10 Feb 2015

Colocation Services Near Chicago - Midwest Data Center For Fast Content Delivery

Colocation Services Chicago - Midwest Data Center - Fast Content Delivery

The Midwest Data Center

It is important where is the physical location of the data center that any web hosting provider uses to deliver colocation services. The location matters for the fast content delivery. If a Colocation data center is based out of any specific area (our data center is not far from the Chicago metropolitan area), the average round trip delay to the Internet users in this area is usually low and content hosted in this Colocation site can be delivered fast to them. There might be exceptions and it is possible content to be delivered to certain remote locations faster with relatively short Internet routes. For example HC is able to offer round trip time (RTT) delay of 20 ms - 32 ms between our Midwest Data Center (Chicago Data Center) and the Internet users in the State of New York, depending on their Internet connectivity and routing policies of the telecommunication carriers, and Internet Service Providers.

The Internet Connectivity

The second factor which is even of a greater importance for delivering fast content to the local Internet users, is the way any Colocation or IT Hosting provider builds and operates its Internet network. The more Internet routes go to the web hosting provider's infrastructure, the more options Internet users have to transmit data (download and upload content) to this particular network. An Internet network is considered redundant if it has two independent, physically separate, Internet connectivity routes (also called "Upstreams" or "Uplinks to Internet"). For example, ten years ago, when Host Color has started building its own Colocation data center and Internet network, we have got two physical upstreams to two global Internet Service Providers - Level 3 and Cogent. They have ensured that we have had redundancy of the Internet connectivity and worked good for us on a global scale for more than 10 years.

The more uplinks to Internet any data center or IT hosting provider operates, the better redundancy it has. However, it is even more important for a web hosting company to connect to ISPs and networks, in a way that each and every connection link improves the overall data transfer quality and lowers latency (RTT) to different locations and geographical areas. Here it comes the third important factor, that makes Host Color's Midwest Data Center and our network AS46873 one of the best options for quality IT Hosting and fast content delivery to Midwestern U.S. and Chicago area in particular.

Colocation Services With Low Latency

The third and I believe the most important thing, that contributes to the operational level of any web hosting provider's network and results in a fast content delivery, is the number and the quality of its Peering routes. As the purpose of this article is to explain how Host Color's network (AS46873) allows us to deliver Internet content very fast and with highest possible quality to Chicago area and all over the Midwest U.S., I'll use AS46873 as an example to explain how fast content delivery works.

Websites or data hosted in a data center located in any metropolitan area (in our case this is Chicago data center) often load slow (or are accessed with a high round trip delay) for Internet users based in the same state (province) or even in the same area. Due to the way Internet connectivity works and because of ISP's routing policies, the delay for content delivery to local Internet users could be significantly higher, than expected. Midwestern U.S. Internet Users often experience long round trip delays, when they want to access any local host or website hosted with any local data center in their own state. The reason is that the wholesale Internet bandwidth carriers in the region operate certain physical routes and apply certain routing policies, which increase round trip delays for many destinations. It is very common that the route for a home or office Internet user to a certain data center in the Midwestern U.S. to be indirect, something that delays the Internet content delivery.

Most web hosting providers either operate behind their data centers and infrastructure services providers (which makes impossible for them to apply own network policies) or build their networks by connecting to certain wholesale ISPs. The bigger the ISP is, the better global Internet connectivity it would provide. However, the larger the telecommunication carrier is, the more complicated routing and networking policy it would apply. Those web hosting providers which rely entirely on large upstream providers, enjoy stable Internet connectivity. But if any web host is connected only to large, international ISPs, it is very likely that Internet users, who's physical location is close to the company's data center to experience higher latency, when they try to access data hosted on the provider's infrastructure. This happens in many Internet content delivery scenarios.

In comparison, companies like Host Color, that operate direct peering agreements and exchange traffic with the local ISPs, deliver Internet content much faster and with higher quality. To be fair to anyone who has been reading this article, I want to say that there are a number of data centers and networks that operate multiple peering agreements. What makes us unique is that Host Color Network is build with the purpose to avoid traffic congestions for Midwest U.S. Internet users and to ensure shortest possible routes between their homes or offices and our Chicago data center.

Peering in our Midwest Data Center

We lower the rout trip time to HC data center and our network AS46873 for Midwest US Internet users and those in Chicago area by:

  • a) Operating bilateral Internet traffic exchange agreements with local Internet Service Providers
  • b) Participating to various Internet Exchanges
  • c) Using fewer hops to get to certain physical location
  • d) Transmitting Internet data using redundant fiber routes

If you have read this article and got to this point, please go Accounts.HostColor.com and ask more about our Peering Partners. Alternatively you can give us a "Like" on Facebook.com/HostColor/ and review some of the peering announcements we have published within the last year.

The only thing left to say at the end of this article is to ask you to test your own Internet connectivity to Host Color's network. This would be a test for your Internet service provider in the first place. Use Host Color SpeedTest, to check the download and upload speed rates of your Internet connection.

Another useful tool for you would be Host Color Looking Glass that would allow you to see BGP, trace route and to ping any IP address from our network.