[erlang-questions] Rough thought on a P2P package distribution model for Erlang

Jesper Louis Andersen jesper.louis.andersen@REDACTED
Wed Sep 21 14:25:48 CEST 2011

On Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 01:43, jm <jeffm@REDACTED> wrote:

> As you point out these systems "have been around for a very long time" so
> why aren't we making better use of these technologies for things like this?

Mainly because there is no need to do it.

Data distribution systems like BitTorrent has the specific distinct
advantage that it can transfer data at high bandwidths, even if the
initial source is highly bandwidth constrained in its upstream.
Upstream bandwidth scales with demand in a BT network. Hence, the
applicability of BitTorrent (and like) protocols hinges on a need to
thwart an upstream bandwidth constraint. Example: You are Facebook and
need a 1 gigabyte image distributed quickly to 50.000 nodes from a
single deploy machine.

But as soon as there is demand for a package distribution, and the
demand is high enough, mirrors form and mirrors have ample amounts of
upstream bandwidth available. Far more than what is needed. Thus, the
additional complexity of adding BitTorrent into the mix isn't needed.

Add that HTTP transport is well-known and simple. You can say it is a
locally extreme value which is currently good enough. The proof is
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) which does not use BitTorrent to
distribute content.


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