The Web on speed: P2P and epidemic-based protocols

Emerging technologies like Web services, trading exchanges, XML market data, and pervasive computing will not tolerate the current state of information latency on the Web. For example, a domain name currently takes days to propagate through all the DNS servers and caches distributed around the globe.

Emerging technologies like Web services, trading exchanges, XML market data, and pervasive computing will not tolerate the current state of information latency on the Web. For example, a domain name currently takes days to propagate through all the DNS servers and caches distributed around the globe.

According to Meta Group's Nick Gall(client reg. req.), a new generation of P2P (peer-to-peer) protocols is almost ready for prime time that will drastically reduce the time it takes for information to spread over the Internet. He points to Cornell's Project Quicksilver that pulls together a set of technologies based on peer-to-peer and epidemic-based protocols, "which can quickly and reliably spread large amounts of information throughout a globally federated network in seconds and minutes, versus hours and days," according to Gall. As an indicator of increasing commercial interest, he points to Amazon's hiring last year of Cornell's Werner Vogels to design such protocols into its next-generation architecture.

"Leading-edge users should be pursuing this technology for their next-generation business service networks; otherwise, they will face an expensive rip and replace of conventional registry/repository technology in three to five years," Gall asserts.

To get a head start, you should get familiar with Cornell's Ken Birman, who is leading the Quicksilver project,the fourth generation of a similar set oftechnologies. His new book, Reliable Distributed Systems: Technologies, Web Services, and Applications, is due out any day now.