Internet Myth #2: Building Regional POPs is the Best Way to Improve Global Internet Performance

Team Teridion

This is the second weekly posting by Teridion to debunk common Internet performance myths.  This week’s myth is: “Building regional POPs is the best way to improve network performance.”

Reality: You can improve global Internet performance without needing regional POPs

The original Internet vision was that a web application in a single data center could be accessed by global users. Web sites quickly found that congestion in the Internet could cause bad end user performance, particularly in regions with limited Internet bandwidth.

Web site owners started using regional Points Of Presence (POPs) to cache static content like pictures and videos. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) evolved as an efficient way for web apps to improve performance for unchanging content.

Over time, SaaS vendors have added interactive features to their applications, making web content more dynamic and bidirectional. Traditional static caching is of limited value for this kind of content, forcing SaaS companies to adopt new content acceleration approaches.

Many large SaaS vendors today have adopted a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach to accelerating dynamic content by building out networks of regional POPs. Companies who have taken this approach include TwitterBoxDropbox and Azure.

Dedicated POPs require large infrastructure and automation investments , while also increasing business complexity. Internet overlay networks offer an alternative that allowing SaaS vendors to shift the POP technical burden. Overlay network provider services can include:

  • Faster routing: directing traffic along faster paths to avoid congestion
  • Optimized transport: minimizing the number of round trips to deliver content
  • Transparency: using DNS resolution to send user requests over the overlay network

Overlay networks can offer consistent throughput, performance and consistency for all users, even in low bandwidth regions like China, APAC, LATAM and Africa.

Learn more about optimizing end-to-end Internet throughput:

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