Implications of Foreign Hosting
NeoTrace by NeoWorx provides an excellent tool for finding out where in the world a server is. They maintain a database of router whereabouts, meaning that they can draw a map of where the packets actually go.
Here’s what happens when we connect to a server in Texas from London.
In this case, the packets are routed through from a dial-up connection, over to a UK-based ISP and then shot over the Atlantic to a Sprint backbone connection. The packets are then routed through to one of Sprint’s connections in Dallas and then down to the ISP.
The US is the cheapest country in which to host, so there is an incentive for foreign companies like Jo’s to host here. What you need to determine is where your customers are in relation to the servers, so that you can estimate the likely paths that visits to the sites may take, and therefore how they will perceive the performance of the site in terms of downloading and moving through the site.
The quality of the UK backbone infrastructure and the quality of the transatlantic pipes connecting the UK’s backbone to the US’s is such that, providing you source a good ISP in the US, there’s no reason why your customers in the UK cannot experience excellent performance.
Uses a US-based ISP that has a presence in London, so their site is actually hosted in the UK. Excite.CO.uk shares the same servers as Excite.com over in Silicon Valley, whereas Yahoo.CO.uk is hosted in Stockholm! EU.Microsoft.com shares the same servers as Microsoft.com in Seattle and QXL uses a set of servers in London.
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