Feeds

Verizon makes nice with P2P

We can help ISPs turn internet into big TV set

Top three mobile application threats

From an ISP’s point of view, P2P traffic can appear to be exceptionally daunting. If they choose to block it, as some have accused almost all of the major US ISPs of doing, then their networks would become ghost networks, with virtually no traffic in sight. But if they embrace it, their networks are fast moving crazy places, where suppliers have to sprint to keep their network surviving.

So what’s it to be? Well Verizon appears, at least to be considering a middle road, one where instead of working against P2P, or just putting up with its traffic costs, it will offer protocols to help co-operate with P2P networks to deliver entertainment, by better understanding the conditions of the network it is traveling over. That really IS open.

The initiative began last July and is through the auspices of a Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA) working group called P4P, which stands for Proactive network Provider Participation for P2P. The two founder members and chairs come from Pando Networks and Verizon Communications. Pando is one of the new breed of P2P companies trying to eek out a living in legal P2P file delivery.

This is really a club for ISPs and P2P suppliers in which they can work out their differences and it is so much more of a positive approach than whining about network traffic and investing purely in “traffic shaping".

Statements from this workgroup claim that software that is already being tested which can improve download speed between 200 per cent and 600 per cent, purely by offering up a set of network APIs, which let a P2P application know which parts of a network are busy, and using this to intelligently decide which P2P nodes should be uploading in support of a file or stream delivery. It’s not rocket science, and if a CompSci grad student had been given the problem he could have come up with the same answer, but it is how to phrase that question which is interesting.

If the question was “How do we get traffic zingin around the internet, for nothing, without the help of the ISP and despite its best efforts to stop us,” then that definitively is the wrong question. If it were simply told “you have a network and multiple copies of large files distributed around that network, how do you build a rapid file delivery mechanism,” then naturally you reach the DCIA answer.

It is the history of ISPs and P2P suppliers being at each other’s throats for so long, that makes it hard to see how this might ever have come about.

In fact what needed to happen was that the livelihood of ISPs needed to be threatened, where the average customer was expecting more and more from the ISP, while the average monthly price for ISP service went down and down, and traffic on their networks went up and up, forcing more and more investment. At that point, P2P traffic is taken as a fact of life, not something that the ISP looks to the US Supreme Court to make illegal.

ISPs cannot block all P2P activity because Verisign’s Kontiki P2P client, which is now used to deliver millions of hours of TV services around the world from respectable broadcasters, Skype, as well as Joost and Babelgum, are not breaking any laws. Even Kazaa and Bit- Torrent may now be carrying more legal than illegal traffic, or if not yet, they should lean that way over time.

If we look beyond this simple set of proposals we see more and more which might be done. By bringing ISPs and P2P suppliers closer, perhaps the handshakes for this type of co-operative routing might also include some form of legitimate traffic audit. So we perhaps reach a point where if P2P traffic from your software passes some kind of “threshold” test of mostly sending legitimate files (something that deep packet inspection might still be needed for) then the APIs to sense the condition of the network are open to your client software, and it is pushed higher up the food chain in terms of the priority attached to the traffic.

If mostly copyrighted material appears to be traveling across the network, then perhaps that API co-operation is refused by the network nodes and the resulting traffic packets will be treated as low priority. That would create an underclass and upperclass of P2P clients, each with a signature which would trigger the various treatments by ISPs.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.