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Thursday, June 23, 2005
Kevin Schofield writing on Avalanche highlights that one of the potential problems with P2P distribution systems is the "last byte" problem. If your scheme is to break up the original file into smaller pieces and distribute them around, that means that recipients need to do the reverse: identify at least one copy of each of the N pieces, potentially spread across N machines, download them all, and stictch them back together. If N-1 of those machines are fast and responsive, but one is under heavy load or has a bad network connection, then you're not done until that one slow machine finishes sending its piece of the file. Further, if one of the pieces suffers from data corruption, then the end result will be corrupted. The researchers on the Avalanche project are working on ways to avoid the "last byte" problem, and to provide some error-checking ability. Somewhat independently, but equally important, they are looking at how to support the notion of "authorized" content, which could be an official, verifiable patch to a piece of software, or a way to protect the intellectual property rights of content creators. Last week the researchers described these broad parameters of their research, and drilled down more on the network protocol work. They also released a research paper that went into more detail on their algorithm and in order to evaluate the efficiency of their algorithm,provided benchmark comparisons they had done to the most established P2P distribution system out there today: BitTorrent.
|Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld