From Stealth To Spin
Newly announced Skyrider has come out of stealth mode with a interesting spin on the current Internet Data Center (IDC) architectures used by Amazon, Google and Yahoo: the p2p IDC.
A Word About P2P
Peer-To-Peer (p2p) network architectures are decades old. Early on it was in opposition to the IBM/SNA central mainframe hierarchical model. Today the competition is the client-server model, where the server provides the data and the client displays it. It is difficult to scale servers – the commotion about IDC’s is around how they scale so much more effectively than Enterprise Data Centers – and p2p solves the problem by dispensing with centralized (core) network resources in favor of distributed (edge) resources. Storage(content), processing and bandwidth are all spread across the network using low-cost consumer technology rather than centralized high-cost enterprise products or radical IDC models.
So p2p networks are older than BitTorrent and LimeWire, and more respectable. Skyrider apparently plans to build a general-purpose p2p network platform.
The Next Level of Scalability?
In development for the last two years, and planning to announce later this year, Skyrider has a tantalizing vision:
The basic peer-to-peer networks that we are seeing today will rapidly evolve in the coming months and years and merge with the web. When YouTube serves over 100 million videos a day and when tens of millions of MySpace users can not communicate directly with tens of millions of Facebook users, there is simply no other option: p2p and the web architectures will merge.
The combination is zero distribution costs, availability of vast amount of edge-knowledge and the ability to connect to anyone without prior knowledge about a community location (web site), will result in a wave of innovation – we should expect to see applications that combine some or all of these in the near future.
So imagine building a virtual data center, with capacity exceeding those new football field-sized glass houses in Washington and Oregon, in cyberspace. SETI at Home crossed with YouTube, MySpace and Google data centers. That seems to be what Skyrider is promising.
So WTF Do They Do!
Ah, patience, young Padawan. That is for the p2p Jedi to know and you to strive for. Beyond vague hints of “monetizing p2p networks” and “accessing information for business opportunities” and a technology consisting of “very high speed and scalable network protocol stacks with very high speed and scalable distributed architectures” they say little beyond this tidbit:
The Skyrider platform ultimately will enable software services that include search services, business and ecommerce services, and community and consumer services.
Oh, It’s An OEM Play
Meaning they sell stuff to the people who sell us stuff. And they are taking on – or selling to – Google, Amazon, MySpace and Ebay. Which is cool: folks who have the time and money to test it will take the arrows. I wish Skyrider luck.