The web serving protocol stack is constantly changing and evolving to tackle technological shifts in networking infrastructure and website complexity. As a result of this evolution, the web servers can use a plethora of protocols and configuration parameters to address a variety of realistic network conditions. Yet,today, despite the significant diversity in end-user networks and devices, most content providers have adopted a “one-size-fits-all” approach to configuring the networking stack of their user facing web servers (or at best employ moderate tuning).

In this paper, we demonstrate that the status quo results in sub-optimal performance and argue for a novel framework that extends existing CDN architectures to provide programmatic control over a web server’s configuration parameters. We designed a data-driven framework, ConfigTron, that leverages data across connections to identify their network and device characteristics, and learn the optimal configuration parameters to improve end-user performance. To demonstrate the scalability and efficiency, we evaluate ConfigTron on five traces, including one from a global content provider. Further, we analyzed ConfigTron using two live-deployments including one on the global content provider. Our results show that ConfigTron improves tail (p95) web performance by 32-67% across diverse websites and networks.

Publications

  • Configtron: Tackling network diversity with heterogeneous configurations.
    Usama Naseer and Theophilus Benson
    9th {USENIX} Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing (HotCloud 17)

Acknowledgements

We are indebted to the Janusz Jezowicz from SpeedChecker for granting us access to their globally distibuted Internet and web measurements platform.