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Re: [DotGNU]The Great Rewiring

From: Norbert Bollow
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]The Great Rewiring
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 09:58:17 +0100

> A very interesting discussion of p2p and Web Services:

Shirky makes some very good points.  Let me cite in particular
this passage, which IMHO explains very well why I have been
emphasising the need for a Distributed Execution Environment
(DEE, also called WOS).  Webservices will be reliable enough for
serious business use only after the problem with the lack of
reliability of the underlying webservice servers is solved by
introducing redundant servers.

> Well, you could have a denial-of-service attack on Napster by
> attacking the central look-up servers, and
> Gnutella is more resistant to that kind of
> attack. I think the real core of the resistance is not so much
> denial of service, although that's a good example, as just
> another iteration of something we have seen in the history of
> computer engineering over and over and over again -- which is
> when a certain part becomes so unreliable, relative to the
> application it's deployed for, that it's no longer to be
> trusted, the solution is almost invariably to move out to
> repetition of that part over several iterations. When the CPU
> can't be tweaked any more, we go to parallel processing. When a
> disk drive isn't reliable enough for a bank to entrust its data
> on, we go to RAID.  And so what Napster has shown us is you can
> build a redundant array of inexpensive servers and it is much
> harder -- it would be much harder to bring down at the level of
> the individual service. If you wanted to prevent anyone from
> downloading a certain Britney Spears song on the Gnutella
> network, it would be nearly impossible. And I think that that is
> a model that corporations are going to begin to respond to
> because they are in fact the people who own thousands and tens
> of thousands of desktops and for whom redundancy and backup is a
> permanently critical issue. And since they've already spent the
> money on the hardware, they might as well use it for these other
> kinds of things. So I think that it is not so much a question of
> center and edge as it is a question of redundancy of inexpensive
> and unreliable parts is often a superior strategy in general

Greetings, Norbert.

A member of FreeDevelopers and the DotGNU Steering Committee:
Norbert Bollow, Weidlistr.18, CH-8624 Gruet   (near Zurich, Switzerland)
Tel +41 1 972 20 59       Fax +41 1 972 20 69
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