Virginia has a very important place in Internet history, as well as the history of Cloudflare’s network.
Northern Virginia, in the area around Ashburn VA, has for a long time been core to Internet infrastructure. In the early 1990’s, MAE-East (Metropolitan-Area-Exchange East) , an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) was established. MAE-East and West were some of the earliest IXPs. Internet Exchange Points are crucial interconnection points for ISPs and other Internet Networks to interconnect and exchange traffic. Eco-systems have grown around these through new data center offerings and new Internet platforms. Like many pieces of the Internet, MAE-East had a humble beginning, though not many humble beginnings grew to handle around 50% of Internet traffic exchange.
Cloudflare’s second Data Center, and one that still plays a critical component in our Global Network was Ashburn, Virginia. Similarly across many organizations, the Northern Virginia area has become a Data Center mecca. Many of the largest Clouds have a substantial amount of their footprint in Northern Virginia. Although MAE-East no longer exists, other Internet Exchange Points have come and grown in its place.
Cloudflare’s network has grown beyond what was traditional Interconnection points, like Ashburn/Northern VA, to a new Edge of the network. Cloudflare will continue to grow its Edge closer to every end-user, so today we’re announcing our Richmond and Norfolk data centers. These two data centers will cover much more of Virginia and neighboring regions.