A P2P Home-Box Overlay for Efficient Content Distribution

A P2P Home-Box Overlay for Efficient Content Distribution

Evangelos Markakis (Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Greece), Daniel Negru (University of Bordeaux I, France), Joachim Bruneau-Queyreix (University of Bordeaux I, France), Evangelos Pallis (Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Greece), George Mastorakis (Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Greece) and Constandinos X. Mavromoustakis (University of Nicosia, Cyprus)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9941-0.ch009
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The overlay networks composed of residential gateways (i.e. home-box) leverage their storage and upload capacity to achieve scalable and cost-efficient content distribution. In this chapter, we present the architecture of the home-box overlay for video on demand services, with the network-aware request redirection and content caching strategy that optimizes the resource usage at both network and client side, for reducing the overall distribution cost. The proposed system is compared with existing solutions through comprehensive simulations. The results demonstrate the advantage of network-aware and popularity-based caching strategy, with reduced the overall cost of the VoD services.
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The demand on network resources is growing every day driven by the needs of end user. This increase most times is not followed by the necessary upgrade of core networks capacity due to the economic overhead needed for growing core networks. A lot of technologies and architecture are promising to manipulate in a way the issue of limited resources in the core network such as Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) (Pathan, et al., 2008), Akamai (Nygren et al., 2010), Proxy Servers and others. All of them are using a single intermediate point nearest to the End User in order to achieve a better performance in the last mile connection. These solutions are not taking into account that when a large amount of End-Users located under the same geographic area or network are requesting the content simultaneously, the response of all this technologies will be to provide the nearest to the end user proxy server or in the case of CDNs and Akamai to provide the same CDN server located nearest to the End-Users resulting to content bottleneck (Pathan, et al., 2007). Based on this, a solution that will take into account this redundant issue is needed. A promising solution trying to maximize performance and overcome the inconsistencies of the technologies described above is P2P model. P2P model employs efficient bandwidth monitoring (Markakis, et al., 2012) and routing decision (Gupta, et al., 2004) mechanisms at the application layer applied among nodes at the edges of the network and is tasked of transferring the content to users, making better usage of the underlying “best effort resources”. In particular, P2P aware network do not directly reduce the overall network load in comparison with the traditional client-server approach, but they distribute more evenly the network load to the whole network. This leads to single links near to the media source being less congested and smaller distribution time since all peers are also redistributors as well as consumers of the data. More specifically the P2P model minimizes the content bottleneck by using two techniques. The first is a locality aware overlay (Zhang et al, 2004) where peers exchange blocks and metadata with the closest in the underlying physical network and the second, as presented and solved in (Kangasharju, et al., 2007) is caching of data in locations that they are requested with high frequency.

In this respect, we introduce the Home-Box (HB) which is the central element in the service distribution chain, aiming to enhance today’s home-gateways, by incorporating to the existing network functionalities, user-generated media processing and distribution. A given End-User is capable to locate, adapt and consume services/content in an efficient way, taking into account context-related issues such as device capability. Additionally, the HB provides means for an efficient content sharing among other End-Users and efficient content exchange mechanisms, based in multicast, unicast DASH HTTP streaming or peer-to-peer (P2P). Most of these features and functionalities rely on content, context and network information gathered at several layers by the cross-Layer monitoring system, whose information will feed the adaptation module in cooperation with the Content-Aware Network (CAN). In order to efficiently distribute services and content within network, a logical interconnection of deployed Home-Boxes establishes an overlay network, also known as the “Virtual Home-Box Layer”. It empowers the network system with different modes of media distribution and delivery, including traditional Client/Server mode, multicast mode and peer-to-peer mode. Additionally, the HB has local storage capabilities, which allow for content caching and forwarding and the reception of pushed content from the SP, so that the Home-Box virtual overlay can assist, for instance, the current CDNs (HB-assisted CDN). The HB takes advantage of these distribution mechanisms and content caching functionalities to overcome some of the common issues that arise when live content is being distributed to many consumers, when a new high-popularity VoD is ingested into the system, and in those new scenarios in which the End-User plays also the role of producer (distributing the content via P2P). In this way we propose the use of a mixed CDN/P2P/PROXY scenario that provide an all-in-one solution for the main problems stemming from individual use of the solution described above.

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