Life after the ban on Google Global Cache: Implications for providers and customers

    In September of this year, Roskomnadzor sent letters to providers. They said that Google Global Cache servers, which increase the speed of access to Google’s resources, are not certified. The regulator noted that the presence of this equipment in the provider's network will result in a fine of up to 300 thousand rubles.

    In our article today, we will see what threatens the rejection of GGC to Internet providers and customers. / Flickr / / PD

    What is Google Global Cache?

    Google is committed to providing high reliability and performance of its services, while maintaining low latency. To this end, the company invested in the development of network infrastructure . It consists of three “layers”: data centers, points of presence (Points of Presence, or PoP) and caching nodes (Google Global Cache, or GGC).

    Data centers are the heart of the content and services of the IT giant. PoPs are the nodes that connect the Google network to the rest of the Internet. GGC servers are part of the infrastructure that is closest to users and located on a network of local operators.

    These servers temporarily store popular content that users often request. It speeds upaccess to Google services: YouTube, Google Maps, Google Play, etc. This solution saves the bandwidth of both Google and telecom operators.

    Similar content delivery networks (CDNs) are used by other companies. For example, Yandex. The CDN of a Russian company is used to improve the quality of Yandex.Mail's work.

    How GGC Works

    Without GGC, the content requested by users (such as video) comes directly from Google’s servers. With caching servers, only the first copy of the video goes through the entire chain. Subsequent user requests are served by the cache node. The algorithm of work, according to the presentation of Google employee Mike Axelrod, looks like this:

    • The user clicks on the link with the video.
    • The DNS provider asks DNS Google for the IP address of the content, if one is unknown to it.
    • The Google DNS server knows that the provider has a GGC host that can provide the requested content.
    • In response, it sends the IP address of this host, which is forwarded to the user.
    • Further, the user receives the information he needs from the GGC site, and not from the Google network.
    • If the requested content is not on the GGC site, it requests it from Google on behalf of the user and caches for future calls.

    You can find out more about how the system works and what equipment is supplied by Google to providers by the link .

    Consequences of the GGC Ban

    The number of caching Google servers at a large federal operator is quite large. If you refuse them, then the load on the Google server and the provider's backbone will increase. Shutting down GGC servers will affect the quality of the services provided by Google.

    However, the main “blow" will take on video hosting. According to the analytical site Statista, Russia is the third largest in the world in the number of active YouTube users per month. Without Google Global Cache, YouTube videos will load more slowly, and the loading time of the site itself will increase.

    Also, users may lose the ability to watch high-resolution video due to bandwidth limitations (for many providers, YouTube traffic is considered local).

    The director of the nonprofit organization Internet Protection Society, Mikhail Klimarev, says that Internet service providers will also feel the rejection of GGC. According to MGTS, streaming services (YouTube, Google Video, etc.) consume 30% of the bandwidth. In case of refusal from servers, operators will be forced to expand data transmission channels by at least these 30%.

    If a video stream is transmitted over the network, 90% of which is YouTube, then with GGC the operator pays only part of the traffic to Google services. The rest of the traffic is processed in the data center of the provider and does not leave the internal network. If the provider has branches in the country, GGC allows you to save on highways, because traffic will not leave the boundaries of one city.

    With the departure of GGC, this traffic will be paid. All this will lead to higher prices for Internet tariffs. Or even refusal of unlimited tariffs. You can read about other forecasts here .

    How to be providers

    According to representatives of telecommunication companies, the GGS server is not a communication tool, therefore it should not be certified. And you can’t forbid using the system. Roskomnadzor, however, rejects such a definition .

    Also in RuNet you can find the opinion that Roskomnadzor requires certification of equipment in order to prevent a repetition of the situation with Japan. On August 25, Google employees made a mistake in the dynamic routing protocol, as a result of which customers of large Japanese providers could not go online for several hours. In another part of the population, connection speeds dropped significantly.

    Another option is that the regulator’s actions to ban the GGC are a form of pressure on the IT giant. Roskomnadzor is waiting for a response from the company and there is a chance that the “opponents” will be able to agree.

    If this does not happen, Internet providers will have to look for a way out of the situation. One option, as noted above, is to increase the cost of tariffs or abandon unlimited Internet, but in this case, the operators risk losing customers. Increasing the channel width can also be disadvantageous.

    Another option is to look for ways to reduce costs. It is impossible to solve the problem of banning Google Global Cache without financial losses, but these losses can be minimized. Classifying and prioritizing traffic to save bandwidth can reduce costs while keeping quality of service (QoS) high.

    They implement this functionality of the deep traffic analysis system - DPI. Today, such solutions are offered on the market by both foreign suppliers and domestic ones - including VAS Experts . The number of installations of our SKAT system in Russia has exceeded 500, with 166 licenses issued in 2017. By the way, in 2015 there were only 60 of them.

    DPI system allows you to changepriority of transmitted packets depending on the protocol (DSCP / TOS in the IP packet header, priority in the VLAN and QinQ packet header, traffic class in the MPLS packet header). Routers and shapers use this information to provide the right quality of service. DPI systems also monitor the network at levels 2–7 of the OSI model and protect it from congestion.

    With increasing video quality (720p, 1080p, 4K), the load on the operator’s channel increases. For example, in March 2015 in Australia, Netflix service traffic accounted for 25% of iiNet's total traffic. Active traffic management and flexible prioritization provide decent video services, slightly “cutting” the traffic of other applications at critical moments.

    Another option might be to install your own cache server. Our SCAT DPI solution has such an opportunity . According to statistics, a 3-terabyte cache for Youtube content for 100 thousand subscribers reduces the external Youtube band by 30%. / Cache server connection scheme. Moreover, such a system will allow caching not only video content of streaming services, but also updates for browsers, Windows, antiviruses and other software, as well as frequently repeating files, for example, pictures. PS Other materials from the corporate blog of VAS Experts:

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