"Delay-Tolerant Bulk Data Transfers on the Internet"
Nikolaos Laoutaris, Georgios Smaragdakis, Rade Stanojevic, Pablo Rodriguez, and Ravi Sundaram.
IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, 21(6), December 2013.

Many emerging scientific and industrial applications require transferring multiple Tbytes of data on a daily basis. Examples include pushing scientific data from particle accelerators/colliders to laboratories around the world, synchronizing data-centers across continents, and replicating collections of high definition videos from events taking place at different timezones. A key property of all above applications is their ability to tolerate delivery delays ranging from a few hours to a few days. Such Delay Tolerant Bulk (DTB) data are currently being serviced mostly by the postal system using hard drives and DVDs, or by expensive dedicated networks. In this work we propose transmitting such data through commercial ISPs by taking advantage of already-paid-for off-peak bandwidth resulting from diurnal traffic patterns and percentile pricing. We show that between sender-receiver pairs with small timezone difference, simple source scheduling policies are able to take advantage of most of the existing off-peak capacity. When the time-zone difference increases, taking advantage of the full capacity requires performing store-and-forward through intermediate storage nodes. We present an extensive evaluation of the two options based on traffic data from 200+ links of a large transit provider with PoPs at three continents. Our results indicate that there exists huge potential for performing multi Tbyte transfers on a daily basis at little or no additional cost.

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