Where are Netflix server farm(s) located?

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Where are Netflix server farm(s) located?

Postby firemann » Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:58 pm

Like many other I have been having data feed issue while watching Netflix on Roku. I was wondering where the movie feeds originate from? Anyone know?

I'm located near Portland OR on a 3 meg DSL line. Their speed test routinely shows speeds like 4233 dl to my ISP
I get good data feed rates (via a recent speakeasy test):
Seattle 3086 dl,
Chicago 3293 dl,
New York 2675 dl.
But when I get feeds from the south things slow down:
San Francisco 1966
LA 1480
Dallas 960 ick
The test results suggest that feeds originating from southern locations hit some speed bumps while feeds across the northern US do reasonable well. Where the Netflix feeds originate could be an issue for me.
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Limelight CDN

Postby m_young70 » Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:28 pm

Netflix uses Limelight to distribute their video streams. So to find out where your Roku is connecting, do a "tracert netflix-822.vo.llnwd.net" on a Windows box on the same network (or "traceroute" on Mac/Linux). From Portland, it's probably going to connect to San Jose or Seattle.
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Postby Rich » Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:41 pm

my tracert goes from tucson to LA to phoenix to dallas.

hmmm? dallas is the slowest node in the single test by the original poster. (although I'm sure that is an irrelevant coincidence)
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Re: Limelight CDN

Postby wideasleep1 » Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:53 pm

m_young70 wrote:Netflix uses Limelight to distribute their video streams. So to find out where your Roku is connecting, do a "tracert netflix-822.vo.llnwd.net" on a Windows box on the same network (or "traceroute" on Mac/Linux). From Portland, it's probably going to connect to San Jose or Seattle.


Hop
# Avg
ms Loss
% Graph Address
1 4 10.0.0.1 (home)
2 22 68.x.x.x (netblock-68-x-x-x.dslextreme.com)
3 13 66.218.44.49 (SJC1.CR1.Gig7-0-10.dslextreme.com)
4 20 206.223.116.123 (10ge5-3.fr1.sjc.llnw.net)
5 17 69.28.171.210 (ve5.fr4.sjc.llnw.net)
6 21 208.111.148.7 (netflix-822.vo.llnwd.net)

San Jose for me, 5 hops, less than 22ms latency, no % loss.
Then as it was, then again it will be
An' though the course may change sometimes,
rivers always reach the sea

M1000x2,M2000,Twonky 4.3.3 RC1 beta on LinkStation HGLAN400gig,Buffalo whr-g54s on DD-WRTfirmware-luv'in it!
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Postby firemann » Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:28 pm

I'm on a Mac. How does one initiate a traceroute?
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Postby Mark12547 » Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:50 pm

Does it make a difference that some of us are using OpenDNS? OpenDNS has only these sites:

  • New York, New York, USA
  • Seattle, Washington, USA
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Palo Alto, California, USA
  • Washington, DC, USA
    and
  • London, England, UK


If there are more than 5 server farms in the US, I would think that OpenDNS would route people to only the five that are stored in it's cash at its locations.

In my case, it probably isn't that big of a deal since tracert netflix-822.vo.llnwd.net indicates I am connecting to the Seattle server from Salem, OR.
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Postby cykosis » Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:13 pm

Mark12547 wrote:Does it make a difference that some of us are using OpenDNS? OpenDNS has only these sites:

  • New York, New York, USA
  • Seattle, Washington, USA
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Palo Alto, California, USA
  • Washington, DC, USA
    and
  • London, England, UK

If there are more than 5 server farms in the US, I would think that OpenDNS would route people to only the five that are stored in it's cash at its locations.

In my case, it probably isn't that big of a deal since tracert netflix-822.vo.llnwd.net indicates I am connecting to the Seattle server from Salem, OR.


Where you're pulling your DNS info from has no bearing on which one of their datacenters Netflix routes you to.

And even if you're resolving the address from the DNS server furthest from you, once you know it, you know it. It won't affect your speed.
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Postby Mark12547 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:02 am

cykosis wrote:
Mark12547 wrote:Does it make a difference that some of us are using OpenDNS? OpenDNS has only these sites:

  • New York, New York, USA
  • Seattle, Washington, USA
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Palo Alto, California, USA
  • Washington, DC, USA
    and
  • London, England, UK

If there are more than 5 server farms in the US, I would think that OpenDNS would route people to only the five that are stored in it's cash at its locations.

