Which Data Center For Canada ?

Plain and simple. Which data center should I consider for a site mostly visited by canadians.

Thanks for the input

9 Replies

It's worth noting that Canada itself is at least 25 ms across.

You should consider the datacentre closest to the majority of your users. If most of them are in Vancouver, Fremont would be a good choice. If they're from Toronto and Montreal, Newark is probably your best bet. FWIW, I'm around the Toronto area and love Newark. NAC (the owner of the colo facility) peers at TorIX, so it's a really direct, fast route.

Plain and simple - will 20-30 ms of lag either way make a difference?

Unless you're doing interactive media, or FPS games, what difference does it make?


Plain and simple - will 20-30 ms of lag either way make a difference?

Unless you're doing interactive media, or FPS games, what difference does it make?

You are right. But we can save 20-30ms just by making a right choice of datacenter :)

For my clients who are mostly in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, I've been very happy with Newark.

Canada is more than 5000 KM wide. Considering the speed of light in a vacuum would take 17ms to travel that distance, you'd never manage 25ms across the full width of Canada over the internet.

In practical terms, from Montreal via Videotron enterprise fibre, I see 85ms minimum ping to fremont1.linode.com, and 20ms minimum ping to newark1.linode.com. If you're in Montreal or Toronto, the choice should be obvious. If you're in Vancouver, Newark probably isn't the best option.

I, too, would recommend Newark to all Canadians, even those like me whose main audience is in The West.

The problem with Fremont is that Shaw (one of the two big ISPs in Western Canada), for some peculiar technical reasons, has more service issues with connections between its customers and Western U.S. web hosts. When there are Shaw connection or response time issues, sites in the Western U.S. are usually the last to recover. When Shaw is lagging behind 2-12 hours on DNS updates, it is Western U.S. hosts that are most often "hit".

Having worked for an ISP provider in the late 1990s, I suspect the problem may be related to the direct links, typically in Seattle, to the U.S. Internet for all Western U.S. traffic that may still be used to save the time of traveling the Canadian Internet to an Ontario "border crossing".

This brings up the topic about Linode having the next data center in Canada!

Please Linode consider Montreal or Toronto for your next site!

There is a great new site in Beauharnois,Quebec from Belgium colo provider OVH. The location is perfect for the North-American market.

http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1007413 … th-america">http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1007413/ovh-com-s-technology-finally-available-in-north-america

Yeah, OVH is a bit nuts. They're building the largest datacenter in the world (by number of non-virtualized servers) near Montreal… in a run down and dirty former aluminum foundry. Really, they just tidied up a bit inside the existing buildings and started building structures inside them. It's all really bizarre.

When finished, the Montreal (Beauharnois, really) datacenter is going to represent almost 80% of OVH's infrastructure. You'd think they'd want a proper facility for it rather than "let's put 360 thousand servers in an unrenovated aluminum foundry"…

EDIT: For those who haven't read about what's going on, the basic summary is:

1) OVH is expanding to North America (to sell to the US and Canada) by "building" a datacenter just outside of Montreal, Quebec

2) They bought part of an old Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum foundry put their servers inside

3) They're putting custom-built multi-storey towers of servers inside the buildings (without doing much work to the buildings), with custom form-factor servers. Kind of like blades, but without a multi-blade chassis, I believe.

4) When complete, it'll be the largest datacenter in the world with 360,000 servers, which will also represent the vast majority of all OVH servers globally.

Personally I intend to stick to Linode, although I might have a hard time convincing our convention to stay because I've been getting pressure to move our Linode to a Canadian datacenter. Hopefully, if nothing else, the OVH datacenter will result in Montreal being a much better connected city, making it much cheaper for providers like Linode to come to Montreal. Surely there will be some benefit from providers bringing in hundreds of gigabits more connectivity to the city…


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