Aug9th2007

What is it about Red Hat’s core mirror servers?

CANDIS has been running out of their own pocket a CentOS mirror for almost a year now. The first in Beijing and second in China.

We have been trying to get the FIRST fedora mirror in China up and it is nigh to impossible. Everyone in China complains of how hard it is to get fedora here. While the fedora folks over at the mirror list have been great, I do question at times Red Hat’s commitment. Why is it that their servers are so slow to access from China? Users are frustrated by this already, yet trying to pull in all that data to establish a local mirror is a pain too, in orders of magnitude.

So far our BLUG has been working internally with some private companies and some help on their own time from Red Hat employees here to get this all off the ground. I guess we will be done in the next 2 weeks (See my super speedy download stats below) – however, why should something so basic and so important be left ENTIRELY to the community to provide.

Yes it is open source and we all help. But mirrors COST MONEY, from opportunity cost of the admin’s time, the expensive power, cooling, server, storage and bandwidth all has to be paid by someone. Red Hat even asked me directly about why it was so bad in China in an effort to “understand” the issue. Yet after taking the time to give them a detailed response formed from my 5 years of tech work in China, I hear nothing further? Not even a thanks! Some people I feel have forgotten what Linux and community is all about.

I don’t want to sound like I am ragging on Red Hat too much. I know a few people who work for them in China and Australia. They are hard working and talented people. And Red Hat has done A LOT for Linux for which we should be thankful. – like certifying me a RHCE! 😉 However this bread and butter type stuff (getting the actual software into peoples hands) I would have thought deserves more attention and assistance.

While China doesn’t always have great net access, it is not that bad. And most other mirror sites and distro sites work great from here – be it Japan, Korea or the USA. Red Hat’s though, are not just slow, they are a statistical anomaly! Are these servers on the moon? Or are they just too busy for the demand?

24 hours and 3.2GB downloaded. Look out – I think there may be a Tsunami in the South China Sea soon due to seismic disturbances caused by those red hot fibre links…….stay tuned for daily download updates. Maybe I should just ask for an LTO2 tape to be FedEx’d?