Collaborative Content Distribution over a VNF-as-a-Service platform

Publication Type:



Ecole Doctorale Mathématiques et Informatique, Université de Bordeaux, Talence, p.165 (2017)



blockchain, Content Delivery, NFV, SDN


The constant rise of Over-The-Top video consumption nowadays challenges the current Internet
architecture. As an overwhelming majority of the bandwidth today is dedicated to the delivery of
video contents, Internet actors such as Content Providers, Content Delivery Network, Internet Service
Providers are forced to optimize their networks to support the Quality of Experience expected by
the End-Users . Such costly specialized networks participate to the so-called "ossification" of the
Internet which makes the architecture harder to update, as the placement and dimensioning of links
and middleboxes may be hard to change in the future to support new use cases. Fortunately, the
trend of Virtualizating and Softwarizing the networks pushed by major Telco operators, vendors and
standardization bodies has given hopes that the computing and networking infrastructure can be
easily re-purposed. The agility promoted by technologies such as Network Function Virtualization
and Software Defined Networking makes it possible for middleboxes to be deployed as Virtual
Network Functions that can run on "commercial off-the-shelf" hardware while having the network
managed by a logically centralized controller deploying network configurations on programmable
forwarding devices.
The goal of this thesis is to show how content distribution can be collaboratively improved thanks
to Network Softwarization. First, we propose CDN-as-a-Service (CDNaaS), a complete solution to
virtualize a Content Delivery Network on top of a VNF-as-a-Service platform, adopted and evaluated
at large scale in the FP7 T-Nova European project. We elaborate on the interfaces, architecture and
design choices made to implement the platform to support performance, automatic scaling and
re-usability. Then, we propose two collaboration models allowing the content delivery actors to work
jointly on improving End-User Quality of experience while fostering a healthy competition and a fair
balance of revenue. Finally, we study the challenges of NFV resource allocation for the vCDN service
and propose several heuristics and algorithms to optimize the proposed solution in a cost-effective
way. This thesis paves the way towards a collaborative content distribution allowing End-Users to
access their content with the highest standards while contributing to a sound development of the