When it comes to ‘cloud’ hosted platforms like Cake and HasOffers I have always wondered just how good their click tracking speeds are. To be specific, where do they have datacentres? How well are they geo-distributed? When it comes to redirect speeds people often cite the networks (and advertisers) as being the slowest hop in the process – but how slow is slow and why is it that way?
Lots of networks have moved toward Cake Marketing and run mobile through it… Looking at their site they say they have UK and US technology partners (yeah like that cuts it these days) and some Googling reveals a press release about them partnering with Rackspace. I did some latency testing via CopperEgg on an affiliate link with F5Media – one to a US-based offer (by games.la) and one to Mobogenie (worldwide traffic allowed) which redirects to the app store, thus the offer was unlikely to limit the observed DNS response and time-to-first byte measurements. Anyway, changing the offer did nothing so the measurements appeared to representative of the Cake platform.
Results (Average time to connect / time to first byte / total):
Tokyo = 149 / 272 / 421 ms
Sydney = 181 / 282 / 463 ms
Sao Paulo = 168 / 295 / 464 ms
Newark, NJ = 68 / 235 / 303 ms
Amsterdam = 117 / 147 / 264 ms
Atlanta, GA = 28 / 112 / 141 ms
Freemont, CA = 44 / 117 / 163 ms
Dallas, TX = 3 / 96 / 99 ms
London = 109 / 170 / 279 ms
So… presuming that Cake didn’t identify all CopperEgg probe servers and decide to route them all similarly, and that F5Media is a representative of the Cake platform as a whole, the results are pathetic and point to a datacentre somewhere in central US. Why is this expensive, advanced marketing platform giving such dismal speeds? Why the hell would anyone want to run traffic through cake from e.g. Australia when you’re looking at nearly 500 ms just for a DNS lookup? Am I missing something here or are the Cake servers not geo-distributed at the very least to west/east coast US, UK, Australia and Singapore-based datacentres?
Does anyone have further insight? I have never benchmarked network tracking link performance before but I was expecting better from Cake…
As a network who was one of the first to adopt cake, your results are pretty much spot on.
Them changing from dedicated servers to cloud has been pretty rough. By comparison Cake still has the best tracking accuracy by far but the redirect speed performance is pretty bad and not any getting better.
Cake is way to expensive for this to be an issue.
That’s what I think… For what they charge it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect CDN-level geo-distribution, i.e. datacentres in US West/Central/East, UK, NL, Germany, Spain, India, South Africa, Singapore, Australia, etc. In this age there is little excuse for not geographically load balancing to at least 4+ separate zones.
Perhaps networks should complain. 500 ms DNS response time from Brazil? Because that isn’t going to impact campaign performance. //300% Sarcasm
I run cupcake which is cakes new product and I also noticed the same slow redirects. I had chalked it up to being on the cheaper product but now that I see the same performance as enterprise instances that’s crazy.
The cheapest Cake enterprise account is $1,500/month and that is with ZERO clicks. Average entry level person running a few in house offers is probably looking at around $4000/month and for that amount you would think you would get top quality service.