Analysis of Web caching architectures: hierarchical and distributed caching

Rodriguez, Pablo; Spanner, Christian; Biersack, Ernst W
IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, Vol. 9, N°4, August 2001

In this paper we compare the performance of different caching architectures. We derive analytical models to evaluate hierarchical and distributed caching in terms of client's perceived latency, bandwidth usage, load on the caches, and disk space. Hierarchical caching has short connection and low bandwidth usage, however, it requires high performance caches at the top-levels of the hierarchy. On the other hand, distributed caching has short transmission times and does not require intermediate cache levels. With distributed caching the bandwidth usage in the network is higher, however, the traffic is better distributed, with more bandwidth in the less-congested lower network levels. Additionally, we study a hybrid scheme where a certain number of caches cooperate at every level of the caching hierarchy using distributed caching. We find that a "well configured" hybrid scheme can combine the advantages of both hierarchical and distributed caching, reducing the retrieval latency, the bandwidth usage, and the load in the caches. Depending on the hybrid caching architecture, the current load in the caches/network, and the document size, there is an optimal number of caches that should cooperate at each network level to minimize the overall retrieval latency. Based on analytical and experimental results, we propose small modifications of the existing cache-sharing schemes to better determine the degree of cooperation at every caching level.

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