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Towards a universal friendly peer-to-peer media streaming: metrics, analysis and explorations

Towards a universal friendly peer-to-peer media streaming: metrics, analysis and explorations

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Peer-to-peer (P2P) paradigm has provided a disruptive market opportunity to define cost-effective multimedia streaming services, but at the same time network-oblivious P2P applications have been posing substantial technical and social challenges on network efficiency, operator economics and user performance. While end users are concerned with quality upgrade, Internet content provider (ICP) considers more on service scale and Internet service provider (ISP) focuses on operating cost. In taming P2P for a more friendly large-scale application, this paper provides a framework of evaluating the P2P media streaming application performance from perspectives of all entities involved, that is ISP, ICP and end users. Three-level performance metrics are defined, essential concerns of each party are theoretically quantified and bottlenecks in affecting quality service are identified. In handling tussles between P2P performance against ISP traffic, system scale against cost and user QoS against Security, the authors present proposals in defining an unprecedented friendly and cost-effective P2P streaming application to achieve the ideal philosophy of ‘more users=better performance+lower cost’. Based on the explorations in academy and industry, the authors envision that a large-scale streaming system will be built with a synergy of P2P and content distribution networks (CDN), and explore the feasibility of a general peer–server–peer (PSP) structure on the basis of our evaluation framework. With our analytical study and industrial deployment, this paper captures a certain essence of deploying large-scale P2P streaming application from a commercial and realistic point of view and suggests many avenues for addressing the emerging tensions between P2P application and network operators.

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