… on some selected websites but, of course, this is still an excellent news if one takes into account the pathetic bandwidth we had before.
Since a few weeks, some of us have noticed that some websites were very snappy and that downloads from them were much quicker than usual. I investigated and found out the following:
$ nslookup > server 220.127.116.11 Default server: 18.104.22.168 Address: 22.214.171.124#53 > www.intel.com Server: 126.96.36.199 Address: 188.8.131.52#53 Non-authoritative answer: www.intel.com canonical name = www.intel.com.edgesuite.net. www.intel.com.edgesuite.net canonical name = www.intel-sino.com.edgesuite.net. www.intel-sino.com.edgesuite.net canonical name = www.intel-sino.com.edgesuite.net.chinaredirector.akadns.net. www.intel-sino.com.edgesuite.net.chinaredirector.akadns.net canonical name = a961.g.akamai.net. Name: a961.g.akamai.net Address: 184.108.40.206 Name: a961.g.akamai.net Address: 220.127.116.11
Let’s see. www.intel.com which is, of course, the official website of Intel has an IP address of 18.104.22.168 or 22.214.171.124 when the Mauritius Telecom DNS server is queried. More interesting is the fact that those two IP addresses seem to correspond to one server owned by Akamai (i.e. a961.g.akamai.net) From the Akamai website, we read:
Akamai has created a digital operating environment for the Web. Our global platform of thousands of specially-equipped servers helps the Internet withstand the crush of daily requests for rich, dynamic, and interactive content, transactions, and applications. When delivering on these requests, Akamai detects and avoids Internet problem spots and vulnerabilities, to ensure Websites perform optimally, media and software download flawlessly, and applications perform reliably.
Hundreds of enterprises worldwide use our global platform to sell, inform, entertain, market, advertise, deliver software, and conduct their business online.
I knew a company like Intel was an Akamai customer but this didn’t explain the increase in bandwidth in Mauritius. Something more interesting was going on. 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 looked familiar… Suddenly I understood. They looked like the dynamic IP addresses we have in Mauritius. Maybe 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 were in Mauritius which would easily explain everything.
$ whois 18.104.22.168 OrgName: African Network Information Center OrgID: AFRINIC Address: 03B3 - 3rd Floor - Ebene Cyber Tower Address: Cyber City Address: Ebene Address: Mauritius City: Ebene StateProv: PostalCode: 0001 Country: MU
This is cool. It means that 22.214.171.124 is managed by the African Network Information Center, an organization based in Mauritius. To be 100% sure that 126.96.36.199 is really in Mauritius, I did:
$ traceroute 188.8.131.52 traceroute to 184.108.40.206 (220.127.116.11), 64 hops max, 40 byte packets 1 * * * 2 18.104.22.168 (22.214.171.124) 72.663 ms 10.613 ms 11.346 ms 3 ADSL-TPLUS-70-97.telecomplus.net (126.96.36.199) 10.627 ms 11.536 ms 11.003 ms 4 ph-g1-1-1.1662.telecomplus.net (188.8.131.52) 10.251 ms 10.462 ms 11.510 ms 5 184.108.40.206 (220.127.116.11) 11.108 ms 10.278 ms 10.987 ms
Phew! This is confirmation that a mirror of www.intel.com is, at least for us, Mauritians, found in Mauritius. Notice how 18.104.22.168 is just one hop from ph-g1-1-1.1662.telecomplus.net which belongs to Telecom Plus. Notice how all the IPs start with 196.
I wonder what other websites have already received the Akamai treatment…