From Brazil to South Africa and back in 98ms

Angola Cables recently launched its second AngoNAP data centre, cutting the ribbon on its new facility in Fortaleza, Brazil on 16 April 2019.

This follows its first data centre being built in Angola, where the company is headquartered.

In addition to providing hosting and colocation space, the facility acts as a South American hub for the MONET and South Atlantic Cable System (SACS).

MONET links Brazil to the United States, landing in Miami. SACS connects South America and Africa, landing at Fortaleza in Brazil and Sangano in Angola.

Combined with an undersea cable running along the west coast of Africa that links South Africa to Angola, SACS and MONET provide an alternative route for Internet traffic from South Africa to the United States.

Where previously the shortest available route to the Americas from South Africa was via Europe, SACS and MONET have opened a route that offers lower latency.

According to Angola Cables, it has brought Miami within the same “digital distance” of South Africa as cities such as London and Lisbon – under 200 milliseconds.

The test

During the opening of the data centre, Angola Cables provided Internet access via a Wi-Fi network at the facility.

Unable to resist the opportunity, I put the link through its paces to see what kind of speeds and latency we could get.

Given the significant number of people attending the event, the load on the Wi-Fi network was a limiting factor – but it was still possible to get an indication of how well the links between South Africa and North America performed.

A screenshot of the Wi-Fi interface settings is embedded below.

AngoNAP Angola Cables Brazil Fortaleza WiFi

MyBroadband Speed Test

I used MyBroadband’s speed test app for the test, as it has servers in Teraco’s data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban – with ample peering bandwidth through NAPAfrica.

It should be noted that during this test, the Wi-Fi network introduced latency of between 1ms and 5ms.

According to the test, MyBroadband’s server in Cape Town offered the lowest latency from Fortaleza at 98ms.

The latency to Teraco’s data centre in Johannesburg was 115.5ms, while the latency to Durban was 125.5ms.

The download and upload speeds achieved shown below do not reflect the actual performance you can get on SACS, however. Noise and the number of devices connected to the Wi-Fi network would have had a significant impact on test speeds.

Angola Cables AngoNAP MyBroadband speed test

Traceroute to MyBroadband.co.za

Running a traceroute to MyBroadband’s domain showed that Angola Cables was interconnected with Cloudflare’s network, with the test returning latencies of below 50ms.

The traceroute hit a Cloudflare node at an Internet exchange point in Sao Paulo, and Cloudflare’s website indicates that it has a node available in Fortaleza as well.

Angola Cables AngoNAP traceroute to MyBroadband

Pings to North America and Europe

Following the initial tests, the Wi-Fi network began to fill up – significantly impacting the latency in subsequent latency tests.

Despite this, pings to Blizzard Entertainment servers yielded good results. Keep in mind that the Wi-Fi network added between 5ms and 50ms of latency to the tests below.

Pings to one of Blizzard’s North American servers achieved an average of 186ms, while the latency to one its European servers saw an average of 223ms.

Angola Cables AngoNAP ping test to Blizzard Diablo 3 servers in North America
Ping test to Blizzard game server in North America from AngoNAP in Fortaleza
Angola Cables AngoNAP ping test to Blizzard Diablo 3 servers in Europe
Ping test to Blizzard game server in Europe from AngoNAP in Fortaleza

Pings from South Africa

MyBroadband also previously tested the performance of the route from South Africa to the United States via Brazil using a fibre connection from Cool Ideas.

Cool Ideas was one of the first ISPs in South Africa to take capacity with Angola Cables when SACS launched.

On the West Africa Cable System (WACS), pings to Brazil from South Africa measured 223ms. On SACS, traffic between the same locations had a latency of 116ms.

Between South Africa and Miami the latency on WACS is 265ms, while on SACS it is 222ms.

Additionally, Angola Cables said the new cable will contribute to reductions in data traffic costs between South America and Africa.

Jan Vermeulen is a guest of Angola Cables in Fortaleza, Brazil

Now read: Teraco data centres will benefit from SACS cable

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From Brazil to South Africa and back in 98ms