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Re: Possibly moving Debian services to a CDN

On 2013-10-29 06:19:14, Tollef Fog Heen wrote:
> ]] Stefano Zacchiroli 
>> For the specific case of CDN offerings to the Debian Project, the
>> point---well, my point, I respect the fact that others disagree it's a
>> problem---is whether we're going to force our user to receive the Free
>> Software we're distributing via infrastructures built using non-free
>> software.  That problem would exist even if the companies behind those
>> services were big Free Software advocates, which just happen to have a
>> single service (the CDN) built using non-free software.
> You seem to be under the impression that CDN implies non-free software.
> Fastly uses Varnish (which is free software). Cloudfront uses Apache
> (which is free software).  I'm sure there are CDNs using non-free
> software too, but that doesn't seem particularly relevant.

One CDN may use one piece of free software, but do they really embrace
the free software spirit the way the Debian project does? Do they
publish all the tools that make their mirrors run? Amazon, for example,
clearly do not free all the software that run their mirror network.

All the tools currently running the Debian mirror architecture. Some
mirrors may run an FTP mirror on a non-free software, but they don't
*have* to, and we unfortunately can't control that.

If we go with Cloudfront or Fastly, we *know* that they *will* use
non-free software to manage their architecture.

Furthermore, to take the example of Fastly, they have only "11 locations
- 6 in the US, 3 in Europe and 2 in New Zealand". Notice: none in china,
for example. This is certainly less than the current mirror
infrastructure. Amazon doesn't have mirrors in China either (although
they have one in Hong Kong). Same with Internap. So just saying "CDN"
doesn't necessarily solve our problems, even assuming they give us the
service for free.

Finally, as an organisation that recently started working with BGP
announcements, AS numbers and IP allocation, I have to say that it is
rather easy to configure. Making this an option for mirrors could be an
attractive option that could significantly enhance the current set of
mirrors. Debian would simply need to get an IP allocation (or
lease/borrow one, I am sure one HP wouldn't mind giving away a /24 out
of it's /8 :P) and run BGP on mirrors.

Yes, it's extra work, but it's feasible. The question is: do we want to
keep on running our own CDN, or do we want to give up?

I say we should keep doing it. Autonomy is important for our
community. And a commercial CDN will come with strings attached - Gimp
just moved off Sourceforge for that reason...


Si les triangles avaient un Dieu, ils lui donneraient trois côtés.
                        - Montesquieu, Lettres persanes

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