Tuesday, March 13, 2007
4:15 pm
B17 Upson Hall

Computer Science
Spring 2007

Michael Freedman
New York University

Democratizing Content Distribution

In order to reach their large audiences, today's Internet publishers primarily use content distribution networks (CDNs) to deliver content. Yet the architectures of the prevalent commercial systems are tightly bound to centralized control, static deployments, and trusted infrastructure, thus inherently limiting their scope to ensure cost recovery.

This talk describes a number of techniques (and the resulting systems) that realize highly-scalable cooperative content distribution. I show how to build a fully self-organizing CDN that efficiently delivers content using unreliable nodes, describe how to transparently dispatch clients to nearby servers, and touch on how to securely leverage even untrusted resources.

These ideas have been implemented, deployed, and tested in production systems currently serving several terabytes of data to more than a million people every day. The view of the Internet gained from deploying these systems answered long-standing questions about network configuration, while providing important insights that helped evolve our systems' designs.

Bio: Michael J. Freedman is a doctoral student at NYU, visiting Stanford since 2005. He received his M.Eng. and S.B. degrees from MIT. His research interests span distributed systems, security, networking, and cryptography, with a focus on both principled designs and real deployments.