Video streaming dominates the Internet’s overall traffic mix, with reports stating that it will constitute 90% of all consumer traffic by 2019. Most of this video is delivered by Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), and, while they optimize QoE metrics such as buffering ratio and start-up time, no single CDN provides optimal performance. We make the case for elastic CDNs, the ability to build virtual CDNs on-the-fly on top of shared, third-party infrastructure at a scale. To bring this idea closer to reality we begin by large-scale simulations to quantify the effects that elastic CDNs would have if deployed, and build and evaluate MiniCache, a specialized, minimalistic virtualized content cache that runs on the Xen hypervisor. MiniCache is able to serve content at rates of up to 32 Gb/s and handle up to 600K reqs/sec on a single CPU core, as well as boot in about 90 milliseconds on x86 and around 370 milliseconds on ARM32.
Oh! And this webpage is being served by MiniCache :)