What is peer-to-peer content distribution?

Q:

What is peer-to-peer content distribution?

A:

Peer-to-peer (P2P) content distribution is a highly distributed computing model that leverages unused available compute and storage capacity on endpoint devices to store and share content without needing 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 How is IT infrastructure different from network infrastructure?)

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 so 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. (Read What is the difference between business applications and enterprise applications?)

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. (Read AI in Business: The Transfer of Expertise from Internet Companies to the Enterprise.)

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.

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Written by Doug Kennedy
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Doug Kennedy, chief growth officer at Adaptiva, draws on his three decades of enterprise technology experience to lead Adaptiva’s business development, strategic relationships, and channel programs.

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