Europe update
We finally have progress!!

After what seems like forever (at least years), we’ve finally made significant progress on our European location. Over the last week we finished moving our transit/peering servers into their new location. Our upstream network capacity has also been more than doubled. In addition, we now have direct access to multiple internet exchanges (IX), providing low latency connections to a huge portion of the ‘net.

We’re currently finishing up our authentication and front-end (customer facing) infrastructure. The servers are on-site and racked, we’re just doing software related tasks. We expect that to be finished this week. We already have a small spool set located in Europe, roughly 10ms away from our new location. To start we’ll use this spool set for “local” retention. Anything not found there will be retrieved from our US location.

Next on the list, and already ordered, are spools to place in the same data center as our transit/front-ends/etc. We’re expecting these to be delivered the 2nd week of December, depending on how long customs takes etc. We found it less expensive to purchase HDD in the US, ship to EU, and pay VAT than to purchase from EU vendors. Mostly likely due to the relationships we have with US vendors that we’ve purchased a metric crap ton of HDD through.

We don’t have firm plans on how deep we’ll take the retention on the spool set in EU. It’s going to be a balancing act. We want it deep enough to serve the majority of requests, but for now we plan to allocate our resources on deeper retention instead of duplicate retention. Basically it doesn’t make sense to have twice the storage/cost to serve a few percent of requests when pulling an older article from our US location is reasonably quick (75ms). We’ve found that most latency issues can be overcome with more connections. We also have some interesting backend development going on using QUIC as a transport protocol between locations. Our initial testing has shown significant speed gains when using QUIC, which could reduce the issue of pulling from geographically diverse locations even further. As we develop and implement new technology, the “formula” for how deep we keep retention at each location will change. Our number one goal is to make a pleasant user experience that is well priced in the market.