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BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby SlyckTom » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:17 am

Bloggers from Structure 08, a technology industry trade show hosted in San Francisco, reported on another intriguing assessment of P2P technology’ impact on the internet. Lawrence Roberts, one of the founders of the modern internet, chided P2P technology for the bandwidth it consumes. Interestingly, Roberts also heads the bandwidth management firm Anagran, which, like its competitors such as Sandvine, attempts to give network managers the tools they need to equally distribute bandwidth.

Unlike Sandvine, however, Roberts gave a much more stark assessment of P2P's overall bandwidth utilization. According to WareWare and Gigaom, Anagran calculated that P2P technology consumed a stunning 80% of all bandwidth. That calculation is almost double of Sandvine's most recent study, which found that 44% of all traffic was consumed by P2P.

So...in only one week's time we have two very different studies on file-sharing's impact. Is it as manageable as 44%, or as outrageous as 80%? It seems just about everyone has their own numbers, their own justifications, and their own methods for collecting file-sharing numbers. Slyck once collected such information years back, however the decentralization and scattering of file-sharing networks made this practice virtually untenable.

Roberts wasn’t addressing the copyright implications of file-sharing networks, as Webware reported that, "Illegal or legal is not the issue at all." Instead, Roberts found it more of a “fairness” issue. According to Roberts, only 5% of the internet population is consuming a massive 80% of its resources. That leaves only 20% for the remaining 95% of the population.

If you believe that P2P technology is sucking up 80% of the internet’s bandwidth, you may also believe that company’s like Anagran will conquer the file-sharing bandwidth dilemma. Those covering Structure 08 reported on Roberts’ optimism, as he felt that within a few years the problem may be contained. But we’ve all heard that before.



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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby Paladwyn » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:24 am

Did you know that 100% of the internet bandwidth is being used by internet applications?

Come back next week when we will drop that number to 10% for no reason.
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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby Golgo1 » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:40 am

OK, for the sake of argument, lets say it IS 80% of bandwidth is P2P.
If P2P efficiency allows that 80% to move 95 or even 105% worth of data (compared to 'normal' transfer) through the pipes, then what would there be to complain about? It's hard enough to nail down P2P numbers, so has anyone even tried to determine how much actual, useable data is moved?

If you go on the assumption that people were going to download/upload that much data anyway, wouldnt it be better that more P2P was used? ( I realize there can be arguments against the assumption, but if comparing any sort of numbers, it only makes things fair)
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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby MrFredPFL » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:46 am

If P2P efficiency allows that 80% to move 95 or even 105% worth of data (compared to 'normal' transfer)


that sounds like a description of compression, not of p2p. a p2p download of, for example, an mp3, is not going to be 15% - 25% smaller than an HTTP or FTP transfer of the same file...

the only place i see this comparison as being valid is if you are comparing p2p to usenet, since usenet uses odd encoding schemes which add overhead.
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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby luxor500 » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:58 am

In a similar, though unpublished and highly sensitive study, the govt. found that 80% of highway traffic is composed of cars carrying 3 or fewer occupants. Though it is clear that buses can carry far more occupants than cars, and trucks carry far more material, together buses and trucks only make up 20% of traffic.
Well, kiddies you can knock me over with a feather. Something has to be done about those #!&?@!! cars that are using up all the asphalt! :lol:
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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby sonnentier » Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:03 am

I want true Internet without boundaries.

I thought an internet founder would understand that.
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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby CompMacBookDude » Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:44 am

So Al Gore doesnt like P2P/BitTorrent?
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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby Fartingbob » Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:48 am

Interestingly, Roberts also heads the bandwidth management firm Anagran, which, like its competitors such as Sandvine, attempts to give network managers the tools they need to equally distribute bandwidth.

Stopped giving a shit about what he thinks about P2P at this point in the opening paragraph.

CompMacBookDude wrote:So Al Gore doesnt like P2P/BitTorrent?

Not when its used to download his movie for free rather than drive all the way to the cinema in your SUV!
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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby Golgo1 » Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:27 pm

Whoops, the surly bastard is right. Not enough coffee this morning. Apparently my pot flavored orange juice isnt enough to get the grey matter working.

