Far Cry: Will CDNs Hear NDN’s Call?
Chavoosh Ghasemi, Hamed Yousefi, and Beichuan Zhang
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) have become indispensable to Internet content distribution. As they evolve to meet the everincreasing demands, they are also facing challenges such as system complexity, resource footprint, and content security. In this paper, we look at CDNs once again, but this time from the eyes of a young networking technology called named-data networking (NDN). NDN supports content distribution without requiring an overlay service to bridge the gap between network services and application needs. Therefore, it can realize content distribution at large scale with an arguably simpler system design. We conducted real-world experiments to compare the standard deployment of NDN (i.e., the global NDN testbed) and two leading CDNs (Akamai and Fastly) in terms of caching and retrieving static contents through streaming videos from four different continents over these networks for two weeks. We found that although NDN can provide a satisfactory quality of service in most cases, it falls behind CDNs mainly due to its lack of hardware infrastructure and software/protocol immaturity. Nevertheless, NDN outperforms CDNs in terms of server workload and failure resiliency due to its ubiquitous in-network caching and adaptive forwarding plane. Besides, NDN comes with built-in content security, but it needs an efficient solution for content privacy. NDN’s architectural advantages make it a natural fit for Internet content distribution in the long run. That said, in terms of forthcoming goals, this paper reveals several limitations of the current NDN deployment and discusses why the future of NDN hinges on addressing those limitations.