Getting Closer to the Edge in Internet Performance

October 9, 2015 Fred Bals

It was clear during Dave Belson and Doug Madory’s “Internet Trends” presentation at last week’s Dyn’s TechToberFest event,  that Akamai and Dyn not only share complementary technologies but also complementary viewpoints on the state of the Internet. 

One of the key points made by the two during their presentation was that we’re in a new phase of Internet growth. The first phase was a focus on wiring countries around the world to give as many people as possible Internet access. That phase is for the most part, accomplished – there are few places left in the world where you can’t get Internet access (although you might have to jump through hoops or pay top dollar in order to do so).

We’re now in a second phase where companies like Dyn and Akamai are working to optimize where content is placed, getting content closer to the user and maximize how users are directed to that content. Getting content closer to the “edge,” where it’s actually being consumed, rather than in some arbitrary location.

Africa is a good case in point. Chance are that your internet connection is slow wherever you are in Africa. For example, websites and videos take forever to load in Nairobi, and you might assume that it’s because the local Kenyan Internet connection in a word, sucks.  But you’d be wrong.  The real culprits are two “Ls” – location and latency. 

Barely 11 percent of the most popular sites viewed by Kenyans are hosted in Africa. They’re located overseas. That means most of the Web pages Kenyan’s visit have to be loaded from overseas, resulting in long latency times and slow connections.

Bringing  better connectivity to the regions such as the African continent is going to become more important as more and more of our lives move online.  As more content is hosted locally, speeds will improve, delivering the dual benefits of a robust in-country delivery infrastructure through a reliable hosting infrastructure.

About the Author

Fred Bals

Senior Storyteller for Dyn. Tech enthusiast. Mini Cooper fanboy. One-time chronicler of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour. Husband of Peggy. Human of Shaggy Bear and Cassoulet.

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