Gossip-based information dissemination protocols are considered easy to deploy, scalable and resilient to network dynamics. Load-balancing is inherent in these protocols as the dissemination work is evenly spread among all nodes. Yet, large-scale distributed systems are usually heterogeneous with respect to network capabilities such as bandwidth. In practice, a blind load-balancing strategy might significantly hamper the performance of the gossip dissemination. This paper presents HEAP, HEterogeneity-Aware gossip Protocol, where nodes dynamically adapt their contribution to the gossip dissemination according to their bandwidth capabilities. Using a continuous, itself gossip-based, approximation of relative bandwidth capabilities, HEAP dynamically leverages the most capable nodes by increasing their fanout, while decreasing by the same proportion that of less capable nodes. HEAP preserves the simple and proactive (churn adaptation) nature of gossip, while significantly improving its effectiveness. We extensively evaluate HEAP in the context of a video streaming application on a testbed of 270 PlanetLab nodes. Our results show that HEAP significantly improves the quality of the streaming over standard homogeneous gossip protocols, especially when the stream rate is close to the average available bandwidth.
Record created on 2009-08-27, modified on 2016-08-08