James Broberg at The University of Melbourne has written a very interesting paper called MetaCDN: Harnessing ‘Storage Clouds’ for high performance content delivery. The idea of the low cost "CloudCDN" has been of particular interest to me and is an ideal use of cloud based storage solutions such as CloudFS and Nirvanix. CloudCDN's look like a potentially very important part of the emerging global cloud computing environment. It's nice to see someone putting some thought into this area.
"Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) such as Akamai and Mirror Image place web server clusters in numerous geographical locations to improve the responsiveness and locality of the content it hosts for end-users. However, their services are priced out of reach for all but the largest enterprise customers. An alternative approach to content delivery could be achieved by leveraging existing infrastructure provided by 'Storage Cloud' providers, at a fraction of the cost. In this paper, we introduce MetaCDN, a system that exploits 'Storage Cloud' resources, creating an integrated overlay network that provides a low cost, high performance CDN for content creators. MetaCDN removes the complexity of dealing with multiple storage providers, by intelligently matching and placing users' content onto one or many storage providers based on their quality of service, coverage and budget preferences. We then demonstrate the utility of this new approach to content delivery by showing that the participating 'Storage Clouds' used by MetaCDN provide high performance (in terms of throughput and response time) and reliable content delivery for content consumers."
Download the paper here > http://www.gridbus.org/reports/meta-cdn2008.pdf