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When I ping myserver.com, I get this responses:

64 bytes from XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX: icmp_seq=1 ttl=242 time=52.6 ms
64 bytes from XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX: icmp_seq=2 ttl=242 time=55.9 ms
64 bytes from XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX: icmp_seq=3 ttl=242 time=52.1 ms
64 bytes from XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX: icmp_seq=4 ttl=242 time=51.9 ms

This messages keep coming rather slow, I would say.

Now, when I ping google.com

64 bytes from lax17s01-in-f4.1e100.net: icmp_seq=1 ttl=52 time=175 ms
64 bytes from lax17s01-in-f4.1e100.net: icmp_seq=2 ttl=52 time=175 ms
64 bytes from lax17s01-in-f4.1e100.net: icmp_seq=3 ttl=52 time=176 ms
64 bytes from lax17s01-in-f4.1e100.net: icmp_seq=4 ttl=52 time=176 ms
64 bytes from lax17s01-in-f4.1e100.net: icmp_seq=5 ttl=52 time=175 ms
64 bytes from lax17s01-in-f4.1e100.net: icmp_seq=6 ttl=52 time=175 ms
64 bytes from lax17s01-in-f4.1e100.net: icmp_seq=7 ttl=52 time=175 ms

This responses come much faster! It is clear just looking at the terminal that it is responding faster.

So home come the time parameter is higher for google than for me?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by ewwhite, joeqwerty, TomTom, Iain, Tom O'Connor Feb 10 '14 at 0:25

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
I think the real question here is, if you're in London, why is your traffic to Google going to Los Angeles? –  Michael Hampton Feb 9 '14 at 17:46
5  
If you remember only one thing about ping, remember this: the only thing that ping is a reliable test for is whether or not ping is working –  RobM Feb 9 '14 at 18:07
    
@MichaelHampton: no idea. –  Dbugger Feb 9 '14 at 18:17
    
RobM: That might be the best answer I have read. You should put it in the answer section :) –  Dbugger Feb 9 '14 at 18:17

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Ping cannot be used to measure server speed. It can be used to measure network latency and whether a remote computer will respond to ICMP echo requests.

The time shows that google.com is (at the time of your test) ~123 ms further away that your server.

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So you mean that ping "reaches" faster my server than Google's, but the reason why my ping packets come back slower is because of what happens inside the server once the signal arrives? –  Dbugger Feb 9 '14 at 16:09
3  
No, the ping packets come back faster. What are you talking about with "slower"? The ping output clearly shows that the packets come back faster. –  TomTom Feb 9 '14 at 16:11
    
When i type the command. the packets appear "slower" on the terminal. Sometimes I get 6 seconds between output line, whereas when I ping google, I get the a new output line every second –  Dbugger Feb 9 '14 at 16:16
    
I don't see how the response times and the time to echo those response times on the screen are related. The response time for your server is 52ms. The response time for Google is 175ms. The response time for your server is faster. –  joeqwerty Feb 9 '14 at 17:59

I think you're mistaking a variety of factors, including DNS resolution, for network and server speed.

The ping response you posted shows that your connection to google is slower than your connection to your server. The reason the program ping reacts more quickly in displaying output to your terminal is because google is optimized for scale, particularly in terms of networking and DNS resolution, and ping has to perform a DNS lookup before running unless you give it an IP address. To quote from Wikipedia's article on the Google platform:

Details of the Google world wide private networks are not publicly available but Google publications make references to the "Atlas Top 10" report that ranks Google as the third largest ISP behind Level 3.

In order to run such a large network with direct connections to as many ISP as possible at the lowest possible cost Google has a very open peering policy.

From this site we can see that the Google network can be accessed from 67 public exchange points and 69 different locations across the world. As of May 2012 Google had 882 Gbit/s of public connectivity (not counting private peering agreements that Google has with the largest ISPs). This public network is used to distribute content to Google users as well as to crawl the Internet to build its search indexes.

The private side of the network is a secret but recent disclosure from Google indicate that they use custom built high-radix switch-routers (with a capacity of 128 × 10 Gigabit Ethernet port) for the wide area network. Running no less than two routers per datacenter (for redundancy) we can conclude that the Google network scales in the terabit per second range (with two fully loaded routers the bi-sectional bandwidth amount to 1,280 Gbit/s). These custom switch-routers are connected to DWDM devices to interconnect data centers and point of presences (PoP) via dark fibre.

From a datacenter view, the network starts at the rack level, where 19-inch racks are custom-made and contain 40 to 80 servers (20 to 40 1U servers on either side, while new servers are 2U rackmount systems. Each rack has a switch). Servers are connected via a 1 Gbit/s Ethernet link to the top of rack switch (TOR). TOR switches are then connected to a gigabit cluster switch using multiple gigabit or ten gigabit uplinks. The cluster switches themselves are interconnected and form the datacenter interconnect fabric (most likely using a dragonfly design rather than a classic butterfly or flattened butterfly layout).

From an operation standpoint, when a client computer attempts to connect to Google, several DNS servers resolve www.google.com into multiple IP addresses via Round Robin policy. Furthermore, this acts as the first level of load balancing and directs the client to different Google clusters. A Google cluster has thousands of servers and once the client has connected to the server additional load balancing is done to send the queries to the least loaded web server. This makes Google one of the largest and most complex content delivery networks.

Google has numerous data centers scattered around the world. At least 12 significant Google data center installations are located in the United States. The largest known centers are located in The Dalles, Oregon; Atlanta, Georgia; Reston, Virginia; Lenoir, North Carolina; and Moncks Corner, South Carolina. In Europe, the largest known centers are in Eemshaven and Groningen in the Netherlands and Mons, Belgium. Google's Oceania Data Center is claimed to be located in Sydney, Australia.

It has nothing to do with the quality of the server hardware. From the same article:

Google uses commodity-class x86 server computers running customized versions of Linux. The goal is to purchase CPU generations that offer the best performance per dollar, not absolute performance. How this is measured is unclear, but it is likely to incorporate running costs of the entire server, and CPU power consumption could be a significant factor.

Which may be more than you wanted to know, but there you are.

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Not at all.

See, google is fast because it has a fast server. Ping measures network latency. Google also has people knowing what they do optimizing HTML load times.

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2  
"How can be ping used to measure a server speed?". It never measures SERVER speed. –  TomTom Feb 9 '14 at 16:10

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