CacheLogic Pushes Hybrid P2P
CacheLogic's CDN, VelociX, is similar to those of Akamai Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AKAM) and Limelight Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: LLNW), but with a P2P twist. Like other P2P networks, it enlists the help of end-user PCs, or "peers," to help deliver content.
Unlike classic P2P networks such as Kazaa , CacheLogic's CDN accesses content only from peers that are downloading the content. The CacheLogic CDN does not touch completed download files on users' hard drives.
In part, CacheLogic can afford to do that because it uses a hybrid system, supplementing P2P with -- wait for it -- caches in the network. (See CacheLogic Builds P2P Content Network.)
But CacheLogic's choice is also a by-product of P2P going legit. P2P typically has been used for distributing free, and often illegally shared, content. More recently, P2P sites like BitTorrent have cozied up with copyright owners and have begun charging for content. (See BitTorrent P2P Store Goes Live and P2P Camp Swarms Video.)
"When people know that they are downloading illegal content, they are willing to open up their computers to other users," says CacheLogic marketing director Gary Croke. "They view that as a small price to pay."
But when the consumer is paying for content, that willingness dries up, Croke says.
Dave Caputo, CEO of deep packet inspection company Sandvine Inc. , isn't sure CacheLogic's move is necessary. Caputo says P2P users understand the tradeoff inherent in the P2P model: Users agree to share the content they've downloaded in exchange for a wider selection of titles and speedier download times.
"I suspect that people who participate in peer-to-peer networks understand that if they don't keep content available, then they'll not be able to find the content they're looking for," Caputo says.
CacheLogic began selling services on VelociX on Jan. 1. The company was on the road this week promoting the CDN, first at the IPTV World Forum in London, and yesterday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. In the latter case, the company hopes game publishers will use its P2P CDN to distribute games, videos about games, and game program updates. (See CacheLogic Fires Up Its CDN and CacheLogic Intros P2P CDN.)
"One of the big issues with gaming is that on 'patch day,' everyone wants that patch right away," Croke says. On those days, plenty of users are initiating downloads at the same time, so the CacheLogic network will have plenty of peers to tap.
Gaming companies will be able to choose from multiple service tiers depending on the levels of demand they anticipate for their content, Croke says. He adds that CacheLogic has been working with several gaming companies during the past few months to tune its CDN for gaming content.
— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading