Taobao Is Nearby

I was browsing Taobao 淘宝 (http://www.taobao.com) this morning and realised that the page loaded very quickly. I didn’t really give further thoughts because I had something else to do. So when I reached home today, I went to Taobao page again to check the status of my package. Page loaded very quickly like it was in the morning and it struck me that Taobao must have done something these couple of days for this improvement.

DNS Records For www.taobao.com
DNS Records For www.taobao.com

The DNS records are pretty obvious. They have load balancers. And for the Chinese folks, the hostnames are interesting. I think they meant : “大挪移“, which kind of translates as “massive shift“. I do not have results prior to this change. They could already have load balancers previously, so the improvement might have been from improved connectivity and peering.

Ping Results For www.taobao.com
Ping Results For www.taobao.com

And I’m right. Look at the impressive round trip time. The load balancers sits in NTT Singapore judging from both the RADB results and RTT. I’m sure this is pretty recent because I didn’t feel the difference in experience over the weekend.

RADB Results for 202.136.166.111
RADB Results for 202.136.166.111

I have been buying things from Taobao for years. At first, we had to use agents and proxies to purchase the items for us. Then some time earlier this year, they open up direct international forwarding to foreign customers with direct payment options via Alipay.

With all these options being opened up, it looks like Taobao is poised to expand aggressively in this region and internationally. :)

*Note : Experience might vary depending on your Internet Service Provider. This new experience is felt on M1 and ViewQwest Fibre Broadband. :)

Flooding At My Workplace Again

It’s happened again. Last year, the road outside my workplace was flooded 1 week after the Orchard Road flooding happened.

Today, there was a sudden heavy downpour and it flooded once more. While it’s not as bad as last year, but still it got us worried about our cars parked in the basement carpark. We were all preparing to move our cars out should there be any sign that the water was getting into the carpark.

Rain’s welcome to cool the hot weather, but flooding like this is hard to swallow. :)

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