A Cloud-based Content Gathering Network


Debopam Bhattacherjee, ETH Zurich; Muhammad Tirmazi, LUMS; Ankit Singla, ETH Zurich


Many popular Web services use CDNs to host their content closer to users and thus improve page load times. While this model’s success is beyond question, it has its limits: for users with poor last-mile latency even to a nearby CDN node, the many RTTs needed to fetch a Web page add up to large delays. Thus, in this work, we explore a complementary model of speeding up Web page delivery—a content gathering network (CGN), whereby users establish their own geo-distributed presence, and use these points of presence to proxy content for them. We show that deploying only 14 public cloud-based CGN nodes puts the closest node within a median RTT of merely 4.8 ms (7.2 ms) from servers hosting the top 10k (100k) most popular Web sites. The CGN node nearest to a server can thus obtain content from it rapidly, and then transmit it to the client over fewer (limited by available bandwidth) high-latency interactions using aggressive transport protocols. This simple approach reduces the median page load time across 100 popular Web sites by as much as 53%, and can be deployed immediately without depending on any changes to Web servers at an estimated cost of under $1 per month per user.

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@inproceedings {203300,
author = {Debopam Bhattacherjee and Muhammad Tirmazi and Ankit Singla},
title = {A Cloud-based Content Gathering Network},
booktitle = {9th USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing (HotCloud 17)},
year = {2017},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/hotcloud17/program/presentation/bhattacherjee},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul