Monday, January 22, 2007

Malaysia Websites But Hosted Overseas?

Malaysians have been asked to develop their websites on local web hosts instead of foreign counterparts, to avoid having to face disruption in Internet service such as the one experienced by many after the Dec 26 earthquake in Taiwan.

Internet service provider (ISP) Telekom Malaysia (TM) business chief executive officer Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa said the recent incident showed a considerable number of local sites were not hosted locally and were thus affected by the disruption in international telecommunication links.

“Malaysia has more than sufficient capacity for web hosting services and it would be timely for us to collectively have a change of mindset with regard to our local capabilities in hosting Malaysian content.

“I would like to encourage all organisations and individuals to host their websites locally not only to leverage on the country’s strong infrastructure for hosting services but also to be more self-reliant to ensure that disasters like this do not have such impact on them,” he said in a Jan 5 statement.

Zamzamzairani said this would be in line with the purpose of the Malaysia Internet Exchange to improve domestic traffic and keep it within the country.

The earthquake had damaged international telecommunication cables, thus cutting off telecommunication services between Malaysia and Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and the US.

In the statement,TM said the 7.1-magnitude earthquake off Taiwan resulted in a major breakdown of five cable systems, including Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2).

“All these cable systems route the country’s Internet traffic, with the bulk of it going through APCN2 (submarine cable fault between Shantou, China and Tanshui, Taiwan and between Lantau, Hongkong and Chongming, China which route the main bulk of Internet traffic for Malaysia),” it said.

Traffic had to be re-routed through Europe and China to the United States,with the assistance of TM partner carriers in Europe, China, Hongkong and Japan.

Clive Chen, 23, a freelance web developer for businesses and individuals, said most of his local clients preferred Malaysian web hosts such as the Malaysian Institute of Microelectronic Systems (Mimos).

“This is because local web hosts are ‘closer’ and hence, faster (bandwidth) whereas if they choose host websites from say,the US,they would have to go through a ‘further’ distance which inevitably has more activity and traffic in between,” he said.

Even so, there are others like blogger Kenny Sia, 24, who opted for international hosting.

“Cost is a major factor for sure, when it comes to choosing a web host. International ones give you five times more storage space and bandwidth for the same price,” he said.

Privacy is another concern. While both local and international web hosts can hack into the e-mail accounts of their customers, it is less likely to happen on an international web host, Sia said.

“As for the fear of services being disrupted during instances such as earthquakes, I don’t think it’s a problem for me. After all, earthquakes don’t happen everyday,” he added.

Sia spends US$5 (RM17.74) a month for 55GB of storage space despite the two-second ping (response) time.

Localhosts can be slightly faster – 33-millisecond ping time – but usually at a higher price.

Local ISP TM Offers a promotional price fo RM988 a year for 1,000 MB of space.

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