Posted by : Randy Cooper in (CDN)

Microsoft Research: Measuring & Evaluating Large Scale CDNs

At the end of this month, folks from the Microsoft (MSFT) Research team are presenting their results at the Internet Measurement Conference from a recently completed CDN study entitled “Measuring and Evaluating Large-Scale CDNs”. While the event is not for a few weeks, the technical study is now public and available from the Microsoft Research website. Having read through it, the paper is one of the most comprehensive technical white papers I have seen on the subject in quite a few years that is available in the public domain.

For the study, Microsoft Research conducted extensive and thorough measurements to accurately characterize the performance of Akamai (AKAM) and Limelight (LLNW). Their measurements included charting the CDNs (locating all their content and DNS servers), assessing their server availability, and quantifying their worldwide delay performance.

The purpose of their measurements was to shed light on two radically different design philosophies for CDNs: the Akamai design, which enters deep into ISPs; and the Limelight design, which brings ISPs to home. They compared both CDNs with regards to the numbers of their content servers, their internal DNS designs, the geographic locations of their data centers, and their DNS and content server delays.


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