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Revealing Hidden Interconnections between Access ISPs and Content Providers


Manuel Palacin, Alex Bikfalvi, Miquel Oliver


Knowing the detailed topology of the Internet at the Autonomous System (AS) level is extremely valuable for both researchers and industry when making network policies. Although there are many measurement projects and databases that provide this information, such as ARK, RETRO, ONO and PeeringDB, they only offer a partial view for analyzing end-to-end Internet routing paths and they do not focus on the hidden direct interconnections between Access ISPs and Content Providers. In order to address these shortcomings, we present Mercury, a web platform focused on the AS-level interconnection between content providers and content consumers. Mercury enables users to visualize the AS topology, aggregating data from traceroute measurements of project participants and AS information from several databases. The advantage of Mercury is that it provides a solution for discovering how operators connect to other organizations and how content providers organize their server's infrastructure (CDN) to reach their target audience. To this end, Mercury identifies Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) and AS interconnection relationships along an Internet path and presents this information and statistics via a web site and a built-in API. We evaluate its potential probing a dataset of 100 popular web URLs from the major Spanish ISPs and we successfully identify many direct interconnections that were hidden for other methodologies.


Presented at 20th Eunice Open European Summer School and Conference
September 1 - 5, 2014, Rennes, France

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Last updated: September 14, 2014