Observe worldwide network latencies

Have you ever thought which provider will give the best latency to your users ? Not a theoretical value but an accurate metric representing a real end-to-end connection. At Cloud Mercato our platform allow us to manage cloud components all around the globe. VPS, virtual machines, buckets or CDN, we can easily setup worldwide client-server configuration and run network workloads. But this approach could be qualified as Datacenter to Datacenter: My client is an instance at provider X and it hits another machine at provider Y. So basically as providers are always supposed to have a low latency connection, the scenario becomes unappropriated to test real end user connection.

From our point of view, this performance test has to be done in the same condition than an end user: From a 3G/4G/5G device, with WiFi, through aDSL or optical fiber. Instead of create another Unix command we decided to write Observer, a web application letting your test more than 100 locations directly from your browser.

What it does ?

Observer displays performance from live tests operated by your browser. We setup endpoints among a bunch of Object Storages and CDNs and allow you to compare performance among the different solutions and providers.

Actually this application requests to our CTP a list of available endpoints serving a 1 byte file. For each item, an AJAX request is launched outputting Time To First Byte (TTFB). This value is reported as milliseconds on left table and temperature on map.

Some quick observations

  • If your target is regional, CDNs may not bring you an advantage in terms of latency
  • Even without CDN, Google benefits a lot from their private worldwide network

What is the future of this application ?

It’s actually still in beta/PoC but clearly it reaches our ambition that are testing TTFB from anywhere. From this seed we already imagine a lot of usage:

  • Smart integration directly on provider website making live testing
  • Better data visualization with charts
  • Whole data visualization allowing to understand geographical area’s latency by provider and/or device
  • Bandwidth test with upload and download
  • Integrate our pricing data
  • Yes, change the skin …

If you are a provider and would like to integrate your product in this application, do not hesitate to contact us. In any case, we invite you to test and give us a feedback, we love to see other insights.

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