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Refereed Papers

Track: Performance and Scalability

Paper Title:
Anycast CDNs Revisited


  • Hussein A. Alzoubi (Case Western Reserve University)
  • Seungjoon Lee (AT&T Labs - Research)
  • Michael Rabinovich (Case Western Reserve University)
  • Oliver Spatscheck (AT&T Labs - Research)
  • Jacobus Van der Merwe (AT&T Labs - Research)

Because it is an integral part of the Internet routing apparatus, and because it allows multiple instances of the same service to be ``naturally'' discovered, IP Anycast has many attractive features for any service that involve the replication of multiple instances across the Internet. While briefly considered as an enabler when content distribution networks (CDNs) first emerged, the use of IP Anycast was deemed infeasible in that environment. The main reasons for this decision were the lack of load awareness of IP Anycast and unwanted side effects of Internet routing changes on the IP Anycast mechanism. Prompted by recent developments in route control technology, as well as a better understanding of the behavior of IP Anycast in operational settings, we revisit this decision and propose a load-aware IP Anycast CDN architecture that addresses these concerns while benefiting from inherent IP Anycast features. Our architecture makes use of route control mechanisms to take server and network load into account to realize load-aware Anycast. We show that the resulting redirection requirements can be formulated as a Generalized Assignment Problem and present practical algorithms that address these requirements while at the same time limiting session disruptions that plague regular IP Anycast. We evaluate our algorithms through trace based simulation using traces obtained from an operation CDN network.

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