Coffeehouse Thread

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Microsoft Secure Content Downloader (Avalanche)

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  • User profile image
    Stebet

    I just caught this Nimbus link on bharry's blog.

    This seems an awful lot like what we heard about "Avalanche" a few years ago (the peer-to-peer bittorrent-like download system Microsoft Research was working on).

    I think this would make for great video material Charles Smiley

    Could we get some more information on this, i can't try it out a.t.m since i'm at work and behind a firewall.

  • User profile image
    Stebet

    Considering how much people have hated the Microsoft Downloader like during the Vista beta i could definitely see this come in handy. I hope this will be see used as a delivery mechanism (at least as an alternative) for betas and large downloads from MS in the future.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Stebet wrote:
    Considering how much people have hated the Microsoft Downloader like during the Vista beta i could definitely see this come in handy. I hope this will be see used as a delivery mechanism (at least as an alternative) for betas and large downloads from MS in the future.


    Ha! No.

    Bram Cohen (author of BitTorrent) wrote an article explaining why Microsoft's implementation doesn't work as well as BitTorrent.

    And ISPs love to throttle or otherwise shape BitTorrent and other P2P traffic. It's only a minority of decent ISPs that don't (mine included, wheee[1]). They aren't going to accept this with open-arms.

    Microsoft can afford it, what's wrong with just using Akami and delivering the binaries over HTTP? It's worked fine the past 10 years.

    [1]But my Netgear router/modem has the habit of crashing after 30 minutes of BT speeds above 150Kbps

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    W3bbo wrote:
    

    Microsoft can afford it, what's wrong with just using Akami and delivering the binaries over HTTP? It's worked fine the past 10 years.



    Because it's not very efficient? Wasn't there talk during one of the Office/Vista betas that they actually had to rate limit the downloads because there was a risk of it saturating the endpoints of the internet? Akamai may well cope but that doesn't mean the whole thing will.

    P2P has demonstrated that it's a particularly good way of distributing large files that lots of people want to access. Why shouldn't Microsoft take advantage of that?

  • User profile image
    Stebet

    W3bbo wrote:
    Ha! No.

    Bram Cohen (author of BitTorrent) wrote an article explaining why Microsoft's implementation doesn't work as well as BitTorrent.

    And ISPs love to throttle or otherwise shape BitTorrent and other P2P traffic. It's only a minority of decent ISPs that don't (mine included, wheee[1]). They aren't going to accept this with open-arms.

    Microsoft can afford it, what's wrong with just using Akami and delivering the binaries over HTTP? It's worked fine the past 10 years.

    [1]But my Netgear router/modem has the habit of crashing after 30 minutes of BT speeds above 150Kbps


    I'm pretty the implementation has changed since Bram Cohen last took a look at it (june 20th 2005).

    The people at Microsoft Research aren't exactly known for releasing stuff with obvious mistakes or bad implementations in them.

    We're talking about a very small minority of the internet using this tool to download betas and other large downloads from MS (like the MSDN library) and not distributing 25 gig HD-rips to tens of thousands of people.

    BitTorrent isn't exactly the perfect comparison either since BitTorrent doesn't have any way of securing downloads (at least none that i've seen or heard of).

    And delivering binaries over HTTP has NOT worked all to well for MS in the past. The experience of downloading Beta 2 for Vista for example was horrendous. It took me about three days to finish that download on my 8mbit ADSL line because the beta was public.

    This conversation is also making the assumption that this is indeed Avalanche, which we have no confirmation of yet.

  • User profile image
    androidi

    There's scenarios where the Akamai mirror near you is very slow.

    For example, with a just released thing like VS2008, the akamai mirrors do not automatically fetch all the stuff. If you try to download the beta and get directed to your nearby "mirror" which does not yet have it, it will begin to download it at the same time. Result = Akamai speed ~100 where normally it is max speed when the stuff has fully mirrored to the nearest local mirror.

    In comparison, I'm just downloading the MSDN docs with this tool and getting close to full speed.

  • User profile image
    Stebet

    androidi wrote:
    There's scenarios where the Akamai mirror near you is very slow.

    For example, with a just released thing like VS2008, the akamai mirrors do not automatically fetch all the stuff. If you try to download the beta and get directed to your nearby "mirror" which does not yet have it, it will begin to download it at the same time. Result = Akamai speed ~100 where normally it is max speed when the stuff has fully mirrored to the nearest local mirror.

    In comparison, I'm just downloading the MSDN docs with this tool and getting close to full speed.



    I actually had to use the Avalanche downloader [1] this weekend since i kept getting "Connection reset by peer" errors when using the HTTP download. I downloaded the Beta 2 Team Suite edition and i was pretyt much maxing out my ADLS line. There were intermittent drops in speed but every once in awhile but eventually it always wen't back up to full speed.

    I hope MS will continue to distribute betas and other large downloads using this tool!

    [1]:This is indeed Avalanche as can bee seen by the port mappings the app creates using UPnP.

  • User profile image
    die-Sel

    screens?

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    I think it is Avalanche.

    At the very bottom, under Related Resources, there's a link to:
    Peer-to-Peer Network Coding Research...which says Avalanche at the top.

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