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A transport layer for live streaming in a content delivery network

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8 Author(s)
Kontothanassis, L. ; Akamai Technol., Cambridge, MA, USA ; Sitaraman, Ramesh ; Wein, J. ; Hong, D.
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Streaming media on the Internet has experienced rapid growth over the last few years and will continue to increase in importance as broadband technologies and authoring tools continue to improve. As the Internet becomes an increasingly popular alternative to traditional communications media, Internet streaming will become a significant component of many content providers' communications strategies. Internet streaming, however, poses significant challenges for content providers, since it has significant distribution problems. Scalability, quality, reliability, and cost are all issues that have to be addressed in a successful streaming media offering. Streaming content delivery networks (streaming CDNs) attempt to provide solutions to the bottlenecks encountered by streaming applications on the Internet. However, only a small number of them has been deployed, and little is known about the internal organization of these systems. In this paper, we discuss the design choices made during the evolution of Akamai's CDN for streaming media. In particular, we look at the design choices made to ensure the network's scalability, quality of delivered content, and reliability while keeping costs low. Performance studies conducted on the evolving system indicate that our design scores highly on all of the above categories.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:92 ,  Issue: 9 )