In the last decade, there have been radical changes in both the nature of the mechanisms used for Internet content distribution, and the type of content delivered. On the one hand, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) based content distribution has matured. On the other hand, there has been a tremendous growth in video traffic. The goal of this thesis
is to characterize these emerging trends in content distribution and understand their implications for Internet Service Providers (ISP) and users. Such characterization is critical given the predominance of P2P and video traffic in the Internet today and can enable further evolution of content delivery systems in ways that benefit both
providers and users.
In this thesis, we make the following contributions: (i) We develop novel methodologies to identify undesirable behavior of P2P systems, and expose the prevalence of such behavior; (ii) We characterize private P2P communities, and discuss the implications of our findings on recent research on localization of P2P traffic within an ISP; (iii) We shed light into the factors that govern the data-center selection for video delivery in geographically distributed settings by characterizing YouTube, the most popular video distribution network in the Internet.
A common thread underlying these contributions, and a distinguishing highlight of this thesis is the analysis of terabytes of traffic traces collected from the edge of
multiple ISP and Campus networks located in different countries.