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  • 2015broadbentphd

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OpenCache: a content delivery platform for the modern internet

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2016
Number of pages191
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Since its inception, the World Wide Web has revolutionised the way we share information, keep in touch with each other and consume content. In the latter case, it is now used by thousands of simultaneous users to consume video, surpassing physical media as the primary means of distribution. With the rise of on-demand services and more recently, high-definition media, this popularity has not waned. To support this consumption, the underlying infrastructure has been forced to evolve at a rapid pace. This includes the technology and mechanisms to facilitate the transmission of video, which are now offered at varying levels of quality and resolution.

Content delivery networks are often deployed in order to scale the distribution provision. These vary in nature and design; from third-party providers running entirely as a service to others, to in-house solutions owned by the content service providers themselves. However, recent innovations in networking and virtualisation, namely Software Defined Networking and Network Function Virtualisation, have paved the way for new content delivery infrastructure designs. In this thesis, we discuss the motivation behind OpenCache, a next-generation content delivery platform. We examine how we can leverage these emerging technologies to provide a more flexible and scalable solution to content delivery. This includes analysing the feasibility of novel redirection techniques, and how these compare to existing means. We also investigate the creation of a unified interface from which a platform can be precisely controlled, allowing new applications to be created that operate in harmony with the infrastructure provision. Developments in distributed virtualisation platforms also enables functionality to be spread throughout a network, influencing the design of OpenCache. Through a prototype implementation, we evaluate each of these facets in a number of different scenarios, made possible through deployment on large-scale testbeds.