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SProxy: A Caching Infrastructure to Support Internet Streaming

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4 Author(s)
Songqing Chen ; George Mason Univ., Fairfax ; Bo Shen ; Wee, S. ; Xiaodong Zhang

Many algorithmic efforts have been made to address technical issues in designing a streaming media caching proxy. Typical of those are segment-based caching approaches that efficiently cache large media objects in segments which reduces the startup latency while ensuring continuous streaming. However, few systems have been practically implemented and deployed. The implementation and deployment efforts are hindered by several factors: 1) streaming of media content in complicated data formats is difficult; 2) typical streaming protocols such as RTP often run on UDP; in practice, UDP traffic is likely to be blocked by firewalls at the client side due to security considerations; and 3) coordination between caching discrete object segments and streaming continuous media data is challenging. To address these problems, we have designed and implemented a segment-based streaming media proxy, called SProxy. This proxy system has the following merits. First, SProxy leverages existing Internet infrastructure to address the flash crowd. The content server is now free of the streaming duty while hosting streaming content through a regular Web server. Thus, UDP based streaming traffic from SProxy suffers less dropping and no blocking. Second, SProxy streams and caches media objects in small segments determined by the object popularity, causing very low startup latency, and significantly reducing network traffic. Finally, prefetching techniques are used to pro-actively preload uncached segments that are likely to be used soon, thus providing continuous streaming. SProxy has been extensively tested and we show that it provides high quality streaming delivery in both local area networks and wide area networks (e.g., between Japan and the U.S.).

Published in:

Multimedia, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

Aug. 2007

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