wow, lots of akamai

Mike Hammett nanog at ics-il.net
Thu Apr 1 21:15:35 UTC 2021


In terms of dollar flows, yes, the subscriber makes all requests. They make the requests of the ISP and of the game developer\publisher\whatever. 


However, the game publisher queues those requests. I'm meaning request generically, not a GET request or anything like that. The game publisher that contracts to the CDNs decides when to fulfill those requests, in the big picture. The game publisher is the one that then tells 100 million devices "Content Available". The rate that they do that is at their discretion. 


Me deciding to download 50 gigs of GIS imagery because I requested it at that moment isn't the same situation as 100 million people downloading COD because the publisher released it. 




----- 
Mike Hammett 
Intelligent Computing Solutions 
http://www.ics-il.com 

Midwest-IX 
http://www.midwest-ix.com 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Tom Beecher" <beecher at beecher.cc> 
To: "Matt Erculiani" <merculiani at gmail.com> 
Cc: "North American Operators' Group" <nanog at nanog.org> 
Sent: Thursday, April 1, 2021 4:04:34 PM 
Subject: Re: wow, lots of akamai 



No disrespect taken, or intended back in your direction, but again, I disagree. 


If thousands of users are downloading 50G files at the same time, it really doesn't matter if they are pulling from a CDN or the origin directly. The volume of traffic still has to be handled. Yes, it's a burden on the ISP, but it's a burden created by the usage created by their subscribers. 




On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 4:57 PM Matt Erculiani < merculiani at gmail.com > wrote: 



Tom, 


All due respect, but there is a massive difference between one user downloading 50G and thousands of users each downloading 50G when they all go to play their videogame of choice at around the same time. 


-Matt 







On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 2:46 PM Tom Beecher <beecher at beecher.cc> wrote: 

<blockquote>


<blockquote>

A user sends a few megabytes of request and receives 50 gigs of reply. They aren't DDoSing the network, but they're amplifying a single 50 gig copy they receive from the mothership and turning it into likely tens of terabytes of traffic. 
Yes, that's a CDN's job, but that volume of legitimate traffic and the very tiny window with which it is transmitted is likely to be a burden for even the largest residential ISPs. 



I'm sitting at home, and I could send a 50k request for a 50G file right now from a source not fronted by a CDN. What do? My ISP is still has to deliver it to me. The fact that the 50G file does or does not come from a CDN is irrelevant. The CDN just happens to be a point source that a lot of users happen to connect to. 


CDNs want to have the best performance to users because that's what brings them business. A poorly performing CDN will lose customers to a better performing one. The trend for years has been instead of ISPs investing in infrastructure to effectively handle the traffic that their users request, they turf that to CDNs. In many cases, a CDN will put a cache box in or extend a circuit at a loss to them, because they know if the performance metrics get bad, business will be taken elsewhere, even if the CAUSE of the poor performance is actually at the edge of, or inside , the ISPs network. 


ISPs in the US can get away with this because their users are captive and rarely have an alternative choice of provider. 




On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 4:33 PM Matt Erculiani < merculiani at gmail.com > wrote: 

<blockquote>


Patrick, 


> First, to be blunt, if you really think Akamai nodes are “sitting idle for weeks” before CoD comes out with a new game, 
> you are clearly confused. 

"Idle" in the sense that when you look at a graph of traffic before and after a large push such as this makes the rest of the week's traffic look like a horizontal line at the bottom, admittedly poor word choice, yes, but far from "confused" as to what CDNs do under relatively normal circumstances. Otherwise very valid points you've raised. 



Tom, 


> Akamai, and other CDNs, do not **generate** traffic ; they serve the requests generated by users. 


A user sends a few megabytes of request and receives 50 gigs of reply. They aren't DDoSing the network, but they're amplifying a single 50 gig copy they receive from the mothership and turning it into likely tens of terabytes of traffic. 
Yes, that's a CDN's job, but that volume of legitimate traffic and the very tiny window with which it is transmitted is likely to be a burden for even the largest residential ISPs. 