In my case, it probably isn't that big of a deal since tracert netflix-822.vo.llnwd.net indicates I am connecting to the Seattle server from Salem, OR.


Where you're pulling your DNS info from has no bearing on which one of their datacenters Netflix routes you to.

And even if you're resolving the address from the DNS server furthest from you, once you know it, you know it. It won't affect your speed.


Two issues I have with your statement:
  1. Each OpenDNS server is delivering a different address for netflix-822.vo.llnwd.net (go to http://www.opendns.com/support/cache/ and request a cache check for netflix-822.vo.llnwd.net and notice that the IP addresses returned for the five sites US sites are all different), and
  2. Depending on which address one gets, it will affect the distance the packets will have to travel because it is likely giving you the address of the closest server to the particular DNS Server than the closest address to one's Roku box.
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Postby cykosis » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:32 am

Mark12547 wrote:Two issues I have with your statement:
  1. Each OpenDNS server is delivering a different address for netflix-822.vo.llnwd.net (go to http://www.opendns.com/support/cache/ and request a cache check for netflix-822.vo.llnwd.net and notice that the IP addresses returned for the five sites US sites are all different), and
  2. Depending on which address one gets, it will affect the distance the packets will have to travel because it is likely giving you the address of the closest server to the particular DNS Server than the closest address to one's Roku box.


You're right. That does seem to be the case. They're using the polling DNS for geolocation purposes, which is perfectly fine when you're using your local ISP's DNS.

It's not that much worse with OpenDNS since with that system, you're still hitting the closest DNS to your physical location. But, as you said, the closest Netflix datacenter to that DNS location and the closest one to you may or may not be one in the same.

I'm in Houston and apparently I hit the Chicago OpenDNS server, which sends me to the Dallas Netflix center. So things are rosy on my end, but your mileage may vary.

Now, unless there's more load balancing going on behind the scenes at Netflix's end, this is bound to create congestion problems. If your nearest datacenter is already overloaded, but it insists on sending you there anyways, you're worse off than if they sent you to the center across the country from you. If this is how it's working and what's causing people all sorts of problems, then it's because Netflix underestimated future demand in some areas when designing the system and dug themselves into a hole.
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Postby firemann » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:18 am

Here are the result of my traceroute. It looks like it takes about 12 hops. It starts from my local ISP south of Portland, runs to Seattle and Tacoma then it bounces around San Jose a lot. I note at the start of the trace there is a warning about multiple limelight addresses. If there is, in fact, a Netflix server farm in Seattle, I'm not sure why I end up in San Jose.

traceroute: Warning: netflix-822.vo.llnwd.net has multiple addresses; using 208.111.148.6
traceroute to netflix-822.vo.llnwd.net (208.111.148.6), 64 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 192.168.3.1 (192.168.3.1) 1.809 ms 0.932 ms 0.840 ms
2 rdbk.p2-001.molalla.net (216.134.164.1) 36.224 ms 37.487 ms 35.268 ms
3 br1.cethr.molalla.net (216.134.160.1) 36.287 ms 38.473 ms 35.935 ms
4 sl-gw14-sea-3-3.sprintlink.net (144.224.113.125) 42.360 ms 41.226 ms 40.856 ms
5 sl-bb21-sea-9-1.sprintlink.net (144.232.6.133) 39.221 ms 40.560 ms 41.300 ms
6 sl-crs1-tac-0-0-5-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.8.61) 48.837 ms 46.214 ms 49.075 ms
7 sl-crs1-sj-0-9-0-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.20.8 ) 68.160 ms 65.197 ms 65.183 ms
8 sl-st22-sj-5-0-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.18.31) 67.529 ms 68.257 ms 69.356 ms
9 64.212.107.149 (64.212.107.149) 69.952 ms 282.730 ms 259.803 ms
10 limelight.po4.440.ar2.sjc2.gblx.net (64.211.64.154) 71.390 ms 76.414 ms 74.426 ms
11 ve5.fr3.sjc.llnw.net (69.28.171.209) 77.885 ms 71.390 ms 70.344 ms
12 cdn-208-111-148-6.sjc.llnw.net (208.111.148.6) 68.144 ms 78.098 ms 71.119 ms
13 * * *
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Postby firemann » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:36 am

addition to my note above:

