Joshua Motta

Author Archives: Joshua Motta

Unser neues 72. Rechenzentrum: Hamburg

Moin Hamburg! Ensconced alongside the Elbe River, Hamburg, a major port city in northern Germany, is the second largest city in the country, and the eight largest in the European Union. Our data center in Hamburg is our 4th in Germany following deployments in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Berlin, our 19th in Europe, and 72nd globally. This means not only better performance in Germany, but additional redundancy for our 3 other data centers throughout the country. As of this moment, CloudFlare has a point of presence (PoP) in 8 out of Europe's 10 most populous* cities, and we're headed for a perfect 10-for-10 (look out Budapest...).

For the local audience: Liebe Freunde in Hamburg, Euer Internetanschluss ist schneller geworden und ihr könnt jetzt sicherer surfen. Viel Spaß.

Frohe Festtage!

Be sure to have some Glühwein if you visit the Christkindlmärkte this holiday season

Yesterday we announced new points of presence (PoPs) in Montreal and Vancouver. Today: Hamburg. However, the holidays are hardly over, and we have lots more cheer to spread. We've sent planes sleighs full of servers, switches, routers and PDUs to many corners of the globe. And to cap it off, we'll gift some CloudFlare gear Continue reading

Vancouver & Montreal, Canada: CloudFlare’s latest data centers

With the holiday season in full swing, it's only fitting that we continue to spread cheer, joy and a faster Internet around the world. To start the season we begin in Canada with NHL rivals Montreal and Vancouver, our 70th and 71st points of presence (PoPs) globally. Montreal and Vancouver, the 2nd and 3rd largest Canadian metropolitan areas, respectively, join our existing PoP in Canada's largest, Toronto.

Together, CloudFlare's network in Canada is now milliseconds away from the country's 31 million Internet users. As of now, the web sites, mobile apps and APIs of all CloudFlare customers are delivered at a cool 6.1 million times the speed of the fastest slapshot (for the curious, the current NHL speed record belongs to Zdeno Chára of the Boston Bruins, whose slapshot clocked 108.8 miles per hour / 175.1 kilometers per hour).

Latency matters

Canada is not just one of the most wired countries in the world, with nearly 87 per cent of Canadian households connected to the Internet, but also one of the largest as measured by e-commerce transaction volume. According to Statistics Canada, Canadian enterprises sold more than US$100 billion in goods and services over the Internet in Continue reading

Zürich, Switzerland: CloudFlare’s 69th data center

Grüetzi Zürich, our 5th point of presence (PoP) to be announced this week, and 69th globally! Located at the northern tip of Lake Zürich in Switzerland, the city of Zürich, often referred to as "Downtown Switzerland," is the largest city in the country. Following this expansion, traffic from Switzerland's seven million internet users to sites and apps using CloudFlare is now mere milliseconds away. Although best known to some for its chocolate and banks, Switzerland is home to many of the most significant developments prefacing the modern internet.

Vague but interesting

It was in 1989 that Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist at CERN, the large particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, invented the World Wide Web (WWW). Tim laid out his vision to meet the demand for automatic information-sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the world in a memo titled, "Information Management: a Proposal". Amusingly, his initial proposal wasn't immediately accepted. In fact, his boss at the time noted that the proposal was, "vague but exciting" on the cover page.

At least one VC may have said something similar to us once upon a time

The first website at CERN—and in the world—was dedicated to the Continue reading

Copenhagen, Denmark: CloudFlare’s 65th data center

To get the week started it's our distinct pleasure to introduce CloudFlare's latest PoP (point of presence) in Copenhagen, Denmark. Our Copenhagen data center extends the CloudFlare network to 65 PoPs across 34 countries, with 17 in Europe alone. The CloudFlare network, including all of the Internet applications and content of our users, is now delivered with a median latency of under 40ms throughout the entire continent—by comparison, it takes 300-400ms to blink one's eyes!

Danish traffic, previously served from Stockholm and Amsterdam, shifts into Copenhagen

As can be seen above, traffic has already started to reach Copenhagen, with steady increases over the course of the day (all times in UTC). The new site is also already mitigating cyber attacks launched against our customers. The spike in traffic around 08:46 UTC is a modest portion of a globally distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack targeted at CloudFlare. By distributing the attack across an ever growing footprint of data centers, mitigation is made easy (and our site reliability engineers can sleep soundly!).

