David Tuber

Author Archives: David Tuber

Network performance update: Developer Week 2022

Network performance update: Developer Week 2022
Network performance update: Developer Week 2022

Cloudflare is building the fastest network in the world. But we don’t want you to just take our word for it. To demonstrate it, we are continuously testing ourselves versus everyone else to make sure we’re the fastest. Since it’s Developer Week, we wanted to provide an update on how our Workers products perform against the competition, as well as our overall network performance.

Earlier this year, we compared ourselves to Fastly’s [email protected] and overall we were faster. This time, not only did we repeat the tests, but we also added AWS [email protected] to help show how we stack up against more and more competitors. The summary: we offer the fastest developer platform on the market. Let’s talk about how we build our network to help make you faster, and then we’ll get into how that translates to our developer platform.

Latest update on network performance

We have two updates on data: a general network performance update, and then data on how Workers compares with [email protected] and [email protected]

To quantify global network performance, we have to get enough data from around the world, across all manner of different networks, comparing ourselves with other providers. We used Real User Measurements (RUM) Continue reading

Making peering easy with the new Cloudflare Peering Portal

Making peering easy with the new Cloudflare Peering Portal
Making peering easy with the new Cloudflare Peering Portal

In 2018, we launched the Cloudflare Peering Portal, which allows network operators to see where your traffic is coming from and to identify the best possible places to interconnect with Cloudflare. We’re excited to announce that we’ve made it even easier to interconnect with Cloudflare through this portal by removing Cloudflare-specific logins and allowing users to request sessions in the portal itself!

We’re going to walk through the changes we’ve made to make peering easier, but before we do that, let’s talk a little about peering: what it is, why it’s important, and how Cloudflare is making peering easier.

What is peering and why is it important?

Put succinctly, peering is the act of connecting two networks together. If networks are like towns, peering is the bridges, highways, and streets that connect the networks together. There are lots of different ways to connect networks together, but when networks connect, traffic between them flows to their destination faster. The reason for this is that peering reduces the number of Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) hops between networks.

What is BGP?

For a quick refresher, Border Gateway Protocol (or BGP for short) is a protocol that propagates instructions on how networks should Continue reading

Network performance update: Cloudflare One Week June 2022

Network performance update: Cloudflare One Week June 2022
Network performance update: Cloudflare One Week June 2022

In September 2021, we shared extensive benchmarking results of 1,000 networks all around the world. The results showed that on a range of tests (TCP connection time, time to first byte, time to last byte), and on different measures (p95, mean), Cloudflare was the fastest provider in 49% of the top 1,000 networks around the world.

Since then, we’ve expanded our testing to cover not just 1,000 but 3,000 networks, and we’ve worked to continuously improve performance, with the ultimate goal of being the fastest everywhere and an intermediate goal to grow the number of networks where we’re the fastest by at least 10% every Innovation Week. We met that goal Platform Week May 2022), and we’re carrying the work over to Cloudflare One Week (June 2022).

We’re excited to share that Cloudflare was the fastest provider in 1,290 of the top 3,000 most reported networks, up from 1,280 even one month ago during Platform Week.

Measuring what matters

To quantify global network performance, we have to get enough data from around the world, across all manner of different networks, comparing ourselves with other providers. We use Real User Measurements (RUM) to fetch a 100kB file from different providers. Continue reading

Network performance update: Platform Week

Network performance update: Platform Week
Network performance update: Platform Week

In September 2021, we shared extensive benchmarking results of 1,000 networks all around the world. The results showed that on a range of tests (TCP connection time, time to first byte, time to last byte), and on different measures (p95, mean), Cloudflare was the fastest provider in 49% of networks around the world. Since then, we’ve worked to continuously improve performance, with the ultimate goal of being the fastest everywhere and an intermediate goal to grow the number of networks where we’re the fastest by at least 10% every Innovation Week. We met that goal during Security Week (March 2022), and we’re carrying the work over to Platform Week (May 2022).

We’re excited to update you on the latest results, but before we do: after running with this benchmark for nine months, we've also been looking for ways to improve the benchmark itself — to make it even more representative of speeds in the real world. To that end, we're expanding our measured networks from 1,000 to 3,000, to give an even more accurate sense of real world performance across the globe.

