I think the development in China is also very good, but in China, the cost of servers is much more expensive than abroad, and I also know that your foreign servers have a lot of benefits. But this can also broaden your server range. Isn’t it better? And users in China can also greatly reduce the network delay, get a better experience, and also make advanced hosting better.
iFastNet infrastructure is currently located in one specific datacenter in the UK. This is a datacenter in the same town as the company offices are.
To answer your question, I first want to explain why we don’t have servers in other locations, and then cover why China specifically adds more difficulty.
iFastNet currently has datacenter near where there offices are. They get a lot of server space in that single datacenter. This has a couple of benefits.
First of all, if someone needs to attend to the servers, for example to install or replace hardware, or do some proverbial CPR on failing hardware, they can send one of their own people to the datacenter to do the maintenance. Many datacenters offer remote hands to do this for customers, but being able to do it yourself has many benefits.
And setting up a new datacenter location is expensive. iFastNet operate their own hardware and network, so to install a new location they need to contract rack space and upstream internet, and buy servers and networking equipment, which can easily cost $100,000 to set up per location, not including the time and effort they would need to put in.
And another issue is that the platform needs to be re-tooled to support multiple datacenters. Building a distributed system is a lot easier if you know you can talk to all servers over a fast, reliable, low latency connection. You don’t have that between multiple datacenters. So you need to design your infrastructure to work as multiple semi-independent “islands” that can work together with minimal communication. Is it possible? Sure, companies like Google and Cloudflare make this work. But those companies are a lot bigger than iFastNet, and have a lot more resources available to build it.
So, all in all, sticking to one datacenter in the UK is a lot easier than having multiple locations in different areas around the globe. There is certainly benefit in having additional locations, but is “better latency” really enough reason to invest all the money and effort? Or are there better ways to invest that, for example in features, stability and capacity in their location in the UK?
And remember: this is website hosting. It’s not that sensitive to latency like, say, game server hosting.
Choosing China specifically (and Asia in general) has some additional difficulties.
And it starts with something you said yourself:
I’ve been told that network connectivity and datacenter space in China (and Asia in general) is much more expensive than in Europe or North America. This affects you as someone who wants to host a single website, but also a hosting company looking to open an extra location.
And free hosting works by keeping costs low. That includes choosing locations where technology and relevant services can be acquired at low cost. All free hosting companies I know have their servers in the EU or US, and this is probably the reason.
BEGIN POLITICAL SPECULATION: Take with a grain of salt.
From what I’ve been told, the Chinese market is quite hard to enter for foreign companies. There are a strict requirements and laws that need to be followed before the Chinese government will let you sell services in China, such as technology sharing agreements. Complying to these rules takes a lot of effort, and may involve making commitments you may not want to. Some companies are willing to make this investment to get access to the - admittedly - massive Chinese market, but for a small company like iFastNet, this burden may be too high.
In conclusion, adding additional locations across the world does bring a lot of benefits. It does reduce latency and provides a better experience for website owners and visitors.
But it’s also very complicated and very expensive. And I personally don’t believe that adding additional locations is the most effective way to spend the time and money, and that there are other steps that can be taken that provide more customer value for the investment.
Thank you very much for your answer. I see.
Why can’t I access my website when I visit it at night?
I dont know but i tink it is your browser cache why ifastnet is 99% online and uptime 24/7
Can you provide the IP of your account? You can find it in the client area.
There have been some ongoing outages which could be the explanation. Please check if what you see matches the description in this topic, and whether your website is on the affected IP addresses:
If you’re not on one of those IPs or the error is different, can you please describe what you see?
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