Exploring Cross-Application Cellular Traffic Optimization with Baidu TrafficGuard

Zhenhua Li
Weiwei Wang
Tianyin Xu
Xin Zhong
Xiang-yang Li
Yunhao Liu
Christo Wilson
Ben Y. Zhao

Proceedings of 13th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 2016)

[Full Text in PDF Format, 1.4MB]

Paper Abstract

As mobile cellular devices and traffic continue their rapid growth, providers are taking larger steps to optimize traffic, with the hopes of improving user experiences while reducing congestion and bandwidth costs. This paper presents the design, deployment, and experiences with Baidu TrafficGuard, a cloud-based mobile proxy that reduces cellular traffic using a network-layer VPN. The VPN connects a client-side proxy to a centralized traffic processing cloud. TrafficGuard works transparently across heterogeneous applications, and effectively reduces cellular traffic by 36% and overage instances by 10.7 times for roughly 10 million Android users in China. We discuss a large-scale cellular traffic analysis effort, how the resulting insights guided the design of TrafficGuard, and our experiences with a variety of traffic optimization techniques over one year of deployment.