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In this paper, we present an extensive study of key dissemination schemes in an overlay multicast context, and the first to involve actual implementation, real traces, and performance in Internet environments. Given that rekey traffic has stronger resilience requirements and is burstier than data traffic, we consider whether data and keys must be distributed using the same overlay or using two separate dissemination structures. Our key findings are: (i) a coupled architecture is effective in achieving resilient key dissemination. Using TCP in each hop of the dissemination structure (an opportunity unique to overlays) is effective in achieving resiliency in end-to-end key delivery. The performance can be further enhanced if convergence properties of overlays are considered; and (ii) a coupled architecture optimized for data delivery has high overheads, while a coupled architecture optimized for key delivery may not honor access bandwidth constraints of nodes. Distributing data and keys using separate overlays achieves low overhead for key dissemination while honoring access bandwidth constraints of nodes.
Date of Publication: December 2007