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Steering hyper-giants' traffic at scale

Pujol, Enric; Poese, Ingmar; Zerwas, Johannes; Smaragdakis, Georgios; Feldmann, Anja

FG Internet Measurement and Analysis (IMA)

Large content providers, known as hyper-giants, are responsible for sending the majority of the content traffic to consumers. These hyper-giants operate highly distributed infrastructures to cope with the ever-increasing demand for online content. To achieve 40 commercial-grade performance of Web applications, enhanced end-user experience, improved reliability, and scaled network capacity, hyper-giants are increasingly interconnecting with eyeball networks at multiple locations. This poses new challenges for both (1) the eyeball networks having to perform complex inbound traffic engineering, and (2) hyper-giants having to map end-user requests to appropriate servers. We report on our multi-year experience in designing, building, rolling-out, and operating the first-ever large scale system, the Flow Director, which enables automated cooperation between one of the largest eyeball networks and a leading hyper-giant. We use empirical data collected at the eyeball network to evaluate its impact over two years of operation. We find very high compliance of the hyper-giant to the Flow Director’s recommendations, resulting in (1) close to optimal user-server mapping, and (2) 15% reduction of the hyper-giant’s traffic overhead on the ISP’s long-haul links, i.e., benefits for both parties and end-users alike.