What better day than the 14th of July (Bastille Day) to announce the latest addition to our network in Marseille, France? Our data center in the southern city of Marseille is our 2nd in France, 12th in Europe and 36th globally.
Marseille, France’s second largest city following Paris, is home to 2 million Internet users across the surrounding metropolitan area. It also serves as another point of redundancy to our Paris data center, one of our most trafficked facilities in the whole of Europe.
However, the true importance of Marseille is not just redundancy or its size. Marseille’s southern location makes it a major Internet gateway for networks throughout the Mediterranean, including many African and Middle Eastern countries. This is reflected by the fact that a substantial number of undersea submarine cables carrying Internet traffic are routed through Marseille (7 to be exact, and for those fastidious followers of our blog).
Marseille: a key interconnection point for traffic throughout the Mediterranean
These undersea cables are the principal means by which many countries are able to access the rest of the Internet—that is to say, access all of the other global networks that make up this big interconnected network we refer to as the Internet. In the case of Algeria, this latest deployment has reduced by half the latency to the over 2 million Internet applications using CloudFlare. In other words, all web sites and applications behind CloudFlare are now 2x as fast to access in Algeria (and in many other countries) now that Marseille is online.
If you’ve followed our previous blog posts, you’ll know that peering—the act of interconnecting with other regional networks—is critical to the fast, secure and local delivery of Internet traffic. And Marseille is no different. We’re proud to be the most recent participant on FranceIX’s Marseille Internet exchange, through which we are now able to serve traffic to networks throughout the Mediterranean. However, many large ISPs in the region, including some in Morocco and Tunisia, are not yet participants. If you are a customer of one of these ISPs, please reach out and encourage them to join!
Finally, as a result of our Marseille deployment, France is now the second country in Europe (following Germany after our Düsseldorf deployment) to host multiple CloudFlare data centers. However, it won’t be the last! Hint Hint….
— Joyeux 14 juillet de la part de toute l’équipe CloudFlare!
(Happy Bastille Day from the CloudFlare team! for all non-french speaking blog readers)