From web servers to ubiquitous content delivery

Guillaume Pierre*, Maarten van Steen, Michał Szymaniak, Swaminathan Sivasubramanian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Hosting a Web site at a single server creates performance and reliability issues when request load increases, availability is at stake, and, in general, when quality-of-service demands rise. A common approach to these problems is making use of a content delivery network (CDN) that supports distribution and replication of (parts of) a Web site. The nodes of such networks are dispersed across the Internet, allowing clients to be redirected to a nearest copy of a requested document, or to balance access loads among several servers. Also, if documents are replicated, availability of a site increases. The design space for constructing a CDN is large and involves decisions concerning replica placement, client redirection policies, but also decentralization. We discuss the principles of various types of distributed Web hosting platforms and show where tradeoffs need to be made when it comes to supporting robustness, flexibility, and performance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Data Management
EditorsRoberto Baldoni, Giovanni Cortese, Fabrizio Davide, Angelo Melpignano
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781586038502
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEmerging Communication: Studies in New Technologies and Practices in Communication
ISSN (Print)1566-7677
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8349


  • Content delivery networks
  • Mirroring
  • Peer-to-peer
  • Replication


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