``Back-Office Web Traffic on The Internet"
Enric Pujol, Philipp Richter, Balakrishnan Chandrasekaran, Georgios Smaragdakis,
Anja Feldmann, Bruce Maggs, and Keung-Chi Ng.
Although traffic between Web servers and Web browsers is readily apparent to
many knowledgeable end users, fewer are aware of the extent of server-to-server
Web traffic carried over the public Internet. We refer to the former class of
traffic as front-office Internet Web traffic and the latter as
back-office Internet Web traffic (or just front-office and back-office
traffic, for short). Back-office traffic, which may or may not be triggered by
end-user activity, is essential for today's Web as it supports a number of
popular but complex Web services including large-scale content delivery, social
networking, indexing, searching, advertising, and proxy services. This paper
takes a first look at back-office traffic, measuring it from various vantage
points, including from within ISPs, IXPs, and CDNs. We describe techniques for
identifying back-office traffic based on the roles that this traffic plays in
the Web ecosystem. Our measurements show that back-office traffic accounts for
a significant fraction not only of core Internet traffic, but also of Web
transactions in the terms of requests and responses. Finally, we discuss the
implications and opportunities that the presence of back-office traffic presents
for the evolution of the Internet ecosystem.