Date of Original Version
IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, Vol. 16, No. 1, February 2008.
Abstract or Table of Contents
Multihoming is increasingly being employed by large enterprises and data centers to extract good performance and reliability from their ISP connections. Multihomed end networks today can employ a variety of route control products to optimize their Internet access performance and reliability. However, little is known about the tangible benefits that such products can offer, the mechanisms they employ and their trade-offs. This paper makes two important contributions. First, we present a study of the potential improvements in Internet round-trip times (RTTs) and transfer speeds from employing multihoming route control. Our analysis shows that multihoming to three or more ISPs and cleverly scheduling traffic across the ISPs can improve Internet RTTs and throughputs by up to 25% and 20%, respectively. However, a careful selection of ISPs is important to realize the performance improvements. Second, focusing on large enterprises, we propose and evaluate a wide-range of route control mechanisms and evaluate their design trade-offs. We implement the proposed schemes on a Linux-based Web proxy and perform a trace-based evaluation of their performance. We show that both passive and active measurement-based techniques are equally effective and could improve the Web response times of enterprise networks by up to 25% on average, compared to using a single ISP. We also outline several "best common practices" for the design of route control products.