Characterizing a Meta-CDN

  • Oliver HohlfeldEmail author
  • Jan Rüth
  • Konrad Wolsing
  • Torsten Zimmermann
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10771)


CDNs have reshaped the Internet architecture at large. They operate (globally) distributed networks of servers to reduce latencies as well as to increase availability for content and to handle large traffic bursts. Traditionally, content providers were mostly limited to a single CDN operator. However, in recent years, more and more content providers employ multiple CDNs to serve the same content and provide the same services. Thus, switching between CDNs, which can be beneficial to reduce costs or to select CDNs by optimal performance in different geographic regions or to overcome CDN-specific outages, becomes an important task. Services that tackle this task emerged, also known as CDN broker, Multi-CDN selectors, or Meta-CDNs. Despite their existence, little is known about Meta-CDN operation in the wild. In this paper, we thus shed light on this topic by dissecting a major Meta-CDN. Our analysis provides insights into its infrastructure, its operation in practice, and its usage by Internet sites. We leverage PlanetLab and Ripe Atlas as distributed infrastructures to study how a Meta-CDN impacts the web latency.



This work has been funded by the DFG as part of the CRC 1053 MAKI. We would like to thank Dean Robinson (Univ. Michigan) for his early contributions to the Alexa analysis, our shepherd Ignacio Castro and the anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Hohlfeld
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jan Rüth
    • 1
  • Konrad Wolsing
    • 1
  • Torsten Zimmermann
    • 1
  1. 1.Communication and Distributed SystemsRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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