Towards network-level efficiency for cloud storage services

Zhenhua Li, Cheng Jin, Tianyin Xu, Christo Wilson, Yao Liu, Linsong Cheng, Yunhao Liu, Yafei Dai, Zhi Li Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive provide users with a convenient and reliable way to store and share data from anywhere, on any device, and at any time. The cornerstone of these services is the data synchronization (sync) operation which automatically maps the changes in users' local filesystems to the cloud via a series of network communications in a timely manner. If not designed properly, however, the tremendous amount of data sync traffic can potentially cause (financial) pains to both service providers and users. This paper addresses a simple yet critical question: Is the current data sync traffic of cloud storage services efficiently used? We first define a novel metric named TUE to quantify the Traffic Usage Efficiency of data synchronization. Based on both real-world traces and comprehensive experiments, we study and characterize the TUE of six widely used cloud storage services. Our results demonstrate that a considerable portion of the data sync traffic is in a sense wasteful, and can be effectively avoided or significantly reduced via carefully designed data sync mechanisms. All in all, our study of TUE of cloud storage services not only provides guidance for service providers to develop more efficient, trafficeconomic services, but also helps users pick appropriate services that best fit their needs and budgets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIMC 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 ACM
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450332132
StatePublished - Nov 5 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event2014 ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2014 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Nov 5 2014Nov 7 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC


Other2014 ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2014


  • Cloud storage service
  • Data synchronization
  • Network-level efficiency
  • Traffic usage efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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