I understand the traceroute defaulted, for whatever reason, to the San Jose address, but what I meant to say was how can I be sure if my Netflix feeds originate from San Jose or from Seattle. Or better yet, could my Roku box be forced to get it feed from Seattle vs. San Jose. On the face of it that would seem to fix my data feed issues.
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Postby firemann » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:19 pm

oh wait, I think I get it. Maybe.
It looks like the high-speed carrier Sprintlink routes all of its traffic to San Jose and then hands it off to Limelight there.
I did a traceroute using the IP address 68.142.93.133 for Limelight in Seattle. Sprintlink routed the trace from my ISP to Seattle then down to San Jose and there Sprintnet handed off to Limelight and then its goes back up to Seattle. Yeesh. So Sprint may be my root issue. That and a rather lagish hand off to Limelight.

traceroute to 68.142.93.133 (68.142.93.133), 64 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 192.168.3.1 (192.168.3.1) 9.728 ms 0.842 ms 1.607 ms
2 rdbk.p2-001.molalla.net (216.134.164.1) 43.926 ms 35.361 ms 35.467 ms
3 br1.cethr.molalla.net (216.134.160.1) 37.843 ms 36.496 ms 37.388 ms
4 sl-gw14-sea-3-3.sprintlink.net (144.224.113.125) 40.989 ms 42.949 ms 40.067 ms
5 sl-bb20-sea-9-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.6.153) 66.369 ms 46.905 ms 57.976 ms
6 sl-crs2-tac-0-0-5-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.9.151) 42.919 ms 44.331 ms 41.362 ms
7 sl-crs1-sj-0-4-0-1.sprintlink.net (144.232.18.204) 66.836 ms 69.874 ms 66.768 ms
8 sl-st22-sj-2-0-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.18.180) 66.026 ms 66.013 ms 66.300 ms
9 64.212.107.149 (64.212.107.149) 239.044 ms 67.264 ms 68.149 ms
10 64.214.150.94 (64.214.150.94) 66.319 ms 72.421 ms 75.714 ms
11 tge1-1.fr3.sea2.llnw.net (69.28.171.146) 61.819 ms 64.339 ms 69.009 ms
12 cdn-68-142-93-133.sea2.llnw.net (68.142.93.133) 64.005 ms 72.435 ms 62.963 ms
13 * * *
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Postby Kermee » Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:22 am

This is over Verizon FiOS up in the north end of Seattle:

Tracing route to netflix-822.vo.llnwd.net [68.142.93.254]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <1 ms 1 ms <1 ms utm-cpe.sttlwa-fios.in.kaonetworks.com [10.1.10.1]
2 2 ms 2 ms 2 ms 98.111.88.1
3 2 ms 2 ms 2 ms G9-3-221.LCR-02.STTLWA.verizon-gni.net [130.81.138.206]
4 3 ms 3 ms 9 ms so-7-0-0-0.PEER-RTR1.SEA81.verizon-gni.net [130.81.17.139]
5 3 ms 3 ms 3 ms 130.81.15.214
6 4 ms 3 ms 4 ms ve5.fr4.sea2.llnw.net [69.28.171.78]
7 3 ms 3 ms 2 ms cdn-68-142-93-254.sea2.llnw.net [68.142.93.254]


Trace complete.

Cheers,
Kermee
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Postby firemann » Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:52 pm

That's interesting. So you are getting your movie feeds from Limelight in Seattle. I'd think that if Sprintlink and Limelight could hook up in Seattle then my situation would greatly improve.
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Postby surfcat999 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:00 pm

I am having big problems getting my Roku player to stream properly.

I ran tracert several times. Is it relevant that the second step in the tracert output always times out? (Note: I'm not networking expert so don't even fully understand what a tracert actually is).

The specific output is...

2 * * * Request timed out.
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