Seven years in the life of Hypergiants' off-nets

Petros Gigis, Matt Calder, Lefteris Manassakis, George Nomikos, Vasileios Kotronis, Xenofontas Dimitropoulos, Ethan Katz-Bassett, Georgios Smaragdakis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Content Hypergiants deliver the vast majority of Internet traffic to end users. In recent years, some have invested heavily in deploying services and servers inside end-user networks. With several dozen Hypergiants and thousands of servers deployed inside networks, these off-net (meaning outside the Hypergiant networks) deployments change the structure of the Internet. Previous efforts to study them have relied on proprietary data or specialized per-Hypergiant measurement techniques that neither scale nor generalize, providing a limited view of content delivery on today's Internet. In this paper, we develop a generic and easy to implement methodology to measure the expansion of Hypergiants' off-nets. Our key observation is that Hypergiants increasingly encrypt their traffic to protect their customers' privacy. Thus, we can analyze publicly available Internet-wide scans of port 443 and retrieve TLS certificates to discover which IP addresses host Hypergiant certificates in order to infer the networks hosting off-nets for the corresponding Hypergiants. Our results show that the number of networks hosting Hypergiant off-nets has tripled from 2013 to 2021, reaching 4.5k networks. The largest Hypergiants dominate these deployments, with almost all of these networks hosting an off-net for at least one - and increasingly two or more - of Google, Netflix, Facebook, or Akamai. These four Hypergiants have off-nets within networks that provide access to a significant fraction of end user population.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSIGCOMM 2021
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2021 Conference
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-8383-7
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event2021 Annual Conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication on the Applications, SIGCOMM 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 23 Aug 202127 Aug 2021


Conference2021 Annual Conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication on the Applications, SIGCOMM 2021
CountryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online


  • content delivery networks
  • Hypergiants
  • server deployment
  • TLS


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