browsing through tim oreilly’s weblog i stumbled upon a bit on bandwidth barriers to gnutella network scalability:

“The scalability of a Gnutella network to accommodate more users performing more searches is limited by the lowest bandwidth links prevalent within the network. Usage of the public Gnutella network has grown to the point that a “Dial-Up Modem Barrier” has been hit, with the result that network usability has degraded considerably.”

o.k. smarty pants, i know that’s not exactly revolutionary, but they go beyond criticism and propose a remedy they call “reflector”:

“From millions of measurements of the public Gnutella network taken by Clip2 DSS over a period of months, we have become intimately familiar with the technical issues facing Gnutella networks. Our reports on these issues have been read by tens of thousands and generated considerable discussion. We are now proud to announce the availability of the Clip2 Reflector, a pivotal application that can simultaneously address some of the problems on which we have reported and expand the possible uses of nutella.

The Reflector is a super peer, the first of an entirely new species of Gnutella application. The Reflector can shield a network against unnecessary traffic from the public Gnutella network, bringing relief to network administrators frustrated by the bandwidth costs of allowing their users to run Gnutella. Using the Reflector as a cornerstone, anyone can set up an efficient filesharing system in minutes, either isolated or connected to the public Gnutella network. Public-access Reflectors connected to the public Gnutella network can simultaneously provide a better user experience for users on slower connections and improve overall network performance. Technically, the Reflector enables a brokered peer-to-peer model for Gnutella while co-existing with Gnutella’s pure peer-to-peer structure. Best of all, it is fully compatible with the majority of the installed base of end-user Gnutella software.”

Leave a Reply