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This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. It may contain original research or unverifiable claims. Tagged since September 2010. The notability of this article's subject is in question. If notability cannot be established, it may be listed for deletion or removed. Tagged since September 2010. It may have been edited by a person who has a conflict of interest with the subject matter. Tagged since September 2010. SmoothIT Simple Economic Management Approaches of Overlay Traffic in Heterogeneous Internet Topologies Keywords Overlay network, ETM mechanisms Funding Agency European Union Project Type Coordination Action Reference FP7-2008-ICT-216259 Objective FP7-ICT ICT-2007.1.1 Participants Universität Zürich (Switzerland) (coordinator), NTT DoCoMo (Germany) Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany) Athens University of Economics and Business (Greece) PrimeTel Limited (Cyprus) AGH University of Science and Technology (Poland) INTRACOM S.A. Telecom Solutions (Greece) Telefónica Investigación y Desarrollo (Spain) Budget Total: Euro Funding: Euro Duration January 2008 - December 2010 Web Site SmoothIT (Simple Economic Management Approaches of Overlay Traffic in Heterogeneous Internet Topologies) is a STREP project in the Seventh Framework Programmee of the European Union. Contents 1 Introduction 2 TripleWIN 3 ETM 4 References 5 External links Introduction Overlay-based applications (such as P2P File sharing, P2P Streaming, VPN, etc.) are the most important contributors to Internet traffic [1]; therefore, this traffic is becoming more and more interesting for Internet Service Providers (ISP), which would like to control and manage it. The use of mechanisms based on incentives for controlling and managing network traffic of overlay applications in the Internet is still in its early stages. Initial results have shown that such mechanisms do have the important property of scalability with respect to the number of players (i.e. providers, consumers, or peers), and lead to a more efficient network operation. In managing the traffic created and routed through their networks today's ISPs, who may be in more general terms service providers on the basis of the IP, employ methodologies suitable for traditional traffic/service profiles. In the near future most network traffic will follow paths that form logical network overlays at the service layer, such as Virtual Private Networks, Network Management System overlays, or distributed collaboration overlays. As the structure of overlays determines the traffic flows in ISP networks, it is highly efficient for an ISP to influence overlay configuration based on information on their structure. In this context, SmoothIT (Simple Economic Management Approaches of Overlay Traffic in Heterogeneous Internet Topologies) is designing new mechanisms that aim to provide solutions to manage this traffic from the point of view of both users and providers. From a user's point of view, SmoothIT will enable new overlay services that can be utilized by any user. From a provider's perspective, SmoothIT will provide for the relevant decentralized control technology and management approaches, backed by thorough theoretical investigations, which will enable new business models to be analyzed and implemented. Taking into account this problem statement, SmoothIT has to work on solutions that could be favourable to all the involved parties (TripleWin scenarios), develop the appropriate mechanisms (called Economic Traffic Management mechanisms) and must develop an architecture that could effectively implement those solutions. TripleWIN TripleWin describes a situation where the three parties affected by an overlay service, i.e., overlay service users, the ISPs, and the overlay provider, all gain from cooperating in a common traffic management scheme (also termed Economic Traffic Management or ETM in the context of SmoothIT) [2][3]. The main challenge here lies in the fact that these three parties have different aims for optimizing the traffic generated by the overlay. Users want to increase their experienced service quality, such as download speed or a streaming throughput. In contrast, ISPs try to lower the costs generated by underlay-agnostic overlay connections that lead to a high utilization of expensive interdomain links. Finally, if there is a service provider that is commercially benefiting from the overlay, it aims at keeping the overlay efficient while still satisfying its users. Whenever one party tries to unilaterally influence the overlay and degrades the performance for the others, this change will not be accepted. An example would be the interference of Comcast with BitTorrent traffic using the Sandvine application [4], leading to dissatisfied users and a bad public image. Ultimately, no party wins in such a scenario. As a consequence, SmoothIT aims at defining traffic management approaches that are interesting for all three players, since only then they will support the scheme. This means that incentives have to be created for users, ISPs and overlay providers to cooperate. An example for this would be the promotion of traffic locality by an ETM (described below) scheme. Keeping overlay connections in the same area of the network leads to a lower utilization of inter-AS links [5][6][7][8], satisfying the ISPs supporting the mechanism. In case these links are bandwidth bottlenecks, avoiding them also leads to shorter download times in the example of a BitTorrent overlay [8]. Finally, if an overlay service provider supports the service by providing server capacity, keeping the traffic local may simplify the placement and dimensioning of these servers. It is not necessarily the case that one mechanism satisfies the requirements of all parties at the same time. Locality promotion might not have a visible effect on the service quality experienced by the user. In this case, other incentives might be offered to ensure users participation in the ETM framework. This might be the provisioning of connections with a better Quality of Service (QoS) by an ISP to users or the possibility to place content servers at crucial points in an ISPs network for overlay service providers. SmoothIT shall provide incentives for ISPs, overlay providers, and end-users which will result in TripleWin, i.e., a situation in which all three parties benefit from introducing the mechanism. In order to achieve this goal, certain requirements need to be imposed. Firstly, the solution is to be incentive based, in a sense that it will be in the best interest of all involved players to follow the rules of the proposed protocols. No forceful actions are to be introduced. Secondly, the service provided by SmoothIT should be accessible by various P2P applications, not only by a specific application. Moreover, the service itself