science | design | engineering | common sense

Bandwidth Donation/Sharing Framework

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Through a commercial webhosting service, I have available to me a few terabytes monthly bandwidth as part of my hosting package. I don’t anticipate using that much bandwidth myself, so naturally I’ve considered donating some bandwidth to some worthy organization. I’ve been surprised to discover that there isn’t really a way to do this apart from running a full-on mirror site, but since I can’t run the risk of going over my bandwidth quota, this is probably out of the question.

My concept is for a bandwidth donation system where people sign up to donate their bandwidth to another individual or organization through a system which would refer or link downloads to the various donating web servers based on geographical location, similar to existing widely-used mirroring systems, except that this system would be distributed and track donated bandwidth. Registrants would be able to specify how much bandwidth they were willing to donate; the organization website would simply not refer any more downloads to the site after it calculated it was near the limit. People could also opt in to be available for additional bandwidth during high volume bandwidth demands lasting 12-48 hours, setting normal and upper ceilings for the amount of bandwidth the site would be allowed to refer to it. Mostly I see this as a way of sharing bandwidth among users who have dedicated rack space or who are purchasing hosting services from someone else. Integrity of the data is the biggest concern, which would only be solved with fool-proof automatic hash verification of all files against the centrally-provided key.

A centralized P2P system (P2P bandwidth, central coordination through an open framework) could centrally track bandwidth donation about numerous sites, metering out bandwidth to sites in much the same way as many torrent trackers do for users downloading the latest Ubuntu release – fail to share alike and the tracker downgrades your priority. Participants would be able to choose to donate bandwidth, and/or share bandwidth on the “open marketplace” in exchange for bandwidth credit in turn (or maybe convert into digital currency?). In this system, bandwidth would become a du-facto currency; I see comparisons to the BitCoin digital currency in this respect, possibly using a similar verification framework to enable true peer-to-peer exchange without a central trusted third party.

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Written by logand

August 5, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

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