Performance analysis of server sharing collectives for content distribution


Demand for content served by a provider can fluctuate with time, complicating the task of provisioning serving resources so that requests for its content are not rejected. One way to address this problem is to have providers form a collective in which they pool together their serving resources to assist in servicing requests for one another's content. In this paper, we determine the conditions under which a provider's participation in a collective reduces the rejection rate of requests for its content - a property that is necessary for such a provider to justify its participation within the collective. We show that all request rejection rates are reduced when the collective is formed from a homogeneous set of providers, but that some rates can increase within heterogeneous sets. We also show that, asymptotically, growing the size of the collective will sometimes, but not always, resolve this problem. We explore the use of thresholding techniques, where each collective participant sets aside a portion of its serving resources to serve only requests for its own content. We show that thresholding allows a more diverse set of providers to benefit from the collective model, making collectives a more viable option for content delivery services.

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