we could have influence on the route it takes?
Argo is capable of doing so. Because we make use of a service with 151 CDN datacenters worldwide, Argo knows about the 'current traffic situations'. Compare it to traffic in real-life, there is always a traffic jam somewhere. Argo knows and routes your tracking page request over the fastest route towards our server!

Here's an animation:

Numbers

It is all about testing. In this case, we have loaded two pages from 3 different locations around the world. 
The results are calculated from the average of two loading times.

Homepage loading times:
Location: San Jose, USA
Originally: 4.65 sec, now: 1.93 sec, that is 2.4 times faster!
Location: Melbourn, AUS
Originally: 10.49 sec, now: 2.46 sec, that is 4.3 times faster!
Location: Stockholm, SE
Originally: 3.65 sec, now: 2.07 sec, that is 1.4 times faster!

Tracker loading times:
Location: San Jose, USA
Originally: 4.74 sec, now: 2.22 sec, that is 2.1 times faster!
Location: Melbourn, AUS
Originally: 9.08 sec, now: 2.36 sec, that is 3.8 times faster!
Location: Stockholm, SE
Originally: 1.72 sec, now: 1.20 sec, that is 1.4 times faster!

The further away from The Netherlands, the more use of the CDN resulting in the highest improvements.

Other Benefits

Since we are now serving a lot of static data from 151 datacenters all over the world, the load on our cloudserver platform dropped noticably. Less load, more free capacity, less bandwidth! A win-win for all of us.