Content Delivery and the Natural Evolution of DNS - Remote DNS Trends, Performance Issues and Alternative Solutions

John S. Otto, Mario A. Sánchez, John P. Rula, and Fabián E. Bustamante
In Proc. of IMC, November 2012.

EECS Department
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL 60201, USA
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Abstract

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) rely on the Domain Name System (DNS) for replica server selection. DNS-based server selection builds on the assumption that, in the absence of information about the client's actual network location, the location of a client's DNS resolver provides a good approximation. The recent growth of remote DNS services breaks this assumption and can negatively impact client's web performance.

In this paper, we assess the end-to-end impact of using remote DNS services on CDN performance and present the first evaluation of an industry-proposed solution to the problem. We find that remote DNS usage can indeed significantly impact client's web performance and that the proposed solution, if available, can effectively address the problem for most clients. Considering the performance cost of remote DNS usage and the limited adoption base of the industry-proposed solution, we present and evaluate an alternative approach, Direct Resolution, to readily obtain comparable performance improvements without requiring CDN or DNS participation.

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Presentation Video