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When I open a question at stackoverflow.com it comes at a normal time (instantly or 1 second), but if I refresh the page by F5 I wait for about 5 seconds, sometimes more.

The browser status says: waiting for cdn.sstatic.net

Is there something wrong with the Content Delivery Network from sstatic.net?

enter image description here

Edit
I seems this is nothing with to do in a far location. From comments, users states the same issue from their location:

  • Oded: London England.
  • adarshr: England
  • mistaecko: SEA
  • cdeszaq: Madison, WI
  • Daniel Beck: Germany

Maybe europe users are redirected to specific cdn server then the server have congestion result: as seen in picture aboce 1KB downladed ~ in 1 second.

This speed is equal either 56K modem times or distance for a user at Mars.

As seen also aboce picture content from cdn.sstatic:

  • stub.js?v=18904b11d
  • all.css?v=713c09ff9631

served at the same time.

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2  
Your location, ISP, and bandwidth are probably helpful here. Reloading all the resources will take longer than a normal page load but 5 seconds seems high for "normal" conditions. –  Matthew Read Jan 24 '12 at 20:42
    
Yes, refreshing will reload the assets instead of using cached ones. Possibly they don't have a server near enough to your location. –  Matthew Read Jan 24 '12 at 20:47
    
I have seen this issue from London, England. –  Oded Jan 24 '12 at 20:48
    
(As an aside: clicking links, like clicking the SO logo, does not make the browser ask the server if cached resources have changed, while reloading does. So if the CDN is slow and everyone uses refresh, and clicks refresh again if things are not fast enough, then that only makes things worse... Of course, this does not imply that the CDN should not respond promptly to start with.) –  Arjan Jan 24 '12 at 20:50
    
Just to be sure: you're not to blame for using F5, of course. Still, it's odd (and too bad) that browsers then need to contact the servers even for the static resources, while actually they very well have been told they can cache that very same static content. I'm sure there is a good explanation why browser behave like that, but I've never found int. –  Arjan Jan 24 '12 at 20:55
    
@Arjan: I think The Stack is doing something strange: StackExchange.using.setCacheBreakers({"js/prettify-full.js":"6c71f9dce92f","js/‌​moderator.js":"723991e143f9",... I think they want the behavior you've described. –  sarnold Jan 24 '12 at 23:46
    
No, @sarnold, the value used in the cache breakers does not change upon reloading (if all is well). It's just a way to ensure things are cleared when the site is updated. –  Arjan Jan 25 '12 at 6:34
    
I had the same issue on Super User yesterday around the same time (a few related chat messages, screenshot Safari OS X, screenshot Chrome OS X). ISP Kabel BW, location Stuttgart, Germany. –  Daniel Beck Jan 25 '12 at 13:12
    
I've noticed similar (not sure if the same) behavior from Madison, Wisconsin, but I'm also behind an irritatingly volatile web blocker. –  cdeszaq Jan 25 '12 at 14:31
    
@Arjan: thanks for the correction. –  sarnold Jan 25 '12 at 23:00
    
For me, content delivery from cdn.sstatic.net seems completely broken (timeout). Similar to this question. I am currently in SEA. –  mistaecko Jan 26 '12 at 14:57
    
You're not alone. It happens to me irrespective of my work/mobile/home network. –  adarshr Jan 27 '12 at 11:10
1  
Experiencing this now. I'm in São Paulo, Brazil –  Oliver Barnes Apr 18 '12 at 18:21
1  
9.45 seconds is just a few round-trips to and from the moon (2.5 s); round-trips to Mars range from 6 to 42 minutes. –  Nick T Apr 18 '12 at 20:24
    
I agree this is painful. In Washington, DC sometimes it takes 30-60 seconds to load. It's the same for serverfault, stackoverflow, all of them. They must have some kind of routing error. –  khaki54 Oct 11 '13 at 13:45

1 Answer 1

My understanding of CDNs isn't that deep, but I think this boils down to you not being near a CDN server. If so, this feature request is basically you asking Stack Exchange to plop down a new server next to you.

Based on the roughly year-old data collected at the blog posts Stack Overflow Around the World (Apr 2011) and Stack Overflow 2010 Analytics (Dec 2010), declining that request seems like the right move for them.

This answer adapted from my comment in the chat discussion you started here.

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1  
Slightly trickier, we started sampling client perf, will be looking at stats next week and see if there are any urgent gaps that need filling –  waffles Mar 9 '12 at 8:38
    
I don't think this is really the problem. There's something weird about the way cdn.sstatic.net responds. (I'm in Austin, TX by the way, on AT&T.) When I ping cdn.sstatic.net, the responses report short (40ms or so) ping times, but each line takes many seconds to print. By contrast, pinging a normal healthy server responds in near-real-time. –  Pointy Feb 3 '13 at 17:04

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