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Towards Optimized Traffic Provisioning and Adaptive Cache Management for Content Delivery

04 Dec
Wednesday, 12/04/2019 3:00pm to 5:00pm
PhD Thesis Defense

Content delivery networks (CDNs) deploy hundreds of thousands of servers around the world to cache and serve trillions of user requests every day for a diverse set of content such as web pages, videos, software downloads and images. In this dissertation, we propose algorithms to provision traffic across cache servers and manage the content they host to achieve performance objectives such as maximizing the cache hit rate, minimizing the bandwidth cost of the network and minimizing the energy consumption of the servers.

Traffic provisioning is the process of determining the set of content domains hosted on the servers. We propose footprint descriptors that effectively capture the popularity characteristics and caching performance of different content classes. We also propose a footprint descriptor calculus that can be used to decide how content should be mixed or partitioned to efficiently provision traffic. To automate traffic provisioning, we propose optimization models to provision traffic such that the cache miss traffic from the network is minimized without overloading the servers. We find that such optimization models produce significant reductions in the cache miss traffic when compared with traffic provisioning algorithms in use today.

Cache management is the process of deciding how content is cached in the servers of a CDN. We propose TTL-based caching algorithms that provably achieve performance targets specified by a CDN operator. We show that the proposed algorithms converge to the target hit rate and target cache size with low error. Finally, we propose cache management algorithms to make the servers energy-efficient using disk shutdown. We find that disk shutdown is suitable for CDN servers and provides significant energy savings without adversely impacting cache hit rates.

Advisor: Ramesh Sitaraman