Faces in the Clouds: Long-Duration, Multi-User, Cloud-Assisted Video Conferencing

Paper type: 
Journal Paper
Richard G. Clegg, Raul Landa, David Griffin, Miguel Rio, Peter Hughes, Ian Kegel, Tim Stevens, Peter Pietzuch and Doug Williams
Transactions on Cloud Computing (to appear), 2017
Abstract: 
Multi-user video conferencing is a ubiquitous technology. Increasingly end-hosts in a conference are assisted by cloud-based servers that improve the quality of experience for end users. This paper evaluates the impact of strategies for placement of such servers on user experience and deployment cost. We consider scenarios based upon the Amazon EC2 infrastructure as well as future scenarios in which cloud instances can be located at a larger number of possible sites across the planet. We compare a number of possible strategies for choosing which cloud locations should host services and how traffic should route through them. Our study is driven by real data to create demand scenarios with realistic geographical user distributions and diurnal behaviour. We conclude that on the EC2 infrastructure a well chosen static selection of servers performs well but as more cloud locations are available a dynamic choice of servers becomes important.
Description: 
This paper is a simulation based study of cloud assisted multi-user video streaming. It is based upon two use cases (one related to video poker the other related to MOOCs). The paper looks at strategies for placing cloud locations to facilitate streaming using Amazon EC2 cloud locations. The paper compares a strategy that dynamically picks new locations for cloud hosts as time goes on. Interestingly this seems to provide little benefit compared with simply having a good initial choice of sites even when users may drop into and out of a cloud chat session over the course of many hours.
bibtex: 
@article{faces_clegg_2017,
  title={Faces in the Clouds: 
  Long-Duration, Multi-User, Cloud-Assisted   Video Conferencing},
  author ={Richard G. Clegg and Raul Landa and 
David Griffin and Miguel Rio and 
Peter Hughes and Ian Kegel and 
Tim Stevens and Peter Pietzuch and Doug Williams},
  journal={Transactions on Cloud Computing},
  volume={To appear},
  year={2017}
}
doi: 
10.1109/TCC.2017.2680440