I was thinking of traffic at a certain point on the network, ie right outside the original seeders house.
With P2P (namely BT) you can distribute thousandes of copies of a file, with only a few uploads.

This is, of course, completely different than bandwidth consumption for a given amount of data.
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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby thezonie » Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:07 pm

P2P at it's core is merely a way to offset the upload bandwidth load from a central server to the downloading clients. If you look at, say, using BT to distribute linux distros, if the server could take the pounding, there wouldn't be a need for BT.

P2P is simply much better a meeting the demand for content than the client/server model. As long as the incease in available bandwidth over time outpaces the increase in demand for content, then who cares, really? :roll:
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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby MythicalMe » Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:18 pm

Before I begin, I'm an ardent Bittorrent user. My uTorrent client is going almost all the time. I've recently had to switch from a dedicated ADSL connection to a shared satellite system. In the evenings my bandwidth availability goes all to hell, but aside from complaining to the ISP, there is not much else I can do. So I'm fairly aware that there are a few problems that ISPs can't solve.

That said, George OU recently looked at Bittorrent (http://www.formortals.com/Home/tabid/36/EntryID/57/Default.aspx) in which he asked if perhaps bittorrent as a protocol is not well behaved. He has me convinced. One thing that I have noticed since using BT is that it doesn't like to share bandwidth well. It literally pounds the connection robbing every bit of space it can get.

I'm not against net-neutrality, but then again I understand the plight of ISPs who want to ensure that all of their customers have an equal chance at the available bandwidth. Net-neutrality to me is about fairness. We should be ensuring that all users have equal access. If there is a rogue application that is using up all available bandwidth without letting another user to gain the same access, that isn't fair. Perhaps it is time to look at the Bittorrent protocol. We know the protocol is successful, but maybe there is, as Ou points out, a way of making the protocol a better citizen.
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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby thezonie » Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:38 pm

The BT protocol isn't to blame, it's the fact that there are multiple, simultaneous TCP/IP connections going at the same time. If you fired up your web browser and tried to download 20 things at once I'm sure you'd get the same result.

VoIP and online gaming are most likely going to be UDP, whose packets by definition are not even guaranteed to arrive, whereas TCP's are. If you have BT downloading at a certain rate limit and then downloading something with your web browser (which is also TCP) you shouldn't see any issue.
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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby TorrentMama » Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:01 pm

after a big glass of glogo's suspiciously pungent orange kool-aid, all I have to say is

whatever dude. I don't personally know the guy who invented paper but if I did I would still wipe my ass with it. So my pr0n 1337 h4x3r movie will wipe it's ass all over your net and you don't have to like it. betya didn't know you founded asswipers anonymous. great legacy.
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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby Ashibael » Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:53 pm

thezonie wrote:The BT protocol isn't to blame, it's the fact that there are multiple, simultaneous TCP/IP connections going at the same time. If you fired up your web browser and tried to download 20 things at once I'm sure you'd get the same result.


I'm not too sure about that. I have done that before, and have had no problem downloading things when not using Bittorrent using a web browser, even multiple (10+) ones. But as soon as I start up Bittorrent, my connection does slow down to a crawl. Though, really, the only solution for this problem is to increase the number of TCP/IP connections before your connection is 'flooded' by them and nothing can get through.
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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby Downloader » Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:46 pm

Bittorrent, HTTP, FTP, Streaming TV/Movie/Pr0n, You tube, source forge, imageshack. Its all the same, its bandwidth the end user has paid for. Take away bittorrent/P2P and the bandwidth will get used elsewhere. Avg joe user is getting more and more bandwidth hungry all the time. Live sport broadcast for example, will chew as much bandwidth as any bittorrent download.

ISP's buy more infrastructure! Do it now, you are making enough money from online activities.

Also who is complaining? I am pretty sure its not people browsing HTTP, checking email. These things use tiny amounts of bandwidth.
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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby piXelatedEmpire » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:41 pm

CompMacBookDude wrote:So Al Gore doesnt like P2P/BitTorrent?

