Algorithmic nuggets in content delivery
This paper "peeks under the covers" at the subsystems that provide the basic functionality of a leading content delivery network. Based on our experiences in building one of the largest distributed systems in the world, we illustrate how sophisticated algorithmic research has been adapted to balance the load between and within server clusters, manage the caches on servers, select paths through an overlay routing network, and elect leaders in various contexts. In each instance, we first explain the theory underlying the algorithms, then introduce practical considerations not captured by the theoretical models, and finally describe what is implemented in practice. Through these examples, we highlight the role of algorithmic research in the design of complex networked systems. The paper also illustrates the close synergy that exists between research and industry where research ideas cross over into products and product requirements drive future research.
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