Challenges in Routing Cached Traffic through Cloudflare

We operate in over 22 countries, and as a result, the route of traffic is crucial for the efficiency of our operations. The issue arises when, for some reason, the local servers of Google Cloud are not routed according to their origin, but are instead directed to machines located in Europe. This redirection causes not only an unnecessary increase but also a significant one in latency. This means that data takes more time to travel from the server to the end-user, potentially resulting in slower performance of the website or application.

We sought to better understand this problem and, for this, we had a discussion with Google’s team. Through this interaction, we validated the situation we were encountering. In an attempt to gain a deeper understanding, we even deactivated Cloudflare’s cache to study the traffic behavior.

We found that when the cache is turned off, the traffic follows the expected route, that is, it is correctly directed. However, when we reactivate the cache, the traffic is again routed exclusively from Europe, as shown in the accompanying image.

The Google team suggested a solution, which would be to use their own Content Delivery Network (CDN). Although this is a plausible solution, we believe that this is a problem that Cloudflare itself should be capable of resolving.

In the quest for a solution, we activated Cloudflare’s ARGO service, which is designed to improve internet traffic performance. However, even with ARGO activated, the problem persists, and cached traffic continues to be routed exclusively from Europe.