A Survey on Research on the Application-Layer Traffic Optimization (ALTO) Problem
RFC 6029

Document Type RFC - Informational (October 2010; Errata)
Last updated 2015-10-14
Replaces draft-rimac-p2prg-alto-survey
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Internet Research Task Force (IRTF)                             I. Rimac
Request for Comments: 6029                                       V. Hilt
Category: Informational                                         M. Tomsu
ISSN: 2070-1721                                               V. Gurbani
                                               Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent
                                                              E. Marocco
                                                          Telecom Italia
                                                            October 2010

                        A Survey on Research on
       the Application-Layer Traffic Optimization (ALTO) Problem

Abstract

   A significant part of the Internet traffic today is generated by
   peer-to-peer (P2P) applications used originally for file sharing, and
   more recently for real-time communications and live media streaming.
   Such applications discover a route to each other through an overlay
   network with little knowledge of the underlying network topology.  As
   a result, they may choose peers based on information deduced from
   empirical measurements, which can lead to suboptimal choices.  This
   document, a product of the P2P Research Group, presents a survey of
   existing literature on discovering and using network topology
   information for Application-Layer Traffic Optimization.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Research Task Force
   (IRTF).  The IRTF publishes the results of Internet-related research
   and development activities.  These results might not be suitable for
   deployment.  This RFC represents the consensus of the Peer-to-Peer
   Research Group of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF).  Documents
   approved for publication by the IRSG are not a candidate for any
   level of Internet Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6029.

Rimac, et al.                 Informational                     [Page 1]
RFC 6029                       ALTO Survey                  October 2010

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2010 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     1.1.  Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.  Survey of Existing Literature  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     2.1.  Application-Level Topology Estimation  . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.2.  Topology Estimation through Layer Cooperation  . . . . . .  8
       2.2.1.  P4P Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
       2.2.2.  Oracle-Based ISP-P2P Collaboration . . . . . . . . . .  9
       2.2.3.  ISP-Driven Informed Path Selection (IDIPS) Service . . 10
   3.  Application-Level Topology Estimation and the ALTO Problem . . 10
   4.  Open Issues  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     4.1.  Coordinate Estimation or Path Latencies? . . . . . . . . . 12
     4.2.  Malicious Nodes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     4.3.  Information Integrity  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     4.4.  Richness of Topological Information  . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     4.5.  Hybrid Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     4.6.  Negative Impact of Over-Localization . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   5.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   6.  Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   7.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Rimac, et al.                 Informational                     [Page 2]
RFC 6029                       ALTO Survey                  October 2010

1.  Introduction

   A significant part of today's Internet traffic is generated by peer-
   to-peer (P2P) applications, used originally for file sharing, and
   more recently for real-time multimedia communications and live media
   streaming.  P2P applications pose serious challenges to the Internet
   infrastructure; by some estimates, P2P systems are so popular that
   they make up anywhere between 40% and 85% of the entire Internet
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