No matter where you are on the planet, unless you are on the exact same network, your users talking to your infrastructure on the exact same network, your networks have to interconnect with each other. They interconnect with each other at an access point, a network exchange point, an interjection point, a peering point, whatever you want to call it. And those networks actually talk to each other.
I’m Max Clark, CEO of ITBroker.com, and for over 20 years now, I’ve listened to conversations where somebody has said, “Hey you know, you have users in Brazil, you have users near São Paulo, Brazil, and therefore you need to put equipment in São Paulo, and you need to have a network connection in São Paulo because this is what’s going to give you the best performance to your users in São Paulo.”
And there’s variations of this: maybe it’s just, “Hey, you’ve got an office in Miami or you’re in London or, pick any basic place on the planet…”
And conceptually this makes a lot of sense, and the way it works is: they’ll draw you a map out in a piece of paper or on a PowerPoint say: “your equipment’s here, or in this location, you got users over here, and look how far it is between those two places, and you need to have equipment, you should use our service and you should get close to your users. You should get into that same Metro, you should get into that same country, you should get into that region, whatever actually is to get close to you…”
Conceptually: it’s correct.
In practice: it’s wrong!
Why is it wrong?
Networks have to talk to each other. So I don’t care where you are on the planet, unless you are on the exact same network, your users talking to your infrastructure on the exact same network, your networks have to interconnect with each other. They interconnect with each other at an access point, a network exchange point, an interjection point, a peering point, whatever you want to call it. And those networks actually talk to each other.
So now there’s this fun little quirk. And this is especially true in markets like South America and Asia where you have geo-politics and now you have situations that come up where networks can’t interconnect with each other in-country or in-region.
So what do they do?
They go through some other country or region where they can freely interconnect with each other. We see this in Miami, in the United States, we also see this in the West coast in the United States. So we see Southern-American-based networks that can’t talk to each other in-country that will come all the way up the East Coast to Miami and interconnect in Miami. We see the same thing in Asia where it is impractical from a geopolitical issue standpoint for two networks, two Asian companies, to interconnect in Asia and they will go all the way across the ocean to Seattle, to San Jose, San Francisco or to Los Angeles, to actually interconnect with each other.
So when somebody’s telling you, “Hey, we’ve got users in “fill the blank” and we need to put equipment right there and “fill the blank” in order for us to be close to them and have better performance,”
I will tell you: hold on a second. What you really want to know first is:
- What networks are your users on?
- What networks are you on?
- What’s that interconnectivity between those two networks?
- Can you actually even get closer by putting equipment in-country?
Because if you put the wrong network in São Paulo in my example, there’s a good chance that that network traffic is still going to go from São Paulo to Miami back to São Paulo, and you will be better off just having equipment in Miami.
So where should you put your equipment and what networks should you connect to?
Well it depends! It depends on you and your business. It depends on where infrastructure is located, it depends on where your users are located, it depends on how your application actually works.
So if you’re working through these problems right now and you’re trying to figure out how to make your application faster for your end users, give us a call at ITBroker.com. We’ve been doing this for 20 years, would love to have a conversation, talk with you about your business and your application and how we can make it faster for you.