DISPERSE: A Decentralized Architecture for Content Replication Resilient to Node Failures


This paper introduces DISPERSE, a distributed scalable architecture for delivery of content and services that provides resilience against node failure through location-independent storage and replication of content. Current content delivery networks (CDNs) have, at least to some degree, a centralized structure thus susceptible to a single point of failure. DISPERSE addresses this limitation by implementing a fully de-centralized structure. DISPERSE is a two-layer architecture: the first layer (front-end layer) exposes services (e.g., Web, SFTP) to clients; the second layer (back-end layer) provides reliable distributed storage of content and application state. Content in DISPERSE’s back-end layer is stored and exchanged as Named Data Network (NDN) content objects. This allows DISPERSE to implement fine-grained, location-independent, fully decentralized content replication mechanisms. We validate the performance of DISPERSE under two node failure scenarios. In the first scenario, content can be stored in any DISPERSE node, and all nodes are equally likely to fail. In this scenario, we use non-linear optimization techniques to determine the optimal number of content copies under availability and latency constraints. In the second scenario, different nodes fail with different probabilities, and content is stored in nodes according to its value, node failure probability, and resource availability. This scenario is addressed as an instance of the minimum cost flow problem. Our results show that DISPERSE reduces the failure of content retrieval by five orders of magnitude compared to common CDN implementations, without significantly increasing content retrieval delay. Further, numerical results show that DISPERSE improves content availability by a factor of 1.3x-2.3x when deploying the minimum cost flow algorithm.

IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management