The week's not over

In December 2014 we announced our intention to launch one data center per week throughout 2015. It's an ambitious goal, but we're well on Continue reading

Phoenix, AZ: CloudFlare’s 64th data center

Three years and 46 data centers later our expansion returns to the United States. Phoenix, the latest addition to the CloudFlare network, is our 10th point of presence in North America, and the start of our effort to further regionalize traffic across the continent. This means faster page loads and transaction speeds for your sites and applications, as well as for the 6 million Internet users throughout the Southwestern US that use them.

Eat Surf local

The vast majority of Internet traffic in the US is exchanged in only a small handful of cities: Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Dallas, Chicago, Miami, Ashburn (Virginia) and New York. These locations evolved into key interconnection points largely as a result of their status as population and economic centers. However, if you're one of the 236 million Americans that live outside of these metro areas, you have to hike quite a bit further to access your favorite content on the Internet.

To illustrate this, we measured the level of local interconnection between a handful of our Tier 1 Internet providers—NTT, TeliaSonera, Tata Communications and Cogent—in different metro areas. For the uninitiated, Tier 1 networks are the group of networks that Continue reading

Manchester, UK: CloudFlare’s 63rd data center

Our new point of presence in Manchester, UK brings the CloudFlare network to 63 points of presence across 33 countries. In other words, the sun never sets across the CloudFlare network. Our data center in Manchester also admits the United Kingdom into a small club of countries with more than one CloudFlare data center, including the US, China, Japan, Australia, Germany, and France.

As of yesterday, traffic from the majority of Internet users in Northern England is now mere milliseconds away. More importantly, our Manchester and London data centers allow for redundancy and content localization within the UK for all of our customers.

In homage

The city of Manchester has made more than its fair share of technical contributions over the years. It is the city where Rolls met Royce (their first car drove off the line of their Manchester factory in 1904), and is also home to the first modern computer. The computer, nicknamed "Baby", was built at The University of Manchester using technology developed for WWII communications equipment, and ran the world's first stored program at 11am on Monday 21st June, 1948.

It is fitting, then, that in the last three years there has been a concerted effort Continue reading

Why we raised $110m from Fidelity, Google, Microsoft, Baidu and Qualcomm

The past few years have been marked by tremendous growth for CloudFlare. At the time of our last fundraising in December 2012, CloudFlare was a team of 37 operating a network in 23 cities and 15 countries—today we number over 200 with a presence in 62 cities and 33 countries. We’ve grown from delivering 85 billion page views per month for 500 thousand customers to nearly 1 trillion each month across 4 million Internet properties, all the while protecting our customers from hundreds of billions of cyber threats. The growth and resonance of our service since CloudFlare’s founding 5 years ago is beyond our wildest of expectations, but it is only in the coming years that our scale and efforts to build a better Internet will become visible.

In 2016 alone we will more than double our global presence, increase the size of our network by an order of magnitude, and with that allow millions of new businesses and online publishers to accelerate and secure their online applications and harness the growing power of the Internet economy. Our service is built on the simple premise that any individual or business should be able to quickly and easily ensure the global Continue reading

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: CloudFlare’s 45th data center

Kuala Lumpur joins the CloudFlare network as our 45th global point of presence (PoP). While this latest deployment comes only a day after the announcement of our expansion in Berlin (back-to-back!), it's been a long three years since we last crossed a new border in Asia. Kuala Lumpur expands our presence in the Asia-Pacific region to nine PoPs: Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.

No boomerangs allowed

One of the difficulties of delivering content locally in certain parts of Asia (and in many other parts of the world for that matter) is that certain ISPs only connect with other ISPs in the same local Internet ecosystem outside of their national borders. In the absence of domestic interconnection, a request (e.g. an e-mail or web request) from one local ISP to another "boomerangs" outside of the national border before it is ultimately delivered to another local ISP. If you live or travel in certain parts of Asia, this is one of the leading culprits for why the web feels slow. The lack of a domestic and central interconnection point also makes it challenging for networks like CloudFlare, both Continue reading

Berlin, Germany: CloudFlare’s 44th data center

Our data center in Berlin is our 3rd in Germany following Frankfurt and Düsseldorf, 14th in Europe, and 44th globally. Berlin is of considerable importance not just because it is the capital of Europe's most populous country, but also because it is the 2nd largest city in the European Union by population* trailing only London. As of this moment, CloudFlare has a point of presence (PoP) in 7 out of Europe's 10 most populous cities, and we're headed for a perfect 10-for-10.

