Intel Forms Peer-To-Peer Working Group

Intel Corporation has formed an industry working group to foster standards and protocols for peer-to-peer computing, particularly in business environments.

‘Peer-to-peer computing could be as important to the Internet’s future as the Web browser was to its past,’ said Patrick Gelsinger, vice president and chief technology officer, Intel Architecture Group. ‘While the most visible impact of this model has been in consumer environments, peer-to-peer computing has the potential to play a major role in business computing as well. By adding peer-to-peer capabilities, corporations can tap into existing teraflops of performance and terabytes of storage to make today’s applications more efficient and enable entirely new applications in the future.’

Gelsinger called on other industry leaders to join Intel and others in the new Peer-to-Peer Working Group, which will analyse the issues surrounding the deployment of peer-to-peer computing, including security, storage management and interoperability. The group’s charter is to foster standards, create the necessary infrastructure for this technology and develop applications that would help implement it. In addition to Intel, current members of the group are: AppleSoup, Applied MetaComputing, CenterSpan, Distributed Science, Dotcast, Enfish Technology, Engenia Software, Entropia, Groove Networks, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Kalepa, MangoSoft, Popular Power, Static, United Devices, Uprizer and vtel.

Peer-to-peer computing is a set of technologies that enable the direct exchange of services or data between computers. In such a business computing environment, servers, desktops and notebook PCs in a network become peers that contribute all or part of their resources – such as processing power or storage – to the enterprise.

This type of architecture transforms client computers from mere consumers of services to service providers as well. For example, an Information Technology (IT) department can tap into a company’s computers and use their collective computing power and storage to perform data-intensive calculations or simulations over a network without overloading the corporate infrastructure.

As the workload for servers in corporations continues to grow, peer-to-peer computing can also be used to offload common server tasks such as file serving or virus protection to other peers on a network, allowing servers to focus on other tasks such as handling business transactions.

At the recent Intel Developer Forum, several potential new applications of peer-to-peer computing, including self-organising Webs and peer-to-peer edge services, were demonstrated in an industry showcase. Intel also disclosed it will begin internal trials of several of these technologies later this year.

More information on the Intel Developer Forum can be found at http://developer.intel.com/idf

Updated information is available between Intel Developer Forums in the Intel Developer Update Magazine at http://developer.intel.com/update