Drafting Behind Akamai: Inferring Network Conditions Based on CDN Redirections

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Executive Summary

To enhance web browsing experiences, Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) move web content "Closer" to clients by caching copies of web objects on thousands of servers worldwide. Additionally, to minimize client download times, such systems perform extensive network and server measurements, and use them to redirect clients to different servers over short time scales. In this paper, the authors explore techniques for inferring and exploiting network measurements performed by the largest CDN, Akamai; their objective is to locate and utilize quality Internet paths without performing extensive path probing or monitoring.

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