“The author has given a well-written and comprehensive overview of several representative peer-to-peer technologies. It is diligently researched and gives a lot of insights into a little-understood subject.”—Erik Möller, Scientific Review Service and infoArchy.org
“Interesting topic, well organized, engagingly written, excellent illustrations; a good read. I think it does a particularly good job of balancing technical, functional, business, and legal information, and presenting it in a way that is useful for both executive and technical people (which is no mean feat).”—Mitchel Ahern, Director, Business Development, AdTools Inc./SonyMusic
“It is technical enough that the reader can actually implement or model the methods used in the text. However, it is not presented at such a high level that nontechnical users would get lost in the math.”—Austin David, Senior Systems Architect, Wink Communications, Inc.
“Peer to Peer offers a contemporary and intelligent insight into the popular technologies that are the building blocks of p2p. It cuts through the media controversy and is a useful resource for exploring these technologies. This book was a pleasant change of pace from my day-to-day technical reading.”—John Wegis, Engineering Manager, Kana Software, Inc.
"Bo Leuf's book does a particularly good job of balancing technical, functional, business, and legal information, then presenting it in a way that is useful for both the executive and technical reader—no mean feat." —From the foreword by Mitchel Ahern, Director Business Development, AdTools Inc., a Sony Music Company
Moving beyond its grassroot and controversial beginnings, peer to peer (p2p) is now entering the mainstream of Internet communications and business as managers and technology professionals look to tap into the vitality of this widespread communication model. But without a common protocol, tool suite, or single networking structure to facilitate development, harnessing peer-to-peer technology is not a simple task. Peer to Peer: Collaboration and Sharing over the Internet provides the first comprehensive resource to help business and communications professionals get started.
This complete handbook presents everything industry professionals and interested users need to know. Readers will find a clear overview of peer-to-peer concepts, architectural models, and network applications; a practical guide to installation and deployment; information on specific protocols and tools; and discussions on legal and security issues.
Specific topics include:
The book also includes several case studies that feature enterprise p2p solutions, trust and security issues in peer-to-peer journalism, and integrating peer solutions into the new Web.
Practical, insightful, and thoroughly entertaining, Peer to Peer: Collaboration and Sharing over the Internet brings to light the current and future capabilities of p2p technology and its likely role in the next generation of the Internet.
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Sample Chapter 2
(NOTE: Each chapter begins with At a Glance.)
Why This Book?
P2P: The Journey.
Who Should Read This Book.
Contributors and Colleagues.
Errata and Omissions.
Contacting the Author or Publisher.
I. PEER TO PEER OVERVIEW.1. Introduction to Peer to Peer.
The Killer P2P Application.
The Bandwidth Factor.
The Distribution Factor.
A Common Denominator.
Power to the People.
Original Chat and IM.2. Peer Architectures.
From Model to Reality.
Other Application Groups.3. Internet-Based Peer Network Application.
Searching the Network.
Storage and Retrieval.
Improving Retrieval Performance.4. Security, Vulnerability, and the Legal Issues of P2P.
The Dimensions of Security.
Firewalls and Tunnels.
Redundancy and Persistence.
Intellectual Property Rights.
II. PEER TO PEER SOLUTIONS.5. Deploying P2P Solutions.
Why Deploy P2P?
Selecting and Deploying the Technology.
Dynamic or Static.
Determining Purpose and Scope.
Select an Implementation.
Connectivity and Scale.
Addressability and Scale.
Scalability in the Atomistic Model.
Scalability in the User-Centric Model.
Scalability in the Data-Centric Model.
An Adaptive Large-Scale Solution.6. Instant Messaging.
Some IM Concepts.
ICQ and AIM.
ICQ—IM for the Masses.
Windows Messenger.7. Sharing Content.
Alternatives Gain Users.
Connecting to Others.
Trust and Reputation Issues.
Madster.8. Distributed Content.
Mojo Money and QoS.
Cooperative Content Storage.
Joining the Network.
Server and Broker.
Mojo Nation Protocol.
How It Works.
Minimal Knowledge Solution.9. Persistent and Anonymous Solutions.
Concept of Freedom.
How It Works.
Trust and Content Veracity.
Scalability and Stability.
Related Work.10. Collaborative P2P Spaces
Peers and Groups.
III. VOICES AND VISIONS.11. Peering Insights.
Social Criteria of P2P.
The Content Control Wars.
The Legal Challenge.
Free and Legal.
Visions of Sugarplum.12. P2P Case Studies.
Enterprise Goes Peer.
Intel and P2PWG.
Finance and Trading.
The Case of the Missing Material.
Usage Patterns and Problems.
Practical Trust Systems.
Integration with the New Web.13. In a Screen Darkly.
Networking the Future.
The Future of P2P.
The P2P Vision.
