Let’s talk HK: datacenter

Had lunch this afternoon with a good old friend and a new one. They are very knowledgeable about datacenter industry in HK!

Regardless of high land and electricity costs, many people find HK a great place for datacenter, including HK government. There is a dedicated government website to promote to build and operate data centers in HK:

It is a promotional website and I assume it is very easy to find list of datacenters in HK. Sell by reference is effective. I am wrong in making these assumptions:(

List of DC service operators in HK can be found at Data Center Map:

Local FTNS, Pacnet, Rackspace and Verizon, etc. are not in the list. Interesting… here are the DC service providers in HK:

Name Website YSlow grade CDN Finder
PowerNetix http://www.powernetix.com/ A
SunnyVision http://www.sunnyvision.com/ D
solana.hk http://solana.hk/index.php B
NTT http://www.hk.ntt.com/en/index.html C
iAdvantage http://www.iadvantage.net/ B
HKCOLO http://www.hkcolo.com/hkc_website/site_flash/index.html B
Equinix http://www.equinix.com/en_US/ C Cotendo
AsiaTone http://www.asia-tone.com/ C
Dyxnet http://www.dyxnet.com/Home/Home.aspx?lang=en-US C
iXTech http://www.hkcix.com/en/index.php C
Photon Link http://www.photonlink.com/ B
CITIC http://www.citictel.com/en/index.php C
ACME http://www.acmehk.net/ C
HKTI http://www.hktechnology.com/ C
Net Cloud http://www.netcloud.com.hk/ B
Pacnet http://www.pacnet.com/ C EdgeCast
PCCW http://www.pccw.com/ C
Verizon http://www.verizonbusiness.com/ B Akamai
Rackspace http://www.rackspace.com.hk/ D Akamai

A lot of rooms to improve their website performances:)

imgur. Head and Shoulders. iPad mini

Congratulations to imgur!

imgur is a photo sharing site with Alexa‘s Global ranking at #67 and US at #29! They recently reached 2 billion pageviews a month! Here is the extract from a TechCrunch interview:
“Much of this is possible thanks to a service called EdgeCast, which Imgur tapped into in June of 2011. It’s a content delivery network that helps ensure Imgur users enjoy quick upload times and no outages. And we’re glad the partnership is working out so well for both parties. I, personally, can’t imagine a world without images like these…”

(I think download is a better term than upload.)

How quick? Click the link below to get the 1500×3876 pixels infograhic (812KB in size) and feel it! It looks great on the new iPad!

FYI, below is a resized version (300×755). Some sites use smaller infograhics to reduce load time in the expense of customer experience! Not every visitor wants low resolution infograhics. You pinch out to see things in detail, right?

Below is a yesterday Mashable article with another high resolution infographic (1001×2595) about how much trust parents put in gadgets like iPad:

Besides parents, both students and teachers are happy to use iPad too. Watch the video in this article to see and feel it:

While iPad is a great device to learn, but holding it for a long time is hazardous to health! Read this, carefully:

No Joke! My arms and shoulders are complaining!

Nearly 20% American adults own tablets. Market is moving from Innovators and Early Adopters to Early Majority. More teenagers, elders and people in Asia & EMEA are new iPad users. For example the Thailand government is buying tablets for 1 million students!

Is the current iPad form factor the best for these new customers?

The closer we near the WWDC, the more rumors about new Apple products. One school of thought is against a smaller iPad because Steve Jobs said 7-inch tablets are “useless”, “dead on arrival”,  and users won’t enjoy the experience. Make senses, esp. for demanding Innovators and Early Adopters.

It makes sense too if Apple designs a new form-factor tablet to cater new customer groups. Smaller, lighter, less costly. More personalized.

iPad mini? It is not about competition and marketshare. It is about how technologies marry with the humanities. Everything else is secondary.

Latency. FaceTime on WiFi/LTE.

“I think to myself, what a wonderful world!”

Everyday there is something new to learn!

Learn a lot form two CDN veterans this morning:
1.DNS-based global server load balancing will response to the nameserver of the resolver, the resolver’s nameserver will then query again the hostname in the the respond. If the hostname is pointing to a CDN host, then the CDN nameserver will response to the resolver’s nameserver. These two DNS resolutions are independent of each other and they can use different logics/mechanisms.

