“ P4P: A set of business practices and integrated network topology awareness models designed to optimize ISP network resources and enable P2P based content payload acceleration. ” -- DCIA P4PWG
Verizon touts smart P2P software
March 17, 2008
A real-world Internet test reveals that "intelligent" routing of peer-to-peer traffic can drastically reduce network utilization and speed up downloads for subscribers, according to a new study.
Verizon Communications, which participated in the study headed by researchers at Yale University, plans to release the data on Friday at the Distributed Computing Industry Association's P2P Market Conference in New York City.
Using network topology data from Verizon and Telefonica, Yale University tested a software enhancement to the peer-to-peer protocol that it developed with software developer Pando Networks.
What the researchers discovered was that when using
the so-called P4P software they were able to reduce the
impact of peer-to-peer traffic on Verizon's network by
more than 50 percent. This is significant because
peer-to-peer traffic makes up roughly half of all
traffic traveling over Verizon's network.
Traditionally, the P2P protocol has requested bits and pieces of content randomly, without considering the physical location of the data. This often results in some pieces of the content traveling over long distances across the network. For example, a user in New Jersey downloading a movie might get some bits of the file from New York and others from China or California.
The P4P software enhancements add intelligence to
this process so that the bits are served from local
Douglas Pasko is Verizon senior technologist and co-chair of the P4P Working Group, which was formed by Verizon, Pando Networks, and the university to develop P4P. He said that when the P4P software was used on the Verizon network it found that 58 percent of its peer-to-peer network traffic stayed local. Using regular P2P technology, only 6 percent of the traffic stayed local.
Pasko said that keeping the traffic local is
important because every link that a bit passes through
costs the operator something. This means that if a Fios
subscriber in New Jersey can get bits of content from
Verizon customers in New York City instead of getting
them from Singapore or Taiwan, Verizon can save money.
The key is reducing the number of routers or hops the traffic has to go through to get to its destination. On average, Pasko said that regular P2P traffic makes 5.5 hops to get its destination. Using the P4P protocol, those same files took an average of 0.89 hops.
Reducing hops means that Verizon can cut its network
costs. Exactly how much the company saves depends on
the individual links, but Pasko said the savings are
Verizon broadband subscribers also saw a benefit
when the P4P protocol was used. Customers using
Verizon's all-fiber network called Fios saw movies
downloading on average twice as fast as when they used
the traditional P2P software. Some customers saw as
much as a 6x improvement in download speeds, Pasko
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