Active Distributed Network Computing


Using the File-Sharing Network as a Dedicated Network Architecture
Entirely Private Surfing

A File-Sharing network distributes the storage and movement of data, but still requires some centralised ownership or control of bandwidth (and by implication, responsibility for the data upon it). It is possible to dispense with this, allowing companies and individuals to release processing tasks on to a FS network, with no continued bandwidth overhead or control of the task: they simply wait for the processed data to return, the processing task having been completed across the nodes of the FS network. Processing is distributed on to the computers of those participating in the FS network, in return for micro-payments, services, or simply the right to participate in the network.

So IBM or Joe Bloggs can release their software on to the FS network. Each participating user is running their FS software, preferably built in to a browser, that sets them up as an active FS node whenever they are online, and negotiates HDD space and processor time with the distributed applications and the dapplets, small parts of an application distributed across a FS network.

The user must offer a certain minimum amount of distributed processing space and time to make the network viable, but above this can accept jobs released on to the network by other users in return for micropayments, money-off coupons, discounts, charitable donations, entry into a draw for a prize, or the right to send out more tasks on to the FS network themselves. All distributed processing is secure and sandboxed from the users/nodes, and is never more than a tiny part of any dapplication's operation. So IBM can use the service to calculate their wages, and Joe Bloggs can use it to translate his video from one format to another. Software packages that have features that take time to process (handling graphics and video) can incorporate code to use the network. At this point your processor speed becomes less important than your bandwidth, as you are using the FS network as your own personal Beowulf Cluster.

Dapps can be written to operate on the network, or ordinary software can be clustered to operate across the FS network where appropriate. The revenue comes from selling the RAD packages that permit this. Incorporating the FS networking software into the browser offers the opportunity for a new generation of active node browser.

Losing the bandwidth overhead is important. You are not just distributing data movement, storage, or tasks to the FS network, but the entire application. The caretaker role that co-ordinates the individual components of the clustered dapplication is also distributed, copies itself for safety, and sits on a number of remote systems. You send your software out on to the system, and await for the completed results to return. There is no centralised caretaker role for the owner of the File Sharing network, or for you, the initiator of a processing task. You can release the dapplication from anywhere, and receive the results anywhere. The clustered dapplets operate organically, and whenever a node goes down, simply replicate themselves and continue to operate. The dapplications are more robust than the network upon which they operate.

Everyone who joins the service must contribute a certain amount of processing time and storage space, and gets a certain amount of functionality for their own dapplication use in return. This itself can be traded on the system. Anyone requiring more dapplication processing time for its software, must offer something in return. A modified browser allows the user to state what they will accept (say a donation to charity, participation in a draw, or more network time). A transaction log is retained, and payments to charity and such offers can be mediated through the system to ensure nobody cheats.

An example of an application that can make use of File Sharing Network Architectures is a Private Surfing Facility.

At present Internet Privacy software can do little more than route you through proxy servers to disguise your IP number from the websites you visit. And not all proxy servers are anonymous. Your ISP knows where you surf, what you surf for, and in many countries keeps a log of it. Any service that offered you the opportunity to surf without your ISP knowing what you were surfing for, would incur a massive bandwidth penalty, as such a service would have to surf for you, and encrypt everything. They would also be in a difficult legal position.

Using Active Distributed Network Computing allows an entirely distributed system to operate, hiding your URL calls and the website content you obtain from your ISP. Your new active node browser auto-encrypts your URL calls and sends them out on to the FS network as dapplets. The website content you request is retrieved and encrypted by distributed processing on the network, and returned to you. The URL call has been turned into a small distributed processing application. Your ISP no longer has any knowledge of what you surf for.

This is just one example of the power of the use of File Sharing networks as distributed processing systems. Any application can be translated into a dapplication, removing the need for massive processing power on individual computers. Every PC can become a node in a global internet-based Beowulf Cluster, and all computing can become distributed and secure. Ordinary applications can have parts of their operation distributed, and any network call can be translated into a dapplet. Internet services (like search engines) can be run in a distributed manner, both in running searches and in storing and acquiring up-to-date data.


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