In terms of results: using the old benchmark of 1,000 networks, we’re the fastest in 69% of them. Continue reading

Breaking down broadband nutrition labels

Breaking down broadband nutrition labels
Breaking down broadband nutrition labels

As part of the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Infrastructure Act) in the United States, Congress asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to finalize rules that would require broadband Internet access service providers (ISPs) display a “label” that provides consumers with a simple layout that discloses prices, introductory rates, data allowances, broadband performance, management practices, and more.

Breaking down broadband nutrition labels
A sample Broadband Nutrition Facts from the original 2016 FCC proposal.

While the idea of a label is not new (the original design dates from 2016), its inclusion in the Infrastructure Act has reinvigorated the effort to provide consumers with information sufficient to enable them to make informed choices when purchasing broadband service. The FCC invited the public to submit comments on the existing label, and explain how the Internet has changed since 2016. We’re sharing Cloudflare’s comments here as well to call attention to this opportunity to make essential information accessible, accurate, and transparent to the consumer. We encourage you to read our full comments. (All comments, from Cloudflare and others, are available for public consumption on the FCC website.)

The Internet, 6 years ago

Six years can change a lot of things, and the Internet is Continue reading

Network performance update: Security Week

Network performance update: Security Week
Network performance update: Security Week

Almost a year ago, we shared extensive benchmarking results of last mile networks all around the world. The results showed that on a range of tests (TCP connection time, time to first byte, time to last byte), and on different measures (p95, mean), Cloudflare was the fastest provider in 49% of networks around the world. Since then, we’ve worked to continuously improve performance towards the ultimate goal of being the fastest everywhere. We set a goal to grow the number of networks where we’re the fastest by 10% every Innovation Week. We met that goal last year, and we’re carrying the work over to 2022.

Today, we’re proud to report we are the fastest provider in 71% of the top 1,000 most reported networks around the world. Of course, we’re not done yet, but we wanted to share the latest results and explain how we did it.

Measuring what matters

To quantify network performance, we have to get enough data from around the world, across all manner of different networks, comparing ourselves with other providers. We used Real User Measurements (RUM) to fetch a 100kb file from several different providers. Users around the world report the performance of different providers. Continue reading

How Cloudflare Is Solving Network Interconnection for CIOs

How Cloudflare Is Solving Network Interconnection for CIOs
How Cloudflare Is Solving Network Interconnection for CIOs

Building a corporate network is hard. We want to enable IT teams to focus on exploring and deploying cutting edge technologies to make employees happier and more productive — not figuring out how to add 100 Mbps of capacity on the third floor of a branch office building.

And yet, as we speak to CIOs and IT teams, we consistently hear of the challenge required to manage organization connectivity. Today, we’re sharing more about how we’re solving connectivity challenges for CIOs and IT teams. There are three parts to our approach: we’re making our network more valuable in terms of the benefit you get from connecting to us; we’re expanding our reach, so we can offer connectivity in more places; and we’re further reducing our provisioning times, so there’s no more need to plan six months in advance.

Making Interconnection Valuable

Cloudflare delivers security, reliability, and performance products as a service, all from our global network. We’ve spent the past week talking about new releases and enhanced functionality — if you haven’t yet, please check out some exciting posts on how to replace your hardware firewall, managing third party tools in the cloud, and protecting your web pages Continue reading

Argo for Packets is Generally Available

Argo for Packets is Generally Available
Argo for Packets is Generally Available

What would you say if we told you your IP network can be faster by 10%, and all you have to do is reach out to your account team to make it happen?

Today, we’re announcing the general availability of Argo for Packets, which provides IP layer network optimizations to supercharge your Cloudflare network services products like Magic Transit (our Layer 3 DDoS protection service), Magic WAN (which lets you build your own SD-WAN on top of Cloudflare), and Cloudflare for Offices (our initiative to provide secure, performant connectivity into thousands of office buildings around the world).

If you’re not familiar with Argo, it’s a Cloudflare product that makes your traffic faster. Argo finds the fastest, most available path for your traffic on the Internet. Every day, Cloudflare carries trillions of requests, connections, and packets across our network and the Internet. Because our network, our customers, and their end users are well distributed globally, all of these requests flowing across our infrastructure paint a great picture of how different parts of the Internet are performing at any given time. Cloudflare leverages this picture to ensure that your traffic takes the fastest path through our infrastructure.

Previously, Argo optimized traffic at Continue reading

Network Performance Update: Full Stack Week

Network Performance Update: Full Stack Week

This blog was published on November 20, 2021. As we continue to optimize our network we're publishing regular updates, which are available here.

