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Reliability and Security in the
CoDeeN Content Distribution Network

Limin Wang2, KyoungSoo Park, Ruoming Pang, Vivek Pai and Larry Peterson
Department of Computer Science
Princeton University


With the advent of large-scale, wide-area networking testbeds, researchers can deploy long-running distributed services that interact with other resources on the Web. The CoDeeN Content Distribution Network, deployed on PlanetLab, uses a network of caching Web proxy servers to intelligently distribute and cache requests from a potentially large client population. We have been running this system nearly continuously since June 2003, allowing open access from any client in the world. In that time, it has become the most heavily-used long-running service on PlanetLab, handling over four million accesses per day. In this paper, we discuss the design of our system, focusing on the reliability and security mechanisms that have kept the service in operation.

Our reliability mechanisms assess node health, preventing failing nodes from disrupting the operation of the overall system. Our security mechanisms protect nodes from being exploited and from being implicated in malicious activities, problems that commonly plague other open proxies. We believe that future services, especially peer-to-peer systems, will require similar mechanisms as more services are deployed on non-dedicated distributed systems, and as their interaction with existing protocols and systems increases. Our experiences with CoDeeN and our data on its availability should serve as an important starting point for designers of future systems.

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Vivek Pai

This paper was originally published in the Proceedings of the 2004 USENIX Annual Technical Conference,
June 27-July 2, 2004, Boston, MA, USA

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