Feb 03, 2015

How much does the distance to data centers matter?

How important of a consideration is the distance to data centers in the cloud? There must be some latency increase when a data center is located in a physically distant location, but is it enough to actually matter?
Yes, latency does matter. We discussed this earlier here:

However, it isn't as simple as measuring the mileage because the routes that your packets take will vary and often aren't straight lines.

If you are running a trading desk, then yes, those microseconds matter and the book Flashboys does go into this and makes for some interesting reading if you want to learn more in an interesting context. For most general computing needs, the extra latency for a few network hops isn't deadly.

However, the bigger issue is that latency is usually out of your control, even if you have QoS agreements with your providers. The variation is more of an issue than the sheer distance.
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