Video staging: A proxy-server-based approach to end-to-end video delivery over wide-area networks

Zhi Li Zhang, Yuewei Wang, David H.C. Du, Dongli Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Scopus citations


Real-time distribution of stored video over wide-area networks (WANs) is a crucial component of many emerging distributed multimedia applications. The heterogeneity in the underlying network environments is an important factor that must be taken into consideration when designing an end-to-end video delivery system. In this paper, we present a novel approach to the problem of end-to-end video delivery over WANs using proxy servers situated between local-area networks (LANs) and a backbone WAN. A major objective of our approach is to reduce the backbone WAN bandwidth requirement. Toward this end, we develop an effective video delivery technique called video staging via intelligent utilization of the disk bandwidth and storage space available at proxy servers. Using this video staging technique, only part of a video stream is retrieved directly from the central video server across the backbone WAN whereas the rest of the video stream is delivered to users locally from proxy servers attached to the LANs. In this manner, the WAN bandwidth requirement can be significantly reduced, particularly when a large number of users from the same LAN access the video data. We design several video staging methods and evaluate their effectiveness in trading the disk bandwidth of a proxy server for the backbone WAN bandwidth. We also develop two heuristic algorithms to solve the problem of designing a multiple video staging scheme for a proxy server with a given video access profile of a LAN. Our results demonstrate that the proposed proxy-server-based approach provides an effective and scalable solution to the problem of the end-to-end video delivery over WANs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-442
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received August 21, 1998; revised December 19, 1998 and July, 1999; approved by IEEE/ACM TRANSACTIONS ON NETWORKING Editor S. McCanne. This work was supported in part by University of Minnesota Graduate School Grant-in-Aid, National Science Foundation CAREER Award Grant NCR-9734428, and National Science Foundation Grant ANI-9903228. This paper was presented in part at the IEEE INFOCOM’98 conference.


  • End-to-end video delivery
  • Heterogeneous networking environment
  • MPEG
  • Proxy server
  • Video smoothing
  • Video staging
  • Video streaming


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