Trust and Recommendation Peers.Appendix A: Technical Terms and References.
The idea of writing this book, Peer to Peer: Power Tools for a Personal Internet, seemed in several ways a natural and complementary progression from the previous one, The Wiki Way (Addison-Wesley, March 2001). Subtitled Quick Collaboration on the Web, that book explored the client-server peer-collaborative world of WikiWiki. Even in that server-centric situation, there were then hints of a wider peer perspective even for the applications. The thought had there arisen of interlinking different wiki servers in a peer-to-peer kind of network to transparently exchange content and extend search capabilities across sites.
The main thrust of this book, however, is to explore what is, at its extreme, the complete opposite of server-centric communication. This is in other words when individual user applications connect "end-to-end" with each other across the network for various purposes. One significant and popularized reason for doing this is to share content (file swapping), but this book makes the point that the full potential lies in the broader purpose of communicating and collaborating between endpoint applications, as well as between the users who sit by their respective computers or carry the appropriate network-aware devices in general.
In Peer to Peer, you are invited to a guided journey into a hitherto arcane field, so far mostly known from the hype and controversy surrounding what is really only a very limited part of a much broader field of network distributed application.
You'll here get to know better an innovative emerging technology that not only can change, but is in fact already revolutionizing the way we use the Internet. Peer technology is at the heart of the efforts to build the next-generation Internet, what in some contexts is referred to as Internet 3.0.
Because we are dealing with peer technology, this means the practical implementations will for the most part be near to each of us, the users. For this reason, and the fact that the individual selects and deploys the implementations on the local machine, overviews and comparative explanations of the technology are needed in a format that not only the techno-nerds comprehend. And they are needed now, because an informed user base needs to be able in time to influence everything from corporate policy to legislative proposals. It's not just on an idle whim that significant sections of the text deal with both social and legal ramifications of p2p.
Therefore, read Peer to Peer with a mind open to exploring simple yet powerful networking tools that you can have complete control over. Play with the concepts, try the implementations pointed to, tweak the open sources, and see where it all takes you. Above all, contemplate the implications of the technology, both in terms of your own convenience and a broader social change.
This book targets primarily three distinct groups of readers:
As this book later shows, peer to peer is not a new concept; only the forms and medium changes over time. The recent hype and controversy has also obscured much of the technology's potential, and additionally its problems. In fact, a number of the problems confronting the current crop of peer implementations are well-known in older networking contexts, with solutions that can be adapted to the new.
Peer to Peer is a combined exposition, guide and tutorial. The ambition is to provide you with a single volume replete with historical background, state-of-the-art and some of the vision. Melding practical information and hints with indepth analysis, all in an easy-to-read informal and personal style, the result is even entertaining—a damn good read, as the technical reviewers continue to reassure the author.
The mix includes conceptual overviews, philosophical reflection, and contextual material from professionals in the field, in short all things interesting. You might consider this a tall order to fill for a single book. Assuredly, but it worked for the previous book, and was once again fun (if hard work) trying to pull off with this new subject matter.
The book is organized into three parts, each in effect catering to different needs and interests. There is some overlap, but we think you'll find that each part approaches the various manifestations of the peer to peer concept from complementary directions, with a tone and depth appropriate to each. No matter what level of detail and involvement is desired, a reader should always find something worthwhile to focus on.
Part I sets the foundations for the later discussions.
In Part II, the focus turns to practical implementation examples. These core chapters go into considerable depth for each implementation area, providing a mix of well known and lesser-known solutions that serve to illustrate different ways of achieving the similar functionality.
Part III lofts the reader into the higher realms of analysis and speculation.
Finally, a collection of Appendixes supplements the main body of the book by collecting references and resources, and providing additional detail that would otherwise have cluttered up the main text.
This is undeniably a book filled with a plethora of facts and explanations, and it is written more with a flowing narrative in mind than mere itemization as a reference volume. Notwithstanding the narrative ambitions, texts like this need multiple entry points and quick ways to locate particular detail. To help you navigate the content, as a complement to the detailed table of contents, chapter at a glance introductions provide a quick overview of the main topics covered in each. The publisher furthermore assures that it has crafted a decent index.
Scattered throughout the text you will in addition find the occasional highlighted and numbered "Bit" where some special insight or factoid is singled out and presented in a shaded box, lest it otherwise pass unremarked on casual reading. These could have been given any suitable context label, but as a reviewer rightly quibbled, the template's original Tip was less applicable to this book. Calling the element a Bit seemed about the right level of unpretentious emphasis—they're often just my two-bits worth of insightful comment. Bits do serve the additional purpose of visual text milestones and content locators for the reader, however, and are therefore given their own List of Bits at the end. Lacking for greater reader convenience is a full infrastructure of hyperlink referencing, but perhaps a future edition.
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