Toronto Networking Seminar 2006

High-Performance Peer-to-Peer Overlays

Emin Gun Sirer
Cornell University

Date:  January 27,  3pm
Location: BA1210,  Bahen Center


In this talk, I will describe a new approach for building distributed systems with strong performance and resource usage guarantees. The critical insight behind this work is to formalize the core tradeoffs in distributed systems as a mathematical optimization problem. We can then achieve high performance in the presence of limited resources by minimizing a targeted performance function subject to constraints in a distributed fashion. The talk will outline this new approach and describe how we recently applied it to build three peer-to-peer systems: CoDoNS, a replacement for DNS, CobWeb, an open-access content distribution network like Akamai, and Corona, an RSS-like system for disseminating Web micronews.  All three systems have been deployed on PlanetLab, and either guarantee near-optimal lookup/update performance subject to bandwidth constraints or achieve a targeted level of lookup/update performance while minimizing bandwidth and storage costs. Overall, this approach represents a novel way to building large-scale distributed systems that contrasts with past systems based on ad hoc heuristics.