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Home | Seminars and Symposia | Past seminars/symposia: Tuesday, January 27, 2004

DTC Science and Technology Innovators Lecture Series

Peer-To-Peer Computing Research: A Fad?

by

M. Frans Kaashoek
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Laboratory of Computer Science

Tuesday, January 27, 2004
4:30 p.m. Reception
5:00 p.m. Seminar

402 Walter Library

KaashoekDownload slides (pdf 725 KB) Traditionally distributed systems are architected as central servers serving many clients. Recently a number of Internet applications (such as Naptster, Gnutella, and Freenet) have demonstrated the benefits of a peer-to-peer architecture, in which clients cooperatively provide a service, without relying on central servers. This talk will argue that peer-to-peer systems are also a good architecture for building mission-critical distributed services, because they don't have single points of failure.

Kaashoek presenting

More specifically, this talk will propose peer-to-peer systems based on distributed hash tables (DHTs). DHTs can be made robust in the face of failures, attacks and unexpectedly high loads. They are scalable, achieving large system sizes without incurring undue overhead. They are self-configuring, automatically incorporating new nodes without manual intervention or oversight. They simplify distributed programming by providing a clean and flexible interface. And, finally, they provide a shared infrastructure simultaneously usable by many applications. We sketch an implementation of a DHT based on the Chord distributed lookup system.

 

Reception photo

M. Frans Kaashoek is a full professor in MIT's EECS department and a member of the Laboratory for Computer Science. He received a Ph.D. from the Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) for his work on group communication in the Amoeba distributed operating system, under the supervision of A.S. Tanenbaum. Dr. Kaashoek's principal field of interest is designing and building computer systems. His past work includes the exokernel operating system, the Click modular router, the RON overlay, the self-certifying file system, and the Chord lookup algorithm. His current focus is the IRIS project, infrastructure for resilient Internet systems, which is funded by NSF through a large ITR. In 1998 Dr. Kaashoek co-founded Sightpath Inc, which was acquired by Cisco Systems. He also serves on the board of Mazu Networks Inc.