Closest Datacenter not chosen

Hi guys,

I just setup my domain using Cloudflare and checked if everything works. I requested my domain on different regions with the help of my co-workers.

Requested from Manila: colo=MNL (good)
Requested from Cebu: colo=MNL (not CEB which is closer?)
Requested from Jakarta: colo=SIN (good)
Requested from Malaysia: colo=SIN (maybe Singapore has lesser latency?)

My concern is, when we checked one of our co-worker’s site, these were as follows:

Requested from Manila: colo=MNL
Requested from Cebu: colo=SEA (not CEB which is closer or at least MNL? Why Seattle though?)
Requested from Jakarta: colo=SIN
Requested from Malaysia: colo=SIN
Requested from Seoul: colo=LAX (not TSN which is closer or at least from Japan?)

My https://www.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/trace is MNL not CEB where the datacenter is like a few kilometers from me (prolly 5 km max).
My https://1.1.1.1/cdn-cgi/trace is also MNL not CEB.

“As the crow flies” is not always the same as “As the packet traverses the Internet.”

Due to peering agreements (or lack of), the shortest geographical path isn’t always possible.

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Thanks sdayman. But why Seattle though when there are 50+ datacenters closer to me.
Has CF chosen the best route for me or from where they can save bandwidth fees from their servers? I tried googling some of my questions and I’m still left unconvinced.

Here’s one I read: “If you are a free customer using an excessive amount of expensive transit, we would serve you from fewer regions.”

“To demonstrate this, we’ve moved our Free customers off these six transit providers (six expensive networks [HiNet, Korea Telecom, Optus, Telecom Argentina, Telefonica, Telstra** ]). Free customers will still be accessible across our network and served from another regional cache with more reasonable bandwidth pricing.”

It’s not only Cloudflare.

A while ago i was routed to Vienna and Milan for weeks instead of Frankfurt. Everything was fine when i ran MTR from my servers next to the Cloudflare edges. (Same DC)
So being in a free plan is not the reason.

The internet, BGP to be more exact, is designed to use the shortest paths from source to destination.

For example:
Your ISP, let’s say AS1, has a direct peering with Cloudflare (AS13335) your country will have a ‘direct’ connection.

If your ISP doesn’t have a direct peering, or If there are any Routing issues, there will be a number of ASNs used till one is found that peers with Cloudflare. If the next peering partner (shortest path) is located in Austria, you will hit the edge in Vienna.

As @sdayman wrote: it’s about peering, or the lack of…

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