MetaCDN: Harnessing 'Storage Clouds' for high performance content delivery

Broberg, James; Buyya, Rajkumar; Tari, Zahir
Broberg, J
Buyya, R
Tari, Z

Content delivery networks (CDNs) such as Akamai and Mirror Image place web server clusters in
numerous geographical locations to improve the responsiveness and locality of the content it hosts for
end-users. However, their services are priced out of reach for all but the largest enterprise customers.
An alternative approach to content delivery could be achieved by leveraging existing infrastructure
provided by ‘Storage Cloud’ providers, who offer internet accessible data storage and delivery at a
fraction of the cost. In this paper, we introduce MetaCDN, a system that exploits ‘Storage Cloud’
resources, creating an integrated overlay network that provides a low cost, high performance CDN for
content creators. MetaCDN removes the complexity of dealing with multiple storage providers, by
intelligently matching and placing users’ content onto one or many storage providers based on their
quality of service, coverage and budget preferences. MetaCDN makes it trivial for content creators and
consumers to harness the performance and coverage of numerous ‘Storage Clouds’ by providing a single
unified namespace that makes it easy to integrate into origin websites, and is transparent for end-users.
We then demonstrate the utility of this new approach to content delivery by showing that the
participating ‘Storage Clouds’ used by MetaCDN provide high performance (in terms of throughput and
response time) and reliable content delivery for content consumers, whilst the MetaCDN system itself
introduces minimal overhead compared to using these ‘Storage Clouds’ directly.

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