P2P technologies: Can they return?

Let me refresh your memory by reminding you what P2P technologies are and how they were mostly used in the past. First of all, this kind of technique is based on an architecture called peer-to-peer (that is why they called P2P). Actually all users form a node network and every “peer” acts as a server. It is important to bear in mind that the most popular peer-to-peer architectures are those of centralized directory, decentralized directory and query flooding. 

The centralized directory architecture failed initially due to malfunctions regarding the operation of server and finally as it was deemed as illegal because of copyrights infringement. For example, someone was able to download a song from a central server without that server owning the copyrights of that song. With regards to decentralized directory architecture, it has to be mentioned that the difference compared with centralized directory architecture is that there are many central servers and not only one. Thanks to these attributes those servers were difficult to be found as long as their location was secluded. Nevertheless, this architecture was regarded as illegal again for copyrights infringement. According to the architecture of query flooding, there were no central servers at all. The users had the capability of exchanging stuff from one to another. Of course, as the previous ones, this technique was illegal since it entrenched the copyrights of stuff which was being exchanged.

At this point, it is vital to report that an alternative technique was created since those architectures were not functional. This technique was torrents. It is worth mentioning that even though torrent method is illegal it is very difficult for someone to be found and be punished. As it is obvious P2P architectures are either at small or at big extent illegal and their use is not recommended. This is the reason why these architectures are not very popular today.

It is time to wonder if P2P technologies can regain their glory and play a significant role mainly in IT field. Although P2P architecture is one of the most interesting topics related to the IT sector, current P2P designs do not meet the ideal P2P needs. Today’s P2P applications implement only a limited part of a real P2P environment. On the other hand, the rapid development of technology, stand-alone agents, seems to be ideal for the problems that exist in the IT sector. In the advanced P2P architecture the efficiency of the system increases and the capabilities of the users are renewed. In an advanced P2P system the limitations of current P2P systems are eliminated and the capabilities of users are maximized in terms of P2P features. In addition, we can safely say that the increase of cloud computing contributes to the return of P2P architectures. This happens because cloud computing distributes resources using those methods and also because P2P protocols are used as backend technology in cloud environments. 

To conclude, we can say that although P2P architectures today have lost the popularity they had in the past, they can be used in key IT areas as mentioned above. Their use in cloud computing, a field that is continuously evolving nowadays, is able to bring P2P technologies back to the forefront of the IT sector.

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