CoralCDN

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Recently, I've started using the YSlow tool to optimize websites for speed. One of the recommendations of YSlow is to use a content delivery network. For small websites, this doesn't seem like a reasonable thing one can do. However, I discovered Coral CDN, which is a free CDN. To use Coral CDN, one only has to append .nyud.net to an http address. Their map indicates they have 260 nodes, including one in Sydney. However, doing a traceroute does not confirm this.

This shows the 'nearest' CDN point to Sydney to be in China.

$ traceroute cudlug.cudenver.edu.nyud.net
traceroute: Warning: cudlug.cudenver.edu.nyud.net has multiple addresses; using 219.243.201.17
traceroute to http.l2.l1.l0.nyucd.net (219.243.201.17), 64 hops max, 40 byte packets
 1  192.168.0.1 (192.168.0.1)  1.723 ms  0.256 ms  0.250 ms
 2  172.18.208.7 (172.18.208.7)  10.755 ms  12.776 ms  11.442 ms
 3  172.18.66.190 (172.18.66.190)  12.128 ms  12.466 ms  10.947 ms
 4  CPE-61-9-195-8.nsw.bigpond.net.au (61.9.195.8)  19.876 ms  12.303 ms  11.289 ms
 5  TenGigabitEthernet4-1.chw45.Sydney.telstra.net (165.228.107.85)  19.892 ms  12.308 ms  11.257 ms
 6  TenGigE0-1-0-0.chw-core2.Sydney.telstra.net (203.50.20.129)  13.368 ms  12.949 ms  12.389 ms
 7  Bundle-POS1.exi-core1.Melbourne.telstra.net (203.50.6.14)  27.327 ms  29.038 ms  26.670 ms
 8  POS0-0-0-0.way-core4.Adelaide.telstra.net (203.50.6.190)  41.360 ms  40.618 ms  41.273 ms
 9  POS0-0-0-0.pie-core1.Perth.telstra.net (203.50.6.214)  72.147 ms  71.139 ms  70.593 ms
10  GigabitEthernetx-x.pthp-core01.Perth.net.reach.com (203.50.13.242)  72.334 ms  72.375 ms  70.695 ms
11  i-3-2.pthw-core02.net.reach.com (202.84.144.213)  68.654 ms  68.778 ms  69.226 ms
12  i-1-4.hhtstcbr01.net.reach.com (202.84.249.221)  177.197 ms  177.925 ms  176.889 ms
13  i-13-1.hhtstcbr02.net.reach.com (202.84.154.190)  175.371 ms  178.601 ms  175.476 ms
14  T-system-peer.iadv01.net.reach.com (134.159.127.154)  180.239 ms  180.100 ms  179.720 ms
15  217.6.25.198 (217.6.25.198)  388.535 ms  379.619 ms  380.093 ms
16  202.112.61.17 (202.112.61.17)  254.907 ms  259.900 ms  253.880 ms
17  202.112.61.105 (202.112.61.105)  285.073 ms  251.217 ms  272.750 ms
18  202.112.61.157 (202.112.61.157)  290.457 ms  251.572 ms  258.496 ms
19  202.112.53.178 (202.112.53.178)  267.425 ms  236.120 ms  251.308 ms
20  202.112.61.254 (202.112.61.254)  253.908 ms  242.259 ms  270.142 ms
21  thu2.6planetlab.edu.cn (219.243.201.17)  269.065 ms  294.498 ms  280.199 ms

Compare the above to Akamai:

traceroute to a152.g.akamai.net (61.9.209.160), 64 hops max, 40 byte packets
 1  192.168.0.1 (192.168.0.1)  0.649 ms  0.271 ms  0.236 ms
 2  172.18.208.7 (172.18.208.7)  13.856 ms  13.383 ms  11.782 ms
 3  172.18.66.190 (172.18.66.190)  11.294 ms  11.116 ms  15.753 ms
 4  CPE-61-9-195-8.nsw.bigpond.net.au (61.9.195.8)  12.707 ms  11.411 ms  11.950 ms
 5  TenGigabitEthernet4-1.chw45.Sydney.telstra.net (165.228.107.85)  13.269 ms  12.437 ms  10.905 ms
 6  TenGigE0-1-0-0.chw-core2.Sydney.telstra.net (203.50.20.129)  12.152 ms  10.778 ms  11.796 ms
 7  Bundle-Ether4.ken-core4.Sydney.telstra.net (203.50.6.41)  16.485 ms  12.355 ms  10.994 ms
 8  Pos0-0-0-0.cha-core4.Brisbane.telstra.net (203.50.6.206)  29.093 ms  26.410 ms  25.250 ms
 9  TenGigabitEthernet7-1.cha30.Brisbane.telstra.net (203.50.51.40)  26.077 ms  25.360 ms  25.089 ms
10  telstr427.lnk.telstra.net (165.228.107.82)  28.281 ms  27.672 ms  27.826 ms
11  a-61-9-209-160.deploy.akamaitechnologies.com (61.9.209.160)  26.560 ms  25.526 ms  26.526 ms

Clearly, Akamai has a node in Sydney.

So Coral may not have a faster response, but could the throughput be any better? Since Australia does not have a public GNU mirror, I thought I'd see if the CDN was any faster.

Well, the throughput measurements may not be accurate due to my ADSL line, but it does look like the CDN was faster.

Direct:

$ time wget http://cudlug.cudenver.edu/GNU/gnu/gcc/gcc-4.1.1/gcc-4.1.1.tar.bz2
--2008-05-22 13:35:05--  http://cudlug.cudenver.edu/GNU/gnu/gcc/gcc-4.1.1/gcc-4.1.1.tar.bz2
Resolving cudlug.cudenver.edu... 132.194.22.137
Connecting to cudlug.cudenver.edu|132.194.22.137|:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 39172003 (37M) [application/x-bzip2]
Saving to: `gcc-4.1.1.tar.bz2'

100%[=====================================================================================================================================================================>] 39,172,003  57.3K/s   in 5m 2s   

2008-05-22 13:40:07 (127 KB/s) - `gcc-4.1.1.tar.bz2' saved [39172003/39172003]


real	5m2.622s
user	0m0.359s
sys	0m1.522s

Coral CDN:

$ time wget http://cudlug.cudenver.edu.nyud.net/GNU/gnu/gcc/gcc-4.1.1/gcc-4.1.1.tar.bz2
--2008-05-22 13:29:24--  http://cudlug.cudenver.edu.nyud.net/GNU/gnu/gcc/gcc-4.1.1/gcc-4.1.1.tar.bz2
Resolving cudlug.cudenver.edu.nyud.net... 128.223.8.111, 143.215.128.194, 141.20.103.210
Connecting to cudlug.cudenver.edu.nyud.net|128.223.8.111|:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 39172003 (37M) [application/x-bzip2]
Saving to: `gcc-4.1.1.tar.bz2'

100%[======================================================================================================================================================================>] 39,172,003   156K/s   in 4m 13s  

2008-05-22 13:33:42 (151 KB/s) - `gcc-4.1.1.tar.bz2' saved [39172003/39172003]


real	4m17.598s
user	0m0.352s
sys	0m1.541s