Analytical Models for Internet Content Distribution

March 11, 2014
3:00 pm - 4:15 pm
Halligan 102
Speaker: Marcelo Torres, Akamai Technologies


Delivery of transactions over the Internet involves coordination between independent network actors. These networks actors have different economic incentives, precluding the Internet from evolving as a single system in a coordinated fashion. In this talk, we discuss the efficiencies that content distribution networks (CDNs) offer within this economic context. The Internet would not be able to support services at scale without these efficiencies.

The Akamai mapping control system directs how end-users transact with the Akamai content-delivery platform - matching web traffic to servers and doing it at an unprecedented scale. I will present analytical models that are the underpinnings of the real time control problems that Akamai solves to perform this function. These models operate in a hierarchical fashion, solving inter-related optimization problems at different time scales. I will describe how this decomposition allows Akamai to deliver the performance objectives expected by end-users while driving efficiencies in the way the Internet operates on a global level.