For the first time in years, peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing isn't eating as much network bandwidth as video sharing and other types of Internet traffic, say two equipment vendors whose products help carriers manage and monitor bandwidth usage. (See Deep Packet Inspection .)
Ellacoya Networks Inc., which sampled about 2 million broadband customer connections, reports that Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP) traffic now uses 39 percent of network bandwidth in the networks it monitors, while P2P traffic uses only 37 percent.
Sandvine Inc., which sampled some 2.7 million broadband hookups, came back with results similar to Ellacoya's. Sandvine reports HTTP traffic now uses 38 percent of network bandwidth in North American networks, while P2P usage has fallen to 36 percent.
The rise in HTTP traffic is attributable to the popularity of video sharing services like Google Video, YouTube Inc., and others. As people watch streaming video over the Internet, those videos are typically coming "live" from a central, managed server, as opposed to a network peer. In fact, YouTube's packets make up 4 percent of the HTTP traffic, Ellacoya says, or 2 percent of total network bandwidth use. (See Google on YouTube: It'll Ad Up .)
"We saw an obvious rise in overall Web traffic and a rise in HTTP video streaming as a second aspect," says Fred Sammartino, Ellacoya's VP of marketing. "Video trumps everything because it is ten times or a hundred times bigger than images."
Ellacoya's survey found that BitTorrent remains the most popular P2P file type used in most North American networks, followed by file types used by services such as Gnutella (Limewire) and eMule. (See BitTorrent Video Store Delayed and Nokia Tackles P2P Traffic.)
â€” Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading