Several major Internet service providers (e.g., Level-3, AT&T, Verizon) today also offer content distribution services. The emergence of such "Network-CDNs" (NCDNs) are driven by market forces that place more value on content services than just carrying the bits. NCDNs are also necessitated by the need to reduce the cost of carrying ever-increasing volumes of traffic across their backbones. An NCDN has the flexibility to determine both where content is placed and how traffic is routed within the network. However NCDNs today continue to treat traffic engineering independently from content placement and request redirection decisions. In this paper, we investigate the interplay between content distribution strategies and traffic engineering and ask how an NCDN should engineer traffic in a content-aware manner. Our experimental analysis, based on traces from a large content distribution network and real ISP topologies, shows that effective content placement can significantly simplify traffic engineering and in most cases obviate the need to engineer NCDN traffic all together! Further, we show that simple demand-oblivious schemes for routing and placement such as InverseCap and LRU suffice as they achieve network costs that are close to the best possible.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/arun_venkataramani/4/