P2P revisited

Why do we need “servers” and can’t live without them? 99% of the online world today uses cloud, clusters and CDNs which are built using dedicated servers. When the internet just began, the plans were to build something more distributed that wouldn’t rely on servers. By removing the need of servers, we can start communicating directly, in shorter paths and at full speed. So what happened?

Along the way, HTTP became the de-facto protocol to implement almost any webapp. From plain news sites, blogs, web mail and up to rich music and recently even video delivery. It happened because it was the most standard method, interoperable and most importantly, it could work out of the box, on any computer (using a strange software called “browser”).

HTTP and over that HTML+CSS+JS are great. It allows developers to build nice applications that any user in the world can dive into in just few seconds. NO installations, hardware or software constraints, you just need a modern browser. HTML5 is pushing the limits with new APIs that make webapps UX just amazing. Canvas, Video, WebSockets, WebGL just rock. And now for the most revolutionary of all - WebRTC which has no server reliance as HTTP.

Why? It enables direct, P2P connections between users, in the browser! Using our modern browsers we would be able to make video conferences, share files and get data from each other. We believe that by removing the obstacle of servers in the middle, webapps can perform better and at lower operating costs. Just let the browsers get along using their super fast javascript. We don’t have to put another computer in between if it has no added value. Of course it’s hard or impossible sometimes, but distributed computing is the way to go.

We are very excited about this new technology and want to help content providers use it easily. It is an unbelievable opportunity to make P2P more accessible and manageable than ever. There are many interesting engineering and biz challenges (like convincing that P2P is not evil) in the way and we will write about them here. Stay tuned...

Hadar Weiss

Peer5 Co-Founder and CEO

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