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New cities on the Cloudflare global network: March 2022 edition


3 min read

If you follow the Cloudflare blog, you know that we love to add cities to our global map. With each new city we add, we help make the Internet faster, more reliable, and more secure. Today, we are announcing the addition of 18 new cities in Africa, South America, Asia, and the Middle East, bringing our network to over 270 cities globally. We’ll also look closely at how adding new cities improves Internet performance, such as our new locations in Israel, which reduced median response time (latency) from 86ms to 29ms (a 66% improvement) in a matter of weeks for subscribers of one Israeli Internet service provider (ISP).

The Cities

Without further ado, here are the 18 new cities in 10 countries we welcomed to our global network: Accra, Ghana; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Bhubaneshwar, India; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Joinville, Brazil; Erbil, Iraq; Fukuoka, Japan; Goiânia, Brazil; Haifa, Israel; Harare, Zimbabwe; Juazeiro do Norte, Brazil; Kanpur, India; Manaus, Brazil; Naha, Japan; Patna, India; São José do Rio Preto, Brazil; Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Uberlândia, Brazil.

Cloudflare’s ISP Edge Partnership Program

But let’s take a step back and understand why and how adding new cities to our list helps make the Internet better. First, we should reintroduce the Cloudflare Edge Partnership Program. Cloudflare is used as a reverse proxy by nearly 20% of all Internet properties, which means the volume of ISP traffic trying to reach us can be significant. In some cases, as we’ll see in Israel, the distance data needs to travel can also be significant, adding to latency and reducing Internet performance for the user. Our solution is partnering with ISPs to embed our servers inside their network. Not only does the ISP avoid lots of back haul traffic, but their subscribers also get much better performance because the website is served on-net, and close to them geographically. It is a win-win-win.

Consider a large Israeli ISP we did not peer with locally in Tel Aviv. Last year, if a subscriber wanted to reach a website on the Cloudflare network, their request had to travel on the Internet backbone – the large carriers that connect networks together on behalf of smaller ISPs – from Israel to Europe before reaching Cloudflare and going back. The map below shows where they were able to find Cloudflare content before our deployment went live: 48% in Frankfurt, 33% in London, and 18% in Amsterdam. That’s a long way!

A map depicting traffic flowing over the Internet backbone from Israel to Europe, adding latencies of up to 70 milliseconds.

In January and March 2022, we turned up deployments with the ISP  in Tel Aviv and Haifa. Now live, these two locations serve practically all requests from their subscribers locally within Israel. Instead of traveling 3,000 km to reach one of the millions of websites on our network, most requests from Israel now travel 65 km, or less. The improvement has been dramatic: now we’re serving 66% of requests in under 50ms; before the deployment we couldn’t serve any in under 50ms because the distance was too great. Now, 85% are served in under 100ms; before, we served 66% of requests in under 100ms.

Logarithmic graph depicting the improvement in performance. The 50th percentile of requests decreased from almost 90ms to around 30ms.]

As we continue to put dots on the map, we’ll keep putting updates here on how Internet performance is improving. As we like to say, we’re just getting started.

If you’re an ISP that is interested in hosting a Cloudflare cache to improve performance and reduce back haul, get in touch on our Edge Partnership Program page. And if you’re a software, data, or network engineer – or just the type of person who is curious and wants to help make the Internet better – consider joining our team.

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Mike Conlow|@mikeconlow

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