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We’re pleased to announce that our network expansion project, in conjunction with ISP Backbone, has today completed its fourth expansion phase. We began our long-term network project in Q1 2019 with a not-so-small PoP count of 24 locations, however our fourth phase has brought our total count to 48 unique locations around the world! We’ve faced many challenges during this phase, with COVID-19 restricting data centre access and hands-on work, however we’re back on track and the network is humming away sweetly. But what does this network expansion mean to you and what benefits does it bring?
A network Point of Presence, or PoP for short, is a location within a data centre (or “carrier hotel”) in which we’ve installed our equipment, and then connected to both the wider Internet and our own network. A PoP therefore allows a closer, shorter network path into our network – and back out to the ISPs that make up the rest of the Internet.
Each of our PoPs contains at least one edge router, a local nameserver (DNS) cache, a CDN endpoint, a WAF endpoint, a streaming relay, and a DDoS mitigation service/appliance. Some larger PoPs also contain general compute servers as well as hosted equipment for our sponsored services, such as software mirrors, NTP servers and third-party network monitoring probes.
We announce the IP addresses on our native network using Anycast technology, which means each one of our PoP locations accepts traffic destined for any server or website on our network.
Let’s say you live in New York, and you’re accessing a server hosted in London. Your ISP will connect using our New York City PoP, allowing us to route your traffic privately over our own network until it reaches the destination in London. This setup avoids any congested network routes to maximise speed, ensures the shortest and most optimal path for the best latency, and allows us to automagically reroute traffic if a major service outage occurs on the wider Internet.
What’s more, all of our PoPs have a DNS cache, so when you type in the www’s to get to your website, your ISP is automatically served from a close and fast nameserver rather than one potentially at the other side of the world. Plus, if you use our CDN, your static assets will also be served from our local PoP, making your website feel super-fast and responsive.
With the number of our PoPs ever-increasing, we’ve given our status page an overhaul to make it easier to use. Our Network Edge PoPs are now grouped into continents, while our Network Core & Compute sites sit within their own group. We also have individual groups covering each unique service in granular detail, so tracking problems is super simple.
Our status page is fully white-labelled, so you can link it from your website and send it your customers. Furthermore, you can subscribe to receive email status notifications to be proactively notified when there are problems. Simply head over to the status page, click the subscribe button in the footer and fill in your email. Note, you’ll receive an email confirmation link that you need to follow to activate the subscription.