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Re: Using NAT for best-exit routing

  • From: Paul Vixie
  • Date: Mon Sep 14 00:32:12 1998

> I work for a Finnish ISP and from my perspective all you American
> providers are "one huge Exodus." We battle with the issue by providing
> customers with an efficient web cache system. So basically what I'm
> saying is that GTEI could go a long way in solving the problem of
> asymmetric peering traffic due to web farm providers with an efficient
> web cache system for their customers.
> On my continent this is almost an unwritten responsibility of an ISP.

I don't know where it will end, but at the moment 55% of the web traffic
I see from my transparent cache customer log files is dynamic.  That means
55% of the bytes flowing through port 80 at various chokepoints is marked
uncacheable by the origins.  My product finesses this up to and a little
bit beyond what the HTTP spec allows, trying to distinguish between stuff
that's marked uncacheable for advertising hit-rate reasons but is in fact
quite static, compared to stuff that really is dynamically (usually CGI)
generated and really isn't cacheable.  Inktomi breaks even more rules than
we do but their hit rate is still pretty marginal.  The web pretty much
just does not cache well, primarily because the people who generate content
aren't the ones who get hurt by its uncacheability.

During the time between October 1996 and now (September 1998), I've watched
the percentage-uncacheable mark rise from 20% to 55%.  It could stabilize
at 55%.  I don't think it will go down though.  More likely it will rise a
little further, since there are so many web site construction kits on the
market that don't care one whit for cacheability (or the HTTP standard, but
that's another story.)  If you're still thinking of web objects as files,
go spend some time with some marketing people and learn about "web-enabled
applications" which is not about files at all.  (You'd also learn the reason
why I'm not expecting to sell very many more of my transparent web caches.)

So, I'm all for having ISP's run caches and either offer transparent
interception or some other automatic browser/cache relationship builder.
But until we get a reasonable mechanism for _generating_ the content in
multiple places we're going to have to provision the paths and servers
and peering points with the brute force needed to move data from single
sources to an outrageous and growing number of destinations.  I'd say
(returning to the topic of the message I'm replying to) that GTE/I and
other carriers will have to argue about peering and assymetry for another
six months at least before the right content distributions start to emerge.
Paul Vixie
La Honda, CA			"Many NANOG members have been around
<>			 longer than most." --Jim Fleming
pacbell!vixie!paul		 (An H.323 GateKeeper for the IPv8 Network)

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