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This paper investigates the performance of a content distribution network designed to provide bounded content access latency. Content can be divided into multiple classes with different configurable per-class delay bounds. The network uses a simple distributed algorithm to dynamically select a subset of its proxy servers for different classes such that a global per-class delay bound is achieved on content access. The content distribution algorithm is implemented and tested on PlanetLab, a world-wide distributed Internet testbed. Evaluation results demonstrate that despite Internet delay variability, subsecond delay bounds (of 200-500ms) can be guaranteed with a very high probability at only a moderate content replication cost. The distribution algorithm achieves a 4 to 5 fold reduction in the number of response-time violations compared to prior content distribution approaches that attempt to minimize average latency. This paper presents the first wide-area performance evaluation of an algorithm designed to bound maximum content access latency, as opposed to optimizing an average performance metric.
Date of Conference: 7-9 June 2004