©MMII Matt Moody
what is this peer-to-peer stuff anyways?
Peer-to-peer is computing model in which peer nodes collaboratively perform a computing task. These peers can serve as both clients and servers and eliminate the need for a centralized node. More simply, a peer-to-peer network links the resources of all the nodes on that network and allows the resources to be shared in a manner that eliminates the need for a central host.
The most famous application of peer-to-peer networking is found in file-swapping communities. Using software like Kazaa, Gnutella or the now-defunct Napster, users access files on other peer nodes and download these files to their computer. These file swapping communities are commonly used for sharing media files, often mp3 music files.
A growing application of peer-to-peer technology is the harnessing the dormant processing power in desktop PCs. Companies can use the processing capabilities of many smaller, less powerful computers replace large and expensive supercomputers. Universities and research agencies can complete large computing tasks using the processing of existing in-house computers or by accessing computers through the internet.
possible application of peer-to-peer technology is storage sharing, which
allows a remote storage device to store files for an individual computer.
The technology also allows for peripheral sharing, in which one peer can
access scanners, printers, microphones and other devices that are connected
to another peer.