Ich bin ein Berliner

"I am one with the people of Berlin," best expresses our sentiments following this latest launch, but is more famously a reference to U.S. President John F. Kennedy's June 26th, 1963 speech in West Berlin (and also the source of an amusing urban legend). The story goes that Kennedy should have said "Ich bin Berliner" ("I am a citizen of Berlin"), but instead remarked "Ich bin ein Berliner" which translates as "I am a jelly doughnut."

The Berliner: we treated ourselves to one a few in celebration of the launch

As it turns out, and despite decades of misinformation, Kennedy was linguistically correct. While in proper German an actual Berliner Continue reading

Mombasa, Kenya: CloudFlare’s 43rd data center

Only two weeks after the announcement of our four new points of presence (PoPs) in the Middle East, it is with much hullabaloo that we announce our 43rd PoP, and second in Africa following Johannesburg, in Mombasa, Kenya (a.k.a. “The Castle”). In a challenge that vexed many of our readers, Mombasa is our first PoP to be located in a real life castle-turned-data center (see above). From this castle CloudFlare is already serving networks in every country across East Africa, with reach to many of the region's 30 million+ Internet users.

Building a better Internet in Eastern Africa

While today it feels as if Internet access is ubiquitous, this is most certainly not the case everywhere. The continent of Africa was connected relatively late to the Internet and, in the first years, access was limited to a small segment of the population due to lackluster investment and growth in underlying Infrastructure, and high access costs. Most Africans were also without access to broadband Internet, and were largely limited to viewing content created and hosted half a world away—for the same reason there was little access, there was also no local hosting industry to speak of. By Continue reading

Now serving the Middle East: 4 new data centers, partnerships

Our last embarkation into a new geography coincided with a significant milestone: our 30th data center (and first in Africa) in Johannesburg, South Africa. And as we march past number 40, we’re proud to announce yet another. Introducing CloudFlare’s latest points of presence (PoPs) in Doha, Qatar; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Kuwait City, Kuwait; and Muscat, Oman. These data centers are the first wave in our MENA (Middle East/North Africa) expansion, and the 39th, 40th, 41st and 42nd data centers, respectively, to join our global network.

Up to this point all CloudFlare traffic delivered to the MENA region was served from our London, Frankfurt, Marseille, Paris and/or Singapore data centers, with round trip latency of up to 200-350ms. As in Africa, local bandwidth in MENA is notoriously expensive making it cost prohibitive to deliver content locally. That is (once again), until now! We're proud to announce the first of a series of agreements with regional carriers including Etisalat, Omantel, Ooredoo, and Zain to help build a better Internet in the region.

How to build a better Internet

A few of the necessary ingredients to build a better Internet include international connectivity (often in Continue reading

Dublin, Ireland: CloudFlare’s 38th data center

Top of the morning to our users and readers from Ireland! Our latest PoP in Dublin is our 38th globally, and 14th in Europe following our Bucharest deployment last week. As of yesterday, traffic from Ireland's 3.6 million Internet users will now be routed through Dublin as opposed to our London PoP (which will still serve as a point of redundancy).

Silicon Docks

By now you've heard of Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, and possibly even Silicon Prairie, but across the pond there's another tech hub making quite a name for itself. Silicon Docks, the Dublin neighborhood bordering the Grand Canal Docks, is home to the European headquarters of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, AirBnb, LinkedIn and CloudFlare customer, Yelp, just to name a few. While our own European headquarters is in London, Dublin's exploding tech scene made it an obvious choice for a new PoP.

Clearly our focus was more on helping #savetheweb than on the photo itself...

Dublin is also near to our hearts as the home of CloudFlare customers Web Summit and F.ounders, two of the world's premier tech conferences. Visitors to the 2012 Web Summit and F.ounders events may even remember being greeted Continue reading

Bucharest, Romania: CloudFlare’s 37th data center

Our global expansion continues in Bucharest, Romania, the 6th largest city in the European Union* following London, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, and Paris (nearly all of which feature a CloudFlare PoP!). From Bucharest, our latest data center will serve all 11 million Romanian Internet users, as well as users throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe.

