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TU Berlin

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Provider-aided Distance Information System (PaDIS)

Today, a large fraction of Internet traffic is originating from Content Delivery Networks (CDN). To cope with the increasing demand for content, CDNs deploy massively distributed server infrastructures. Thus the content hosted by CDNS is available at different locations on the Internet. To minimize their cost, CDNs perform their own traffic optimization by assigning end-users to their servers. Such an assignment made by the CDN is at large unaware of the network conditions and is based on inaccurate information about the location of the end-user. Thus, users are not always assigned to the CDN servers that lead to optimal end-user performance. In contrast, an ISP has detailed and accurate knowledge about the status of its own network. However, today ISPs are unable to utilize their knowledge as there are no mechanisms available to influence the assignment of users to CDN servers.

To improve user assignment, especially from a performance perspective, we propose and deploy a Provider-aided Distance Information System (PaDIS). PaDIS is a novel system operated by an ISP that allows ISPs to influence the assignment of users to servers by utilizing information available only to ISPs as well as by exploiting server diversity exposed by the CDN server selection process. PaDIS ranks any user and available CDN server pair based on current network conditions and accurate network locations. It then returns back the most preferable servers to the end-user regarding a performance metric chosen by the ISP. As a result, PaDIS utilizes the deployed CDN server infrastructure to improve end-user performance.

To evaluate the performance improvements we have implemented and deployed a PaDIS prototype. Our field test results show that significant improvements in download time up to a factor of four for content offered by popular content distributors can be achieved when PaDIS is used.

Selected Publications

Poese, Ingmar and Frank, Benjamin and Ager, Bernhard and Smaragdakis, Georgios and Uhlig, Steve and Feldmann, Anja (2012). Improving Content Delivery with PaDIS. IEEE Internet Computing


Poese, Ingmar and Frank, Benjamin and Ager, Bernhard and Smaragdakis, Georgios and Uhlig, Steve and Feldmann, Anja (2011). PaDIS – Provider-aided Distance Information System.


Poese, Ingmar and Frank, Benjamin and Ager, Bernhard and Smaragdakis, Georgios and Feldmann, Anja (2010). Improving Content Delivery using Provider-aided Distance Information. Proceedings of Internet Measurement Conference (IMC '10). ACM, 22–34.


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