Re: BitTorrent (Was: Re: [Isms] ISMS charter broken- onus should be on WG to fix it)

Michael Thomas <> Thu, 15 September 2005 23:01 UTC

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Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 16:00:48 -0700
From: Michael Thomas <>
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Subject: Re: BitTorrent (Was: Re: [Isms] ISMS charter broken- onus should be on WG to fix it)
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Paul Hoffman wrote:
> At 1:50 PM -0700 9/15/05, Michael Thomas wrote:
>> Which is pretty much the elephant in the room, I'd say. How
>> much of the net traffic these days is, essentially, not in
>> any way standardized, and in fact probably considers ietf
>> old and in the way?
> Not sure why this is an elephant; who cares? 

   I'm not sure; maybe it's really a mutual non-admiration
   society, and everybody's happy? But it's an elephant
   insofar as it's pretty darn big trafficwise, and the
   fact that ietf doesn't seem concerned?

> I have seen numbers that 
> show that a huge percentage of traffic is P2P of various flavors, but I 
> haven't seen anyone saying that this is having any negative effects. 

   I don't think this is _entirely_ true: p2p stuff definitely
   has, um, interesting effects on, say, voip at home, and some
   of the p2p apps -- especially the earlier ones if I recall
   correctly -- had some pretty nasty effects on various networks.

   Are we to believe that they are largely self-healing problems
   as bad p2p apps will eventually correct themselves since it's
   in their interest? Is it reasonable to believe that there is
   enough general clue that they could be expected to do that?
   And the collective clue of the ietf is not really needed to
   help this along?

>> I'll note that many protocols -- good and bad -- spring from
>> somebody's head. Some of them become successful too. Very
>> successful. And ietf has no say about them at all. Is this
>> the new reality?
> But for layer 7 protocols, file sharing 
> may be the only major market that has wholly ignored the IETF.

   This isn't that unusual really, but what facinates me
   is that the reverse seems true as well.

> Yes, if one that has bad congestion control becomes popular. But, given 
> the mindshare of BitTorrent these past few years, that seems pretty 
> unlikely.

   But surely BitTorrent isn't the last one that will come
   along. I guess the base question is this: is the net robust
   enough to really allow experimentation with flash crowds of
   millions of alpha testers? So far it has, but we're layering
   more and more stuff onto the net too -- like voip -- that
   are pretty sensitive to average expectations (I'm thinking
   about things like Vonage, not managed services). Is that
   a danger for the overall internet architecture? That is, is
   there a price for this benign neglect that has yet to surface?


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