I was waiting for it, but I still had a chuckle.

TorrentMama wrote:after a big glass of glogo's suspiciously pungent orange kool-aid, all I have to say is

whatever dude. I don't personally know the guy who invented paper but if I did I would still wipe my ass with it. So my pr0n 1337 h4x3r movie will wipe it's ass all over your net and you don't have to like it. betya didn't know you founded asswipers anonymous. great legacy.

TM, where do you come up with this stuff?! :lol:
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This guy is NOT an "Internet Founder"

Postby jaquer0 » Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:11 pm

This guy is NOT a "founder" of the Internet.

He was one of the people who helped develop packet-switching technology for DARPA, i.e., the Pentagon, in the 1960s. The purpose of of that project was to develop a nuclear attack resistant communications technology so that the generals could given the order to blow up whatever was left of the human race after the first exchange of bombs in a nuclear war.

Yes, the Internet uses protocols developed from DARPA's work -- but it is a completely different SOCIAL phenomenon, inspired not by the search for a more reliable way to guarantee top down communications to --in the last analysis-- wipe out civlization, but rather by the egalitarian, horizontal and humanitarian ethos of the youth counterculture of the 60's. That's why nobody "owns" the Internet. The underlying tech base may have come from these guys working for the Pentagon, but what makes the Internet what it is was that this tech was taken over by hippies and hackers to create a communications infrastructure where in principle all nodes would be free and equal.

Since his days at DARPA, this person has devoted himself to creating or heading one company after another to profit by restricting and privatizing the free communications structure ("free" as in freedom) that others, with a very different social vision, built upon the pioneering technological work done at DARPA.

His attack on p2p sharing --for that is what it really was-- is transparently an attempt to abuse his self-promoted status as "founder of the Internet" to pimp for technologies designed to undercut the core engineering AND social principles that have made the Internet what it is, and most of all the "end to end" engineering principle that the "pipe" doesn't care, and must not be allowed to "care," what is in these communications. The best guarantee of a free (as in freedom) network is to have ALL communications simply be ones and zeroes grouped in packets with an address as far as all devices that handle traffic within the network are concered. The core principle of the Internet is that this is ALL the network knows or needs to know.

What to make of the ones and zeroes, what significance attaches to them, takes place OUTSIDE the network, at the sending or receiving computers. There it might be music or a letter to your mom. But once it goes into the interface device ("modem") and onto the network, it's all just ones and zeroes.

This "dumb pipe" model has proved to be the most powerful of engineering concepts because abolutely no changes need be made to network architecture to enable any particular application. Email, webpages, VOIP, Netflix movies, p2p file sharing, are all the same thing inside the network -- a bunch of ones and zeroes with an address. You can come up with revolutionary and completely new applications that hadn't been thought of before --as Shawn Fanning did a few years ago with Napster-- because the network doesn't care, it's all just ones and zeroes.

As for congestion and so on, both experience and scientific studies (by the Internet2 consortium) have shown that the cleanest, cheapest and most efficient solution is simply to add more bandwidth. It is no accident that outfits like the cable and telephone monopolies are all trying to evade and avoid this, because they also operate function-specific, dedicated networks which can easily be displaced/replaced by the Internet, GIVEN SUFFICIENT BANDWIDTH (or more precisely, replaced/displaced by services functioning over Internet connections with enough bandwidth). Imagine if instead of three or four "tiers" from two providers (cable and satellite), you could subscribe to any one or more of a hundred different packages of video channels offered by 10, 20 or 30 video channel bundle providers? Or even just to the 11 specific channels you want to have?

The Internet is MORE than an aswesome technological hack, it is ALSO an awesome social hack and the two sides of that are inextricably intertwined in the underlying engineering principles of the web, the end to end principle, from an engineering point of view, or network neutrality, viewed more from the social or regulatory side. Someone may have contributed on switched packet technology, but that doesn't by a long shot make them a "founder" of the Internet.

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Re: BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

Postby Wham » Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:18 pm

I know one thing. The way I see it if it weren't for file sharing and Porn, the internet would be as worthless as tits on a bull. Just my opinion.
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