WordPress.com serving from VSNL for India?
I’ve been seeing individual blogs on WordPress.com being intermittently served out of a VSNL IP address (18.104.22.168). The IP address is from a range that is not normally seen on sites served out of VSNL which belong to the 203.199.xxx.xxx range, which, if my memory serves me right, is the Prabhadevi IDC. The WordPress IP has a reverse DNS of vashi-netli-idc-ill22.214.171.124.static.vsnl.net.in and as you can imagine it belongs to the Vashi IDC.
WordPress.com has been fiddling around with its content serving infrastructure for a while now, initially using mirrored multihomed servers out of Arizona and San Diego IDCs and from what I could guess switched recently to using a content accelerator like BigIP or ServerIron switches, thus drastically dropping the number of multiple IPs that resolve to the wordpress.com subdomains.
The geeky parts apart, I would really like to know what’s prompted this India-specific change for WordPress.com. One of the most obvious explanations is that they could have signed up with Akamai or Limelight Networks for their CDN services. But Akamai has been serving their Indian content from their Reliance IDC IPs for their clients and from what I vaguely remember this was not the IP block they were serving in India even on their network in VSNL. Limelight does not specialise in serving text content, they are multimedia content specialists and even their known client of Rajshri is being served from their IDC in Arizona. And from the little I had once talked to the Limelight guys, they still don’t have any POPs in India.
If it is due to an uptake in traffic and registrations from India, that would be something worth noticing on WordPress because it has not been an easy task to get a blogging framework to do well in India and having a dedicated serving infrastructure within India would be excellent news for Indian WordPress.com users.
On a related note, Google has joined the ranks of Microsoft and Yahoo! in having a dedicated cluster for serving India. Yahoo! Mail users and old Hotmail users would fondly remember the cluster-based subdomains like f18.mail.yahoo.com and baym-cs237.msgr.hotmail.com. These days, a ‘netstat -a’ gives interesting Google-related reverse DNS entries like po.in.f125.google.com and in.in.f19.google.com. These are interesting times indeed.