Monday, February 23, 2009

Peer-to-peer (P2P) Architectures

Peer-to-peer (P2P) Architectures, draft-iab-p2p-archs-00.txt

Abstract (copy/paste from the draft):
In this document we provide a survey of P2P (Peer-to-Peer) systems. The survey includes a definition and a taxonomy of P2P systems. This survey also includes a description of which types of applications can be built with P2P technologies and examples of P2P applications that are currently in use on the Internet. Finally, we discuss architectural tradeoffs and provide guidelines for deciding whether or not a P2P architecture would be suitable to meet the requirements of a given application.
Very interesting survey with a lot of useful pointers, among them I'd like to mention Peltotalo, J., Harju, J., Jantunen, A., Saukko, M., and L. Vaeaetaemoeinen, "Peer-to-Peer Streaming Technology Survey", Seventh International Conference on Networking, Cancun, Mexico, pp. 342-350 , April 2008. At the end one can find a summary of existing peer-to-peer streaming technologies.

The P2P architectures' draft also provides a definition of a P2P system. However, this definition encompasses mainly that
"peers share their processing and storage capacity (i.e., their hardware and software resources) so that the system can provide a service"
In my view this is too weak and I'd like to provide a quote which I've reported some time ago that defines a P2P system as follows:
"(1) peers act as client and server, (2) they provide computational/storage resources to other peers, and (3) they're self-organizing and scaling."
The third property is the most important one as (1) and (2) is also true for several proxies out there...

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