There is an increasing need to quickly and efficiently learn network distances, in terms of metrics such as latency or bandwidth, between Internet hosts. For example, Internet content providers often place data and server mirrors throughout the Internet to improve access latency for clients, and it is necessary to direct clients to the nearest mirrors based on some distance metric in order to realize the benefit of mirrors.
We suggest a scalable Internet-wide architecture, called IDMaps, which measures and disseminates distance information on the global Internet. Higher level services can collect such distance information to build a virtual distance map of the Internet and estimate the distance between any pair of IP addresses. We present our solutions to the measurement server placement and distance map construction problems in IDMaps. We show that IDMaps can indeed provide useful distance estimations to applications such as nearest mirror selection.
Index Terms—Distributed algorithms, modeling, network service, scalability.