Topological Trends of Internet Content Providers

Yuval Shavitt, Udi Weinsberg

The Internet is constantly changing, and its hierarchy was recently shown to become flatter. Recent studies of inter-domain traffic showed that large content providers drive this change by bypassing tier-1 networks and reaching closer to their users, enabling them to save transit costs and reduce reliance of transit networks as new services are being deployed, and traffic shaping is becoming increasingly popular. In this paper we take a first look at the evolving connectivity of large content provider networks, from a topological point of view of the autonomous systems (AS) graph. We perform a 5-year longitudinal study of the topological trends of large content providers, by analyzing several large content providers and comparing these trends to those observed for large tier-1 networks. We study trends in the connectivity of the networks, neighbor diversity and geographical spread, their hierarchy, the adoption of IXPs as a convenient method for peering, and their centrality. Our observations indicate that content providers gradually increase and diversify their connectivity, enabling them to improve their centrality in the graph, and as a result, tier-1 networks lose dominance over time.

Knowledge Graph

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