Testing performance from around the world – how do I get a linux shell easily in multiple countries?

Matthew O'Riordan asked:

We are building a socket based service where latency is paramount, and as such we have servers distributed into 7 data centres around the world. However, whilst we know we’re bringing the servers closer to the clients, it’s very difficult to know how effective this is, and importantly, what difference this makes compared to our competitors.

As such, we want to run simple scripts that test latency and throughput for both our service and our competitors, which is easy enough using Amazon, however Amazon only have 7 data centres. We would like to know for example how we perform in locations all over the world such as South Africa, Australia, China, Peru etc.

Does anyone know of any service where we could piggy back off their global infrastructure and run some scripts to test this performance? The obvious contenders are people like Monitis, but I don’t think they would allow us to run custom scripts, only standard protocol monitors.

My answer:

Lease servers (or virtual servers) in the countries you’re interested in.

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