-Matt 


On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 2:09 PM Patrick W. Gilmore < patrick at ianai.net > wrote: 

<blockquote>


Matt: 


I am going to disagree with your characterization of how Akamai - and many other CDNs - manage things. First, to be blunt, if you really think Akamai nodes are “sitting idle for weeks” before CoD comes out with a new game, you are clearly confused. 


More importantly, I know for a fact Akamai has spent ungodly amounts of money & resources putting content precisely where the ISPs ask them to put it, deliver it over the pipes the ISPs ask them to deliver it, at precisely the capacity the ISPs tell them. 


On the other hand, I agree with your characterization of residential broadband. It is ridiculous to expect a neighborhood with 1,000 homes each with 1 Gbps links to have a terabit of uplink capacity. But it also should have a lot more than 10 Gbps, IMHO. Unfortunately, most neighborhoods I have seen are closer to the latter than the former. 


Finally, this could quickly devolve into finger pointing. You say the CDNs bear some responsibility? They may well respond that the large broadband providers ask for cash to interconnect - but still require the CDNs to do all the work. The CDNs did not create the content, or tell the users which content to pull. When I pay $NATIONAL_PROVIDER, I expect them to provide me with access to the Internet. Not just to the content that pays that provider. 


Personally, I have zero problems with the ISPs saying “give me a cache to put here with this sized uplink” or “please deliver to these users over this xconn / IX / whatever”. I have a huge problem with the ISPs blaming the ISPs for delivering what the ISP’s users request. 


Of course, this could all be solved if there were more competition in broadband in the US (and many other countries). But that is a totally different 10,000 post thread (that we have had many dozens of times). 


-- 
TTFN, 
patrick 


<blockquote>

On Apr 1, 2021, at 3:53 PM, Matt Erculiani < merculiani at gmail.com > wrote: 


Niels, 


I think to clarify Jean's point, when you buy a 300mbps circuit, you're paying for 300mbps of internet access. 


That does not mean that a network should (and in this case small-medium ones simply can't) build all of their capacity to service a large number of customer circuits at line rate at the same time for an extended period, ESPECIALLY to the exact same endpoint. It's just not economically reasonable to expect that. Remember we're talking about residential service here, not enterprise circuits. 


Therefore, how do you prevent this spike of [insert large number here] gigabits traversing the network at the same time from causing issues? Build more network? That sounds easy, but there are plenty of legitimate reasons why ISPs can't or don't want to do that, particularly for an event that only occurs once per quarter or so. 


Does Akamai bear some burden here to make these rollouts less troublesome for the ISPs they traverse through the last mile(s)? IMO yes, yes they do. When you're doing something new and unprecedented, as Akamai frequently brags about on Twitter, like having rapid, bursty growth of traffic, you need to consider that just because you can generate it, doesn't mean it can be delivered. They've gotta be more sophisticated than a bunch of servers with SSD arrays, ramdisks, and 100 gig interfaces, so there's no excuse for them here to just blindly fill every link they have after sitting idle for weeks/months at a time and expect everything to come out alright and nobody to complain about it. 


On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 1:21 PM Niels Bakker <niels= nanog at bakker.net > wrote: 

<blockquote>
* nanog at nanog.org (Jean St-Laurent via NANOG) [Thu 01 Apr 2021, 21:03 CEST]: 
>An artificial roll out penalty somehow? Probably not at the ISP 
>level, but more at the game level. Well, ISP could also have some 
>mechanisms to reduce the impact or even Akamai could force a 
>progressive roll out. 

It's an online game. You can't play the game with outdated assets. 
You'd not see walls where other players would, for example. 

What you're suggesting is the ability of ISPs to market Internet access 
at a certain speed but not have to deliver it based on conditions they 
create. 


-- Niels. 

</blockquote>



-- 


Matt Erculiani 
ERCUL-ARIN 
</blockquote>


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-- 


Matt Erculiani 
ERCUL-ARIN 
</blockquote>

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-- 


Matt Erculiani 
ERCUL-ARIN 
</blockquote>

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