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Distributed load management in anycast-based CDNs
, , Liu J., Flavel A., Maltz D.A.
Published in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages: 74 - 82
Anycast is an internet addressing protocol where multiple hosts share the same IP-address. A popular architecture for modern Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) for geo-replicated HTTP-services consists of multiple layers of proxy nodes for service and co-located DNS-servers for load-balancing on different proxies. Both the proxies and the DNS-servers use anycast addressing, which offers simplicity of design and high availability of service at the cost of partial loss of routing control. Due to the very nature of anycast, load-management actions by a co-located DNS-server also affects loads at nearby proxies in the network. This makes the problem of distributed load management highly challenging. In this paper, we propose an analytical framework to formulate and solve the load-management problem in this context. We consider two distinct algorithms. In the first half of the paper, we pose the load-management problem as a convex optimization problem. Following a dual decomposition technique, we propose a fully-distributed load-management algorithm by introducing FastControl packets. This algorithm utilizes the underlying anycast mechanism itself to enable effective coordination among the nodes, thus obviating the need for any external control channel. In the second half of the paper, we consider an alternative greedy load-management heuristic, currently in production in a major commercial CDN. We study its dynamical characteristics and analytically identify its operational and stability properties. Finally, we critically evaluate both the algorithms and explore their optimality-vs-complexity trade-off using trace-driven simulations. © 2015 IEEE.