A way to minimize the downtimes is to do a complete reboot of the way we think aboutCloud Computing and architect it using P2P technologies. P2P, also known as Peer to Peer, isdefined in Wikipedia as
) networking is a method of delivering computer network servicesin which the participants share a portion of their own resources, such as processingpower, disk storage, network bandwidth, printing facilities. Such resources are provideddirectly to other participants without intermediary network hosts or servers. Peer-to-peer network participants are providers and consumers of network servicessimultaneously, which contrasts with other service models, such as traditional client-server computing where the clients only consume the server's resources.The idea of using P2P technology, instead of client-server model, for CloudComputing is nothing new. It has been discussed and debated in thehallways of academia for quite some time now. Even in the techblogosphere, Bernard Lunn of ReadWriteWebwonderedabout the use of P2P in the Cloud Computing in one of his posts last year. In fact, some of the Cloud storage providers likeWualaare already using the technology.P2P is a great fit for Cloud storage systems offering the much neededreliability. Another area where P2P can play a major role is Content DeliveryNetworks (CDN) which are usually offered as an extension to Cloud storage offerings. It hasbeenestablishedthat the use of Erasure Resilient Codes in P2P based Cloud storage systemsgreatly improves the reliability of Cloud storage and also eliminates the need of redundantbackup servers. They are also quite effective against malicious attacks, thereby, offeringhigher levels of security. This low cost, highly reliable, secure Cloud storage systems can be aboon to the enterprise customers.P2P on the computing side is not something altogether new. It is an extension from thedistributed computing model used in the projects like SETI@Home, Protein Folding, financialmodeling, etc.. It is possible to build a Cloud that taps into the idle CPU cycles of desktopsand, let me be a bit bold here, the servers in some of the enterprise datacenters. Thisunderlying P2P technology can be masked with a "fabric" that could offer a perception of acentralized computing resource. Well, such a P2P cloud cannot be built on top of naked P2Pnodes alone and there is a need for an hybrid approach containing servers for management,messaging, monitoring, etc. (much like how it is done for Skype). I am not discussing mychildhood fantasy here in this article. In fact, a group of researchers in the University of Western Ontario has beenworking on a projectto build a stable,
, P2P cloudinfrastructure that leverages the idle CPU cycles. There are also other academic researchgroups looking at the P2P based Cloud model. I am not aware of any company, like IBM,doing any research on P2P Cloud but it is just a matter of time before some of thesecompanies start exploring in this direction.Let us now take a moment to see the advantages of a P2P Cloud• Improved reliability than the "client-server" cloud.• Much more cost effective because there is no need to build expensive datacenters.• The very fact that expensive datacenters are not needed means even startups can beCloud infrastructure players. This eliminates the possibility of few players holding themonopoly control over Cloud infrastructure services.• Easy scalability.• People who offer their idle CPU times will get to benefit commercially and anecosystem of P2P node providers will develop around every provider's infrastructure.This opens up new business opportunities for many, thereby, helping us socially.