Optical/IP Networks

Skyrider Sees Profits in P2P

Mountain View, Calif.-based Skyrider says there's a load of money to be made in building services around peer-to-peer (P2P) networks and technology.

That stance alone wouldn't matter so much if it weren't for the people behind Skyrider. The company's CEO, Ed Kozel, is a networking and software veteran who was once the CTO and VP of business development at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). Co-founders Dr. Ori Cohen and Stas Khirman previously created the deep packet inspection company Narus Inc. ; the two also worked at one of the first IP video delivery companies, VDOnet.

Skyrider was started in 2003 and it employs 35 people. It has raised a mere $8 million in funding to date, but the money comes from reputable backers -- Sequoia Capital and Charles River Ventures .

With management and money in place, Skyrider is definitely building services in the P2P space, but it won't say what. It will, however, freely opine on the greatness of P2P as a technology platform.

“YouTube is a wildly popular site, but it’s also a wildly inefficient way of distributing content,” Kozel says. Kozel says all those videos are flowing from one central server, when they might be served up faster and cheaper using P2P.

So Skyrider is looking to make money on the backs of these P2P networks, which are accounting for a greater and greater percentage of Internet traffic each year. (See BitTorrent to Open Video Store.)

The company is being vague about its first product, which it says will launch this fall, but its managers hint that the product will likely be a P2P search platform that could search for files across all the big P2P networks (like Kazaa and eDonkey), all at once. The platform would, of course, display targeted advertising along with the search results -- a familiar-sounding approach.

It's an intriguing company, for sure. But how long will a company last when it tries to out-Google Google?

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

larytet 12/5/2012 | 3:45:57 AM
re: Skyrider Sees Profits in P2P eDonkey is a searchable network - any client can search. Most popular client in eDonkey is an open-source eMule. Kazaa is dying. Profitable business model around P2P is something we yet have to discover.

Distribution of video files is apparently controlled by BitTorrent protocol. YouTube can be rather efficient if helped by local caching from AKAM or some kind of BT related solution.

Mark Sullivan 12/5/2012 | 3:45:55 AM
re: Skyrider Sees Profits in P2P Kazaa may be dying but P2P filesharing sure aint. Look at the traffic numbers.
Mark Sullivan 12/5/2012 | 3:45:54 AM
re: Skyrider Sees Profits in P2P To your other point -- are you saying that a search engine like Google can already search for P2P files across networks like eDonkey, Limewire, Kazaa, etc.? Do you know of other search engines that are geared specifically for P2P files?
larytet 12/5/2012 | 3:45:44 AM
re: Skyrider Sees Profits in P2P your suggestion is correct - you can use general search engine to look for eMule links, but reality is even simpler - all eDonkey clients come with "find a file" functionality.

popularity of the P2P filesharing networks is their curse. All commercial projects are being sued out of existence one after another. The most recent attempt is Limeware (Limeware is a searchable network too - all clients can run advanced searches )

there is another approach in progress - check Rodi (open source GPL) client which allows to search not only file name, but content of the published files.

etc etc.

the main point is cost of the content. Assuming $1/sound track (5M file) and $0.20/G traffic there is no case for load balancing/bandwidth savings. Bandwidth costs are marginal. In case of video delivery of 9GB file will cost under $3 of traffic. In reality much less thanks to multicast/broadcast solutions.

DRM makes issue of the advanced caching schemes even more intricate.
larytet 12/5/2012 | 3:45:42 AM
re: Skyrider Sees Profits in P2P http://www.craigslist.org/sfc/...

Bram has long history of Java and Python programming. He used to mention how Python improves development time. More recently he bought a new shiny box and installed Ubuntu on it (see his blog). And Suddenly the co looks for C++ for Win developer. This is quite a change. I think the co has some kind of agreement with CacheLogic. The same story - let's cache P2P packets and keep as much of the traffic as possible inside of the network.

Re search: the WEB sites like torrentspy is in court. many were closed.
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