Fedora MirrorManager update means faster downloads

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Fedora MirrorManager update means faster downloads

I rolled out a new version of Fedora MirrorManager today which will do a better job of directing users to a download site that's closer to them.

Now, when yum downloads new packages, it will try servers in this order:

  1. from servers claiming your IP address range (handy for ISPs and private mirrors for whom local traffic is both faster and less expensive)
  2. from severs in a country you designate by passing '&country=us' or another 2-letter country code, in the call to the mirrorlist.  In this way, if the GeoIP database is wrong for you, you can override it.
  3. from servers in your country (if any) as determined by GeoIP
  4. from servers on your continent (if any)
  5. from servers somewhere on the globe.

This is basically how it's been since the Fedora 7 launch, except there was no Step 4.  By checking for up-to-date servers on your continent, this will reduce instances of people getting directed to a mirror on the other side of the world at random even when there was one closer to them.

As always, thanks to the >200 public mirror server administrators for supporting Fedora through your time, server equipment, and bandwidth.

This is also the first release where I had significant help from members of the Fedora community.  Thanks to Ricky Zhou and Dimitris Glezos for their help making the publiclist pages look so much better.  And thanks to Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams for enhancing python-GeoIP to enable getting the country->continent mapping cleanly. 

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Comments
  • I think the most benefit for all the mirrors out there (and the users, of course) would be delta RPM support. Semi-offtopic: Fedora's network install has a strange use case, you have to enter the source host by hand (what if you don't know one?) and even then, it's not really clear which subdir you should enter so a trial-and-error process begins. :) The publiclist should be made computer-readable so the user could just select the mirror (or enter one like now, but not as the default). Really offtopic (sorry): Also, the initial image download could use a progress info, it was about 90MB, I'm on a 1mbit/s connection and the time seemed to have stopped. :)
  • Dado, I agree completely that the installer should be enhanced to use the mirrormanager database for network installs.  Jeremy Katz and I were discussing this earlier in the week.  It's not conceptually difficult, though at the point that list would be downloaded (inside the first stage loader) we don't have yum available yet, so it would have to be new code.  Patches anyone?
  • I'm not sure if MirrorManager does this already or not, but another easy big win is matching .edu source and mirrors. The biggest known is probably Internet2, but there are a lot of research bandwidth consortia.
  • Joshua, no, MirrorManager doesn't try to match mirrors.  The yum 'fastestmirror' plugin may be of value as it works client-side to determine the lowest latency connection for each of the available mirrors.  I much prefer client-side determination rather than trying to do this within a server-side application, because only clients can determine the network topology as they see it.  The country lists are a heuristic, and not very fine-grained, exactly so clients can have a pretty long list of potential servers to pull from, but not so long that it's a complete waste of time.  Of course, if a client wanted to see the global list, append '&country=global' to the end of the yum mirrorlist request URL and they'll get the whole list.

  • I really enjoy the discussion and its very interesting, the information is very helpful.  Matt you got a point, I got the same with Dado.