I have been a proponent of buying African domains- .ke, .tz .za etc this is well demonstrated by the number of posts on this blog, over the years. There is a lot of controversy but thats not the topic for today, local hosting is.
I think its important for us to host our content locally, for a number of reasons- in case of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), internet serices can continue, its faster to retrieve content if its hosted in Kenya and you are here too, when the fiber optic cables experience outage, your services continue, and you can get responses from your hosts faster because you are in the same time zone, even though this is not always the case.
These are few reasons compared to the problems; its expensive, you don’t always get responses faster, some companies lie that they host locally and the lack of hosting specialized companies which means that the people serving you are probably handling several other projects. Like an ISP whose core business is selling internet, they may not care if you are down or up.
There is also the issue of jurisdiction, when you need content to stay up or down, depending on laws of the country. This is highly contentious, depending on which side you are 🙂
Many people will also tell you that with affordable connectivity, it doesnt matter if you are hosted on Amazon cloud or local, especially if the price difference and other costs will be high.
So, when mm.co.ke a.k.a media madness decided they wanted to host locally, it made sense, coz most of their visitors are local. I have written about MM before and how they have a large following base.
That is why I smiled to myself when I read that they were going local because I wondered if the host clearly understood what would happen the first morning when the followers started on their daily readings. You guessed right, the site crashed the first day and I could imagine everyone running helter skelter trying to wonder who in the ISP/service provider was responsible for ensuring the site up and whether the money had been paid, etc…
The site has had its up and downs but MM serves to demonstrate that probably local companies are not ready for hosting huge traffic sites but am sure they will tell you the SLA is for 99% uptimes, with a straight face.
When techies meet, there are all these possibilities that are floated, of independent cloud centers where owners can come with their boxes and host, with all other services constant…. Kenya Power… no comment. Most of us host abroad in some basement or garage but all that matters is that the content is up all the time.
I am sure there are other instances of disappointment, its a bit of a disorganized post but you can also read this post on ISPs and interconnection.
So, should/can/do you host locally?