In good company

Romania is geographically situated between Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Serbia, and Ukraine, making it an ideal destination to attract additional Internet traffic throughout much of Eastern Europe. Of course, geographic reality is rarely a mirror of Internet reality. Adding a new point of presence doesn't automatically mean that traffic from surrounding areas (or even traffic in the very same country) will route to that particular data center. This entirely depends on the interconnection of International carriers with local Internet service providers (ISPs) and large networks like CloudFlare.

It is for this precise reason that we place even more emphasis on our interconnection within a particular PoP as opposed to the absolute number of dots we add to our network map. Of course, the combination of the two (expanding wide and deep) is even better, and is why CloudFlare is blazing fast Continue reading

Célébrer le 14 Juillet avec Marseille, le 36ème point de présence de CloudFlare

What better day than the 14th of July (Bastille Day) to announce the latest addition to our network in Marseille, France? Our data center in the southern city of Marseille is our 2nd in France, 12th in Europe and 36th globally.

Pourquoi Marseille?

Marseille, France’s second largest city following Paris, is home to 2 million Internet users across the surrounding metropolitan area. It also serves as another point of redundancy to our Paris data center, one of our most trafficked facilities in the whole of Europe.

However, the true importance of Marseille is not just redundancy or its size. Marseille’s southern location makes it a major Internet gateway for networks throughout the Mediterranean, including many African and Middle Eastern countries. This is reflected by the fact that a substantial number of undersea submarine cables carrying Internet traffic are routed through Marseille (7 to be exact, and for those fastidious followers of our blog).

Marseille: a key interconnection point for traffic throughout the Mediterranean

These undersea cables are the principal means by which many countries are able to access the rest of the Internet—that is to say, access all of the other global networks that make up this big Continue reading

Osaka, Japan: CloudFlare’s 35th data center

Move over Jurassic World, the long awaited sequel to our Tokyo deployment is here. Our Osaka data center is our 2nd in Japan, 5th in Asia (following deployments in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, and Seoul), and 35th globally. This latest deployment serves not only Osaka, Japan's second largest city, but also Nagoya, the 3rd largest, and the entire Keihanshin metropolitan area including Kyoto and Kobe. This means faster application delivery to the area's 30 million inhabitants, and full redundancy of traffic with our Tokyo facility. CloudFlare is now mere milliseconds away from all 110 million Internet users in Japan.

The Internet in Asia

Even though Asia is home to many of the most technologically advanced nations in the world, the delivery of Internet traffic across the region is hardly seamless. Many of the incumbent telecommunications providers in the region (e.g. NTT, Tata, PCCW, Hinet, Singtel, among many others) do not interconnect with one another locally. This is another way of saying that traffic is routed poorly in the region. Traffic sent from one network in Japan, for example, may have to pass through an entirely different country or, in some instances, even the United States, Continue reading

Oceania Redundancy: Auckland and Melbourne data centers now online

The genesis of our 33rd and 34th data centers in Auckland and Melbourne started a short hop away in nearby Sydney. Prior to these deployments traffic from all of New Zealand and Australia's collective 23 million Internet users was routed through CloudFlare's Sydney data center. Even for those in faraway Perth, the time necessary to reach our Sydney PoP was a mere 55ms of round trip time (RTT). By comparison, the blink of an eye takes 300-400ms. In other words, latency wasn't exactly the pressing concern. The real concern was a failure scenario in our Sydney data center.

Fortunately, our entire architecture starts with an assumption: failure is going to happen. As a result, we plan for failure at every level and have designed a system to gracefully handle it when it occurs. Even though we now maintain multiple layers of redundancy—from power supplies and power circuits to line cards, routing engines and network providers—our ultimate level of redundancy is in the ability to fail out an entire data center in favor of another. In the past we've even written about how this might even play out in the case of a global thermonuclear war. In this instance, the challenge Continue reading

CloudFlare’s Buenos Aires data center now online

Che, ya estamos en Argentina! It is con placer that we announce our 32nd data center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Our Buenos Aires data center is our 5th in Latin America following deployments in Santiago, São Paulo, Medellin, and Lima. As of this moment, CloudFlare is now mere milliseconds away from nearly all of Latin America's 300 million Internet users.

