Find The Closest #Azure Data Center
I regularly get asked about how to choose a Microsoft Azure Data Center for optimal deployments. The answer is to pick the Data Center that is nearest to your users. For applications that have a broad user base, it’s favorable to deploy multiple instances of the application and to use Microsoft Azure Traffic Manager to direct users to the closest Data Center. This typically provides the best user experience.
Finding that closest Data Center requires a couple of tests, because physical networks differ from location to location.
To get a ping from my location to all the available Microsoft Azure Data Centers, I use a community tool called Azure Site Ping (GitHub).
Then, to compare the Azure Blob Storage response time from multiple Microsoft Azure Data Centers, I use another community tool called Microsoft Azure Speed Test. This tool produces a chart (see featured image of this post) that allows us to visualize and understand the variance in latency.
Armed with this information, I can identify a Data Center. In some scenarios, the Data Center that appears to be the nearest, may not be the closest to the application’s users. Just to be sure, run these tools from locations where your users will consume your application. This will help you identify the best Data Center for your scenario.
Remember, it’s acceptable to deploy to one Data Center for Dev & Test scenarios and to deploy to another Data Center for Production. Latency obeys the laws of physics, and we need to take them under consideration when we make choices that can affect the overall user experience.
When you can’t get close enough to your users with Azure Blog Storage, consider using the Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN). This service is composed of many Edge Nodes that place your content closer to your users.
Ultimately, the bottom line is that when latency is low, users are happy.