Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

BitTorrent Creator Dismisses M$ P2P Project

Filed under
Microsoft
Software

Yesterday, BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen called Microsoft Research's attempt to create its own version of the person-to-person application "vaporware" and "complete garbage."

In Cohen's blog, he said Microsoft Corp.'s boast that the new P2P protocol, codenamed Avalanche, would fix transfer rate problems and disconnections was unfounded.

Cohen added that since the Microsoft experiments were done via "simulations," the results were flawed-the tests do not take varying transfer rates into consideration, nor the limitations of all the users' computers.

"Particularly worrisome for their proposed scheme is disk access," Bram said in his blog. "If the size of the file being transferred is greater than the size of memory, their entire system could easily get bogged down doing disk seeks and reads, since it needs to do constant recombinations of the entire file to build the pieces to be sent over the wire."

Despite the criticism, Avalanche still seems to be holding its own in the word-of-mouth department. While the Microsoft P2P protocol has a few different elements than BitTorrent, the premise remains the same: If someone needs to transfer a huge file, such as a video or a form of software, to many people, a server usually cannot handle the workload. Instead, the file "swarms" across the Web, and can be downloaded in bits and pieces from many destinations, each containing small pieces of the entire file.

The main problem with this system is that downloading a file can take a long time, because at the end of the process, users usually have to wait to find and download a last bit of information, called the "rarest bit." Sometimes waiting for the rarest bit can take 12 hours or more, depending on the popularity and size of the downloading file in question.

Microsoft, much to Cohen's disapproval, says it's found a way to avoid the waiting game by recoding all of the pieces of a file so that each one shared is a linear combination of the pieces. After a user has downloaded a few of these, the user can generate new combinations from the pieces and send those on to other peers.

At that point, instead of having to wait for more important pieces of the puzzle, any piece can be used to complete the entire picture. And, since the same information will no longer have to travel back and forth, overall network traffic will decrease as well. In fact, Avalanche researchers said this new transfer method made download times 20 to 30 percent faster.

Keeping in mind that this research is just that-research-David Card, an analyst at JupiterResearch of Jupitermedia Corp., said it's hard not to wonder why Microsoft would want to create its own P2P services, especially as Microsoft is actively involved in regaining and maintaining the trust of entertainment companies by taking an active role in digital rights management.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Graphics: Vulkan and Mesa

  • RLSL Allows Running A Subset Of Rust On Vulkan/SPIR-V Enabled GPUs

    There was a recent Khronos meet-up in Munich where Maik Klein of Embark Studios talked about their work on bringing a sub-set of the Rust programming language to Vulkan (SPIR-V) enabled GPUs. RLSL is the project being worked on by the Swedish game studio for opening up Rustlang use for GPUs to benefit from the language's same design advantages, provide a unified front-end, and being able to leverage the existing Rust ecosystem with the likes of Cargo/crates.

  • Raspberry Pi 4's V3D Driver Lands OpenGL ES 3.1 Bits In Mesa 19.3-devel

    The Broadcom "V3D" Gallium3D driver that is most notably used by the new Raspberry Pi 4 boards now is effectively at OpenGL ES 3.1 support within the newest Mesa 19.3 code. We've known that Igalia has been ironing out OpenGL ES 3.1 for V3D after taking over the work from Eric Anholt who left Broadcom earlier this year to go work for Google. Merged this past week was the OpenGL compute shader bits as the main blocker that prevented the V3D open-source Gallium3D driver from exposing GLES 3.1. Following that was a memory violation fix and then explicitly exposing OpenGL ES Shading Language 3.1. That merge request does note that a few more fixes are still needed before V3D will officially pass all of the OpenGL ES 3.1 conformance tests, but at least Mesa 19.3's code is good enough along to enable the support.

today's howtos

Ubuntu: AMD Support, NVIDIA GPU Operator and More

  • Ubuntu 19.10 Doesn't Ship With AMD Navi / Radeon RX 5700 Support Working, But Easy To Enable

    While last week's release of Ubuntu 19.10 "Eoan Ermine" is new enough for Radeon RX 5700 series support with the Linux 5.3 kernel and Mesa 19.2, it doesn't actually work out-of-the-box for these Navi graphics cards. While the principal driver components of the Linux kernel and Mesa3D (for RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV Vulkan) are new enough with Navi support, Ubuntu 19.10's support isn't rounded out because its linux-firmware package isn't new enough for containing the necessary Navi firmware binaries required for the open-source driver usage. So if booting a clean Ubuntu 19.10 install with Radeon RX 5700, you are likely to just see a blank screen.

  • NVIDIA GPU Operator – Simplifying AI/ML Deployments on the Canonical Platform

    Leveraging Kubernetes for AI deployments is becoming increasingly popular. Chances are if your business is involved in AI/ML with Kubernetes you are using tools like Kubeflow to reduce complexity, costs and deployment time. Or, you may be missing out! With AI/ML being the tech topics of the world, GPUs play a critical role in the space. NVIDIA, a prominent player in the GPU space is one of the top choices for most stakeholders in the field. Nvidia takes their commitment to the space a step ahead with the launch of the GPU Operator open-source project at Mobile World Congress LA.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 601

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 601 for the week of October 13th – 19th, 2019.

Audiocasts/Shows: Linux Headlines, Ohio Linux Fest, GNU World Order and Extras