I deployed CloudFlare onto one of our sites today. I wanted to see hands on exactly how it works. I ran a simple benchmark. I ran 3 test 4 times each. The three tests were all from the same location, at 3 different network speeds. I ran the test 4 times, once in each configuration. I had CloudFlare enabled and disabled, and static assets coming from 3 domains or 1 domain. Here’s the results:
In every case, with CloudFlare was slower than without. Every single comparison, I ran the numbers. Some comparisons were very close, 0.02 or 0.03 seconds in it. But CloudFlare did not come out ahead one single time.
It could be a network issue. Maybe the test server (WebPageTest.org / Gloucester) is very close to our server and far from the CloudFlare servers. But even so, I’d have expected some performance gain from all the “magic” CloudFlare is supposed to do.
I’ll update with further tests. I’m also going to email CloudFlare and ask for their comments. I’ll post anything salient here.
[ Update: I’ve published some further test results here. ]