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QMUL Researchers Delve into the Netflix Nexus

Netflix and Chill just got way more serious

QMUL has recently hit a Netflix shaped gold-mine, in terms of research.

Steve Uhlig and Timm Böttger, of the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science have created a the first map that located 4,669 servers in Netflix’s content delivery network, and pin-pointed them into 243 locations internationally. Un-surprisingly, most of the Netflix content “traffic” comes from the USA followed by Mexico, the UK, Canada and Brazil, with the Western hemisphere dominating most of Netflix’s server distribution. Their paper, “Open Connect Everywhere: A Glimpse at the Internet Ecosystem through the Lens of the Netflix CDN”, focuses on the difference in reliance on Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) (frameworks through which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) configure “Internet traffic”) across varying regions.

Their paper states: “Our analysis of Netflix’s server deployment exposes the diversity of the Internet ecosystem world-wide. Our findings also suggest that the specifics of each regional ecosystem, coupled with the demand of each local market, explain the different deployment strategies.” QMUL has highlighted the importance of the study internationally: “While in North America, Netflix is present in many locations simultaneously, the deployment situation in Europe is different. For most countries in Europe, Netflix servers are deployed at only a few, probably carefully chosen locations per country.”

Famed researchers like Peter Pietzuch, a “specialist in large-scale distributed systems at Imperial College London” has commented, calling the QMUL’s researchers’ map a “very well-executed study.”

Netflix has become to a common go-to for most of our generation, especially in the past two to three years. It’s become a special area of study in both Internet research, business and sociology. To have one of its first success stories be a research team from QMUL is a huge achievement for our university.

Image: Global Panorama/flickr

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