North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Reducing Usenet Bandwidth

  • From: Scott Gifford
  • Date: Sun Feb 03 00:38:55 2002

"Stephen J. Wilcox" <[email protected]> writes:


> The question is, and apologies if I am behind the times, I'm not an expert
> on news... how is it possible to reduce bandwidth used occupied by news:

We had pretty good luck (modulo some crashing software) with caching
news servers, instead of traditional news feeds.  We had a master
cache in the center of our network, and satellite caches on the edge
which connected back to the master.

We found that the vast majority of groups never got read, and the ones
that did were read consistently, so it was possible to prefetch those
groups during off-hours.

We convinced a commercial newsfeed to charge us by bandwidth instead
of simultaneous readers, had pretty good service (more points of
failure, so more downtime, but still pretty good...), and saved a lot
of bandwidth, disk space, engineer time, and money.

If we had time to get the bugs worked out (the software crashed
multiple times per day, then our ISP was purchased), it would have
been a perfect system.