should be differentiated, and classified into free or premium (charged) network service. Obviously, the support for QoS is mandatory. Apart from the core requirements, presented above, additional ones have also been specified. They include: operation in two distinct modes (user anonymity mode for free services and user aware mode for premium services), inter-domain support (neighboring domains should be able to cooperate), operation and management (OAM, the mechanisms should be able to interact with OAM processes of the ISP) and support for general node mobility. There are some non-functional requirements which should be carried out by the SmoothIT architecture. The proposed solutions have to be scalable and efficient to support a large end-user population. Easy deployment and extensibility of architecture elements shall be provided. The robustness requirement is important in case of a failure in a network or malicious user behavior. SmoothIT architecture shall provide data integrity, confidentiality, and authentication for data storage in the system. The transmission in a network based on SmoothIT architecture should use standard protocols and shall not apply Deep Packet Inspection. The SmoothIT architecture needs to provide interfaces for regulation aspects, such as data retention, and it has to address data privacy concerns, which are determined by the European Directives on Security. ETM ETM (Economic Traffic Management) is one of the key concepts developed by the SmoothIT project in order to define the suitable algorithms to address SmoothIT objectives. The specification of the different mechanisms has considered the incentives between the different stakeholders. SmoothIT Architecture For the design of the SmoothIT architecture multiple architectural approaches have been carefully analysed in order to assess their feasibility to achieve the requirements presented in the previous section and to analyse their associated economical benefits and legal constraints. This study has resulted in the specification of a hybrid approach, taking into account both centralised and decentralised architectures. The architecture can incorporate already defined ETM mechanisms as well as future ones and it can be integrated in real networks, since it is based on existing network protocols, avoiding changes in network equipments and enabling easy deployment. The central entity of the SmoothIT architecture is the SmoothIT Information Service (SIS) which is a distributed system that provides information from the ISPs to overlay applications and also vice versa. The SIS can incorporate various ETM mechanisms and it may provide information about policy, locality, congestion, and QoS policies, for example, to help overlay applications to decide how to establish connections and how to use them. The information provided can be useful in many ways for the overlay application, e.g., at the peer selection process of overlay applications. While service discovery is a role of each overlay application, once it has discovered a set of hosts that can provide a certain resource, e.g., a file or a video stream, it may query the SIS to get recommendations about which hosts to get the resource from. The main functionalities of the main components of the SmoothIT architecture are the following: The SIS Server is the core of the system. Its main responsibility is to receive the request from the overlay application, perform calculations based on several factors, such as metering and policy information, and reply the preference values back to the overlay application. The QoS Manager can check the availability of network resources and guarantee resources requested by the end user as well as to enforce the QoS policies in the network. It will interface the Network by using the NGN transport control functionalities available in the network. The Metering module collects network information in order to support the ETM mechanisms implemented by the SIS. This information can include e.g., BGP routing tables in order to support locality based algorithms, network performance parameters and network usage by end users that is necessary to support charging. The Security component provides security services, including authentication, access control, and secure communication based on an Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) server. The Config DB represents a repository that includes all the information that can be useful for all the modules. Finally, the SIS provides three interfaces: one to overlay applications (clients) that can access the SIS via an RPC-like service to exchange information with the ISP and to get recommendations from the ISP, e.g., to rank a list of IP addresses following specific criteria, one to the network administrator to configure policies, parameters of the ETM mechanisms, and agreements with Service Overlay providers etc., and one to other SIS servers deployed in a different network domain in order to support the collaboration between different ISPs as well. References ^ Ipoque: ^ Juan Pedro Fernandez-Palacios Gimenez, Maria Angeles Callejo Rodriguez, Hasan Hasan, Tobias Hobfeld, Dirk Staehle, Zoran Despotovic, Wolfgang Kellerer, Konstantin Pussep, Ioanna Papafili, George D. Stamoulis, and Burkhard Stiller, "A New Approach for Managing Traffic of Overlay Applications of the SmoothIT Project", in 2nd International Conference on Autonomous Infrastructure, Management and Security (AIMS08), Bremen, Germany, July 2008. ^ Simon Oechsner, Sergios Soursos, Ioanna Papafili, Tobias Hobfeld, George D. Stamoulis, Burkhard Stiller, Maria Angeles Callejo, Dirk Staehle, "A framework of economic traffic management employing self-organization overlay mechanisms", Third International Workshop on Self-Organizing Systems (IWSOS08), Vienna, Austria, December 2008. ^ "Comcast throttles bittorrent traffic, seeding impossible",, 2007. ^ Stevens Le Blond, Arnaud Legout, and Walid Dabbous, "Pushing BitTorrent Locality to the Limit", Tech. Rep., Dec 2008. ^ Ruchir Bindal, Pei Cao, William Chan, Jan Medval, George Suwala, Tony Bates, and Amy Zhang, "Improving traffic locality in bittorrent via biased neighbor selection", in Proceedings of the 26th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, IEEE, 2006, p. 66, IEEE Computer Society Washington, DC, USA. ^ Haiyong Xie, Richard Y. Yang, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Yanbin G. Liu, and Abraham Silberschatz, "P4P: Provider portal for applications", SIGCOMM Comput. Commun. Rev., vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 351-362, 2008. ^ a b David R. Choffnes and Fabian E. Bustamante, "Taming the torrent: a practical approach to reducing cross-ISP traffic in Peer-to-Peer systems", SIGCOMM Comput. Commun. Rev., vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 363-374, 2008. External links "Application-layer traffic optimization (ALTO)",