Peer-to-peer (P2P) content distribution is a highly distributed computing model that leverages unused available compute and storage capacity on the endpoint devices to store and share content without the need to have local server infrastructure and minimizes the amount of traffic that must traverse the wide-area network (WAN) in getting content and updates to your end users. (Read What is peer-to-peer content distribution?)
Content may include any third-party applications such as Office 365 or Adobe, internally developed line of business applications, or operating systems that run on the enterprise endpoints. Endpoints can be anything that runs an operating system and the associated software, including desktop computers, PCs, kiosks, ATMs, point-of-sale terminals, etc..
A modern P2P content distribution system can intelligently distribute and pre-stage content such that a single download to a location will serve all the devices in that subnet. It can also manage the storage of multiple copies of content locally as well as make intelligent decisions and actions with regards to managing the content cache such that it does not impact end-user experience thorough disk consumption or CPU usage.
An essential capability of a peer-to-peer solution in the enterprise is that the system must be network aware of enterprise traffic capacity so as to recognize complete network traffic across your network in advance of congestion, ensuring that distributing the content never unknowingly conflicts with other enterprise traffic.
It also must sufficiently maintain a connection in the most adverse conditions to be able to complete the download regardless of quality of network or duration.
Typically, this content distribution is happening in real-time and simultaneously across hundreds or thousands of locations. This precipitates the need for complete visibility and control. This will give the operator the ability to view content as it’s being distributed by location or content type and, if the need arises, to pause, resume, or reprioritize the distribution flows.