Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Google local peering starting (slowly)

Google now serves [almost] all traffic to TENET sites directly from either:
  • peering connection, or
  • some sort of GGC-like nodes [Google Maps, YouTube videos]
Name resolution and tracerouting from UCT hosts confirms that all Google services are being served from local [South African] servers. This has huge implications in bandwidth savings, and quality of user interaction because of lower latency for content that is already available on the local datacenter and caches.

Strangely, while www.youtube.com resolves to a locally-hosted server ( currently), youtube.com (with no leading www.) resolves to a 208.65.153.xxx address, seemingly in Richmond, VA.

The caching nodes [presumably GGC nodes] currently serve only certain services (map tiles, YouTube videos) and are generally co-located within a client network. The other Google services are served from machines located in Cape Town (based on ping times) and that are administratively within a Google-owned IP block.

Further clarification
Assume this is a "small" trial run (limited number of users on TENET, maximum goodwill from helping the poor academics) before a full roll-out. The caching nodes already save TENET up to 45 Mbps international transport! There is no local visibility to Google's ZA IP block from IS's route server.