Some high-traffic websites use “intelligent” DNS-based GSLB to implement multi-CDN strategy to further improve site performance and ROI. Latency caused by an additional round of CNAME resolution is a good trade-off.

2.Jakob Nielsen, in 1993, published the “3 important limits” of response time:
-0.1 second is the limit for having the user to feel the system in reacting
-1.0 second is the limit for having the user to stay uninterrupted
-10 seconds is the limit for having the user to keep attention

3.Fiona Nah’s study in 2004 found tolerable wait time (TWT) of web user was 4 second. People are losing patience and unwilling to wait.

4.Google experienced 20% drop in traffic (and revenue) if there was a 500ms load time increase. Amazon found a 1% drop in sales resulted from a 100ms page load time delay.

5.80% of response time is front-end related for landline users and 97% for mobile users! We have more latencies in 3G than xDSL/FTTB.

6.In the last decade there were many technology development and upgrades in datacenter and last mile. To leverage these investments, telcos should provide CDN services.


I did some simple tests to compare my 3G (MBA to 4S to 3G) and FTTB (MBA to AE to FTTB) services:

96ms vs 5ms…

What cause the latency in 3G? Network equipment, air interface and user equipment. From a 2009 Nokia Siemens whitepaper, we have the following “expected” roundtrip latencies:
HSPA: 41ms
HSPA+: <25ms
LTE: <20ms

Video conferencing connects people at different locations. That’s why biz people use telepresence, WebEx, Skype… Responsiveness is the major quality factor in video conferencing. When LTE becomes the most common cellular (it is a more politically correct term, thanks Apple!) technology, then we will have true mobile communication!

FaceTime on LTE (&HSPA+). One More Thing for iPhone 5?

What a wonderful world, Louis Armstrong, youtube

Let’s talk HK

Here are the top 25 most popular web sites in HK, their HQ countries and YSlow grades, 15 May 2012:

Alexa rank domain country YSlow grade
1 yahoo.com US B
2 facebook.com US A
3 google.com.hk US D
4 google.com US D
5 youtube.com US B
6 baidu.com CN A
7 taobao.com CN C
8 qq.com CN D
9 wikipedia.org US B
10 nextmedia.com HK C
11 live.com US A
12 discuss.com.hk HK E
13 sina.com.cn CN F
14 blogspot.com US B
15 tudou.com CN B
16 uwants.com HK D
17 hsbc.com.hk HK C
18 weibo.com CN B
19 on.cc HK D
20 linkedin.com US C
21 hkjc.com HK D
22 tvb.com HK C
23 apple.com US B
24 hkreporter.com HK D
25 soso.com CN B

Performance varies with time but the table shows a few things:
1.US and China leading content providers captures a lot of HK users
2.HK sites lag behind US and CN sites in performance optimization
3.HK online shoppers favor taobao.com

Hello world! Again.

Finally I blog at WordPress!

Why blog?

I talked to my friend at Sales Catalysts about Front-End Optimization and Content Delivery Network adoption in HK this morning. I shared with him the things I learnt in the last few months since I joined EdgeCast last Feb. He’s very interested in how FEO and CDN could help users to access websites faster.

Why faster? 天下武功,无坚不破,唯快不破!

He and I were colleagues at LinkAge Online (acquired by PSINet in 1998) and we were selling Internet access and hosting services. We may called ourselves layer 1/2/3 guys and we believed bandwidth was the most important thing regarding Internet speed. The Internet infrastructure nowadays is completely different than the dotcom era. Today people are talking about mini-second and low latency. Every improvement during the whole HTTP transmission process counts! Server I/O, SSD storage, static & dynamic content, HTTP server configuration, FEO, CDN, browser behavior…

FEO and CDN are more about layer 7 and it takes time & effort for layer 1/2/3 guys to learn them. He thanked me for my sharing. I am happy to so because we are in the ICT industry and it is our roles to make the Internet a better place to work, live, play and Learn!

I twit interesting & useful things I learn. It is good if I can contribute back to the community by writing more organized messages.

Here are a few websites with easy-to-use FEO & CDN information:
Web Performance Best Practices and Rules http://yslow.org/
Benefits of CDN https://kindle.amazon.com/post/MCS0P5U7DVQS
Test a website’s performance http://www.webpagetest.org/

That’s why I blog.

PS. It is more easy to use WordPress by browser rather than the iOS app. HTML helps blogging at WordPress:) I’ve not written HTML code for a long time…

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!