P2P means Peer to Peer
Most People have heard or read this acronym but it seems very few people really grasp what it really mean’s, and the crucial role it’s playing in reshaping and disrupting the digital and wired information society we are living in.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing or networking is a distributed application architecture that partitions tasks or work loads between peers. Peers are equally privileged, equipotent participants in the application. They are said to form a peer-to-peer network of nodes.
P2P Network architecture is playing a KEY role in the digital economy, it is the game changer or Paradigm shift behind major applications. It has a bright future in the near Zero marginal cost Economy. Therefore, understanding it’s TRUE nature and history is Very Important.
A technical network architecture that is changing the world at an amazing pace
Napster was the first P2P network for file sharing. It allowed internet user to share and download files freely over the internet, which totally disrupted the music Copyright industry.
It’s had a huge exponential growth, but it’s great idea was combined with an inborn defect, a Central registry, which made it vulnerable and was therefore shut down…
Centralized versus decentralized network architecture
Napster idea of file sharing was genius and innovative, but it was vulnerable because of it’s centralized registry of files information.
Remark: One has to remember that the Internet itself was first conceived during the cold war as a communication network able to resist attacks and therefore have no vulnerable /crucial point. This is where a decentralized network architecture provide the solution.
14th March 2000, release of GNUTELLA first ever open source decentralized file Sharing software
Gnutella protocol was designed to meet the following goals:
- Ability to operate in a dynamic environment. P2P applications operate in dynamic environments, where hosts may join or leave the network frequently. They must achieve flexibility in order to keep operating transparently despite a constantly changing set of resources.
- Performance and Scalability. P2P paradigm shows its full potential only on large-scale deployments where the limits of the traditional client/server paradigm become obvious. Moreover, scalability is important as P2P applications exhibit what economists call the “network effect” the value of a network to an individual user increases with the total number of users participating in the network. Ideally, when increasing the number of nodes, aggregate storage space and file availability should grow linearly, response time should remain constant, while search throughput should remain high or grow.
- Reliability. External attacks should not cause significant data or performance loss.
- Anonymity. Anonymity is valued as a means to protect privacy of people seeking or providing information that may not be popular
Gnutella, Kazaa, Morpeus, Bit Tottents are examples of decentralized P2P file sharing networks.
Their built-in decentralized structure, enable the optimized sharing of information a game changer. It allowed the emergence of various disruptive applications.
The P2P architecture expansion
P2P file sharing has completely disrupted the Music Industry
Skype is the first P2P VOIP software : Massive Disruption of the telcon Industry
First Release: August 29, 2003
In September 2005, Ebay acquired Skype for $2.6 billion
On 10 May 2011, Microsoft Corporation acquired Skype US$8.5 billion
BitCoin Open Source P2P Money
Bitcoin is also Based on P2P architecture.
Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment system.
P2P = Disintermediation =Sharing economy =Power to the People
The P2P architecture + Digital Connected world = Major Disruptions Every where
Links & references:
P2P on wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer-to-peer
Napster : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster
History of Gnutella: http://ntrg.cs.tcd.ie/undergrad/4ba2.02-03/p5.html#HistoryOfGnutella
P2P Fundation: http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/
Slide share introduction to P2P :
Microsoft buy skype: http://www.wired.com/2011/05/microsoft-buys-skype-2/