Feeds

P2P swamps broadband networks

Cap doesn't fit...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Peer-to-peer file sharing applications are taxing the finances of broadband operators, who are struggling to manage the off-network traffic.

That's the main conclusion of a study, titled The effects of P2P on service provider networks, by network management firm Sandvine, which warns P2P activity "threatens to swamp" broadband operators in off-network traffic - a serious problem for operators because it drives up their network access fees.

P2P activity accounts for up to 60 per cent of the total traffic on any service provider network, Sandvine found during its study. Users downloading and uploading files accounts for only a portion of this data traffic. It's the overhead generated by these applications - advertising, searching functions, and other transactions largely transparent to most users - that are the real bandwidth hogs.

Service providers are well-aware that a portion of their subscriber base is eating up (arguably from their perspective) more than its fair share of bandwidth and driving up costs by using P2P clients.

In this context, concerns expressed by some ISPs about acting as a vector for copyright infringement are, largely, a red herring. Cost is the overriding reason why ISPs impose bandwidth caps and otherwise discourage P2P use.

In order to determine the scope and magnitude of P2P bandwidth-hogging, Sandvine developed a set of tools to measure the traffic by protocol type, map patterns of connectivity and determine the impact on service provider profitability.

Marc Morin, chief technology officer of Sandvine, said P2P traffic was identified as something distinct (compared to Web browsing and email) and out-of-the-ordinary by service providers because it created "a kind, and volume, of traffic that they hadn't really provisioned for".

"Peer-to-peer technology ignores the logical topology of service provider networks. P2P clients like KaZaA and the many Gnutellas communicate with other clients in a completely random fashion."

"Generally speaking if you boot up KaZaA this evening on your home PC, you're more likely to connect with users in another country or another continent, than you are to connect with a KaZaA user on your own service provider's network."

That's expensive. So service providers need tools to address the cost and efficiency challenges posed by peer-to-peer activity...such as Sandvine provides.

"File sharing is tremendously popular with broadband subscribers, but unless it's directed along a least-cost network path, P2P traffic will continue to challenge the business model for basic Internet access," Morin explains.

Sandvine's white paper echoes the findings of a recently published University Of Chicago study, Mapping The Gnutella Network (pdf), which details the critical performance implications of the popular Gnutella P2P protocol on service provider networks. ®

Link

The effects of P2P on service provider networks, by Sandvine (registration required)

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.