Network Performance Update: Full Stack Week

A little over two months ago, we shared extensive benchmarking results of last mile networks all around the world. The results showed that on a range of tests (TCP connection time, time to first byte, time to last byte), and on a range of measurements (p95, mean), that Cloudflare was the fastest provider in 49% of networks around the world. Since then, we’ve worked to continuously improve performance until we’re the fastest everywhere. We set a goal to grow the number of networks where we’re the fastest by 10% every Innovation Week. We met that goal during Birthday Week (September 2021).

Today, we’re proud to report we blew the goal away for Full Stack Week (November 2021). Cloudflare measured our performance against the top 1,000 networks in the world (by number of IPv4 addresses advertised). Out of those, Cloudflare has become the fastest provider in 79 new networks, an increase of 14% of these 1,000 networks. Of course, we’re not done yet, but we wanted to share the latest results and explain how we did it.

However, Continue reading

Unboxing the Last Mile: Introducing Last Mile Insights

Unboxing the Last Mile: Introducing Last Mile Insights
Unboxing the Last Mile: Introducing Last Mile Insights

“The last 20% of the work requires 80% of the effort.” The Pareto Principle applies in many domains — nowhere more so on the Internet, however, than on the Last Mile. Last Mile networks are heterogeneous and independent of each other, but all of them need to be running to allow for everyone to use the Internet. They’re typically the responsibility of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). However, if you’re an organization running a mission-critical service on the Internet, not paying attention to Last Mile networks is in effect handing off responsibility for the uptime and performance of your service over to those ISPs.

Probably not the best idea.

When a customer puts a service on Cloudflare, part of our job is to offer a good experience across the whole Internet. We couldn’t do that without focusing on Last Mile networks. In particular, we’re focused on two things:

  • Cloudflare needs to have strong connectivity to Last Mile ISPs and needs to be as close as possible to every Internet-connected person on the planet.
  • Cloudflare needs good observability tools to know when something goes wrong, and needs to be able to surface that data to you so that you can be Continue reading

Protecting Cloudflare Customers from BGP Insecurity with Route Leak Detection

Protecting Cloudflare Customers from BGP Insecurity with Route Leak Detection
Protecting Cloudflare Customers from BGP Insecurity with Route Leak Detection

Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) route leaks and hijacks can ruin your day — BGP is insecure by design, and incorrect routing information spreading across the Internet can be incredibly disruptive and dangerous to the normal functioning of customer networks, and the Internet at large. Today, we're excited to announce Route Leak Detection, a new network alerting feature that tells customers when a prefix they own that is onboarded to Cloudflare is being leaked, i.e., advertised by an unauthorized party. Route Leak Detection helps protect your routes on the Internet: it tells you when your traffic is going places it’s not supposed to go, which is an indicator of a possible attack, and reduces time to mitigate leaks by arming you with timely information.

In this blog, we will explain what route leaks are, how Cloudflare Route Leak Detection works, and what we are doing to help protect the Internet from route leaks.

What are route leaks and why should I care?

A route leak occurs when a network on the Internet tells the rest of the world to route traffic through their network, when the traffic isn’t supposed to go there normally. A great example of this Continue reading

Introducing Cloudflare Network Interconnect

Introducing Cloudflare Network Interconnect
Introducing Cloudflare Network Interconnect

Today we’re excited to announce Cloudflare Network Interconnect (CNI). CNI allows our customers to interconnect branch and HQ locations directly with Cloudflare wherever they are, bringing Cloudflare’s full suite of network functions to their physical network edge. Using CNI to interconnect provides security, reliability, and performance benefits vs. using the public Internet to connect to Cloudflare. And because of Cloudflare’s global network reach, connecting to our network is straightforward no matter where on the planet your infrastructure and employees are.

At its most basic level, an interconnect is a link between two networks. Today, we’re offering customers the following options to interconnect with Cloudflare’s network:

  • Via a private network interconnect (PNI). A physical cable (or a virtual “pseudo-wire”; more on that later) that connects two networks.
  • Over an Internet Exchange (IX). A common switch fabric where multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Internet networks can interconnect with each other.

To use a real world analogy: Cloudflare over the years has built a network of highways across the Internet to handle all our customers' traffic. We’re now providing dedicated on-ramps for our customers’ on-prem networks to get onto those highways.

Why interconnect with Cloudflare?

CNI provides more reliable, faster, and more Continue reading