Argentina may be better known as the land of bife and malbec, but it is also home to a thriving tech community, including several well known start-up accelerators such as Startup Buenos Aires, Wayra and NXTP Labs (a CloudFlare customer!). At CloudFlare, we know a thing or two about the challenges of building a technology company, and we're proud to support the fast delivery of Internet applications for users in Argentina, as well as those who create them.

Don't cry for me Argentina

Although not commonly known, the title of the famous song from the musical Evita originates from an epitaph on a plaque honoring Evita Peron, and roughly translates as: "Don't cry for me Argentina, I remain quite near to you." Unfortunately, when it comes to the Internet, there is plenty of Continue reading

Unser neuer 31er Datacenter: Düsseldorf

Hallo Düsseldorf. Nestled in the center of the Lower Rhine basin lies the bustling city of Düsseldorf, capital of Germany’s most populous state, Northern Rhine-Westphalia. Provided its status as an international business and telecommunications hub, and serving a population larger than the Netherlands, our data center in Düsseldorf is an important addition to our European network. This means not only better performance in Germany and Northern Europe, but additional redundancy for our 10 other data centers throughout Europe, including our first German data center in Frankfurt.

For the local audience: Liebe Freunde in Düsseldorf, euer Internetanschluss ist schneller geworden und ihr könnt jetzt sicher surfen. Viel Spaß.

Not just any data center

Dusseldorf comes to life.

Our Düsseldorf data center holds a special place in the heart of our legal counsel Ken Carter. When he’s not helping to build a better Internet, he is likely to be found regaling the office with tales of his adventures in the quaint medieval town of Bad Honnef am Rhein, just south of our new data center. Ban Honnef, most famously known as the world-wide headquarters for Birkenstock, can now add one more tale of note. Equidistant between Frankfurt and Dusseldorf, it is Continue reading

Johannesburg: CloudFlare’s 30th data center

Fire up the celebration braai, Jozi! CloudFlare is here, and it’s a big one. An important milestone (our 30th data center) calls for an equally important new location: Johannesburg, South Africa, our first data center in Africa.

For the local audience: Steek aan 'n braai ter viering, Jozi! CloudFlare is hier en dis 'n groot een. 'n Belangrike mylpaal (ons 30ste datasentrum), vra vir ewe belangrike en nuwe ligging: Johannesburg, Suid-Afrika, ons eerste datasentrum in Afrika.

Now serving Southern Africa

Prior to now nearly all CloudFlare traffic delivered to Africa was served from our London, Amsterdam and Hong Kong data centers with round trip latency of 200-350ms. Bandwidth in the region is notoriously expensive (it would make even the Australians blush) making it prohibitive to enter into the continent. That is, before now. Just a few months ago we were fortunate to enter into discussions with a number of partners in the region that share CloudFlare’s vision to help build a better Internet.

Our Johannesburg data center will not only make sites on CloudFlare more performant for Internet users in South Africa, but also for Internet users across all of Southern Africa (and beyond). From Botswana to Kenya, users Continue reading

Lima, Peru: CloudFlare’s 29th data center

Just when you thought we’d reached the end, CloudFlare’s Latin America data center expansion continues. Hot on the heels of our recent expansion into Santiago, São Paulo, and Medellin, this holiday season commences in Lima with our 29th data center globally, and our fourth in Latin America.

Latin America is the fastest growing source of traffic to CloudFlare's network, with nearly 10x growth in just the last twelve months. Our new data center in Lima reduces the latency to access any site using CloudFlare, increases web performance for users in the region from Iquitos to Tacna, and adds another point of redundancy. It also increases the capacity and surface area of the CloudFlare network to absorb massive cyber attacks. This is of particular benefit to CloudFlare customers the Presidency of Peru and the ONPE, Peru’s National Election Office. In the lead up to the Peruvian elections this month, CloudFlare partnered with the Government of Peru to ensure that local elections go off without a hitch — no easy feat when voter turnout is expected to reach nearly 90%. Whether you are running a site, mobile app, or national election we have an offering for you.

Coming Continue reading