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The Internet

Interview with Bruce Maggs 58

Mihai Budiu sent in this interview with Bruce Maggs, a computer scientist who used to work at Akamai, the company which caches content for a great many popular websites. An interesting look at the combination of solving research problems and starting up a new company.
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Interview with Bruce Maggs

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Akamai does both images and "full sites" for clients.

    And to answer your objection, the first time that a customer's object is requested from an Akamai server, it is retrieved from the site (say, CNN.com). Each subsequent request is then in cache and does not need to be retreived each time. As an example, they request CNN.com's index page, which has 20 images (just a guess). If we can assume this is the second request for the page from this computer, it already has all 20. I'm guessing that there is a TTL system implemented to avoid serving of stale data.

    If a person doesn't have to go through 14 hops to get to the machine serving the content, this clearly results in a decreated download time.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Quote from interview: Q: Wasn't the original work done in an academic setting and later expanded into a company? A: Yes, the original work was done at MIT; this was before I joined Akamai, in 1995. This was spun-off into a company in 1998.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "which does it via satellite to an ISP bypassing the need to go through hops upon hops of information."

    yeah, that's a great idea. india almost exclusively on a satelite uplink and the pingtime requests are hideous (>2,000ms, easy). i'd rather deal with the occasional lag from my computer cycling through the 6 replies akamai gives to my isp's dns than to deal with the latency from a satelite. just observe how many gamers are on sats...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You are absolutely correct. One of the major problems right now is that there isn't a free implementation of the MP4 codec. Customers want the "whiz-bang" features of technologies like Real and WM, so they go out and insist on support for these formats.

    The problem is that support for WMT inherently means running Windows 2000. I know of other companies trying to use Linux that now have to run Windows 2000 in a VMWare session to get support for Windows Media Format. It's either that, or abandon Linux and go for a pure Windows solution. It seems like it's just a matter of time before they "might as well focus only on Windows since all anybody really wants is WMT".

    It's exactly like what happened with Word Document format, but instead of having the effect of people's putting Windows on their desktop, they are putting it on their server.

    This is definitely the major wedge for Windows on the server and on the Internet. The media format could possibly become the most important format on the Internet, as a way of delivering all sorts of content overlayed on a media stream. You can deliver any type of content, which gives the potential for it to replace HTTP as the common carrier protocol.

    Someone somewhere needs to take a leadership role with the media format. I'm not too optimistic, however, seeing as it's been how many years, and there hasn't been an open reference for a document format that could replace Word documents. RTF obviously doesn't cut it, HTML certainy doesn't either, and XML might be promising, but it's been around for years and I still haven't heard of an open XML format for documents.

    It's not just about whether it's Microsoft controlling the standard for the digital equivalent of paper. It's about ANY company controlling the standard for paper. What if there were a paper that only one company could produce, that you needed a special kind of light bulb to read material printed on it? This issue is a lot more serious than anyone other than the "Slashdot crowd" seems to realize. I think it's important enough for a boycott, but since few people outside of the "Slashdot crowd" would understand the reasoning at all, it probably doesn't make sense since you would end up hurting yourself a lot more than Microsoft.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    And all the CS students at CMU doing their Graphics [cmu.edu] projects start wondering:

    What the hell happened to the CS server..? I can't get anywhere! Bleh, might as well read Slashdot...

    Oh, *that's* what happened to the CS server...

  • Freenet does largely what you describe, in a logarithmically scalable manner (which differenciates it from Gnutella which isn't very scalable). Freenet caches data automatically, moving it closer to demand, and replicating popular data, where as Gnutella only shares what is already on your machine. If you are interested in learning more I suggest reading this [freenetproject.org] paper.

    --

  • But great just the same.

    Gotta be a cool guy if he thought it was funny.

    Chris Cothrun
    Curator of Chaos

  • should be w3.org [w3.org].

    preview is your friend.

    Chris Cothrun
    Curator of Chaos

  • ... that every image you're downloading is compressed in the first place. Yes, GIF, JPEG and even PNG are compression formats. Your browser has to allocate memory for the downloaded compressed file and a larger chunk of memory for the flattened bitmap.

    The benefits of a compression system in HTTP 1.1 (look elsewhere for my post with links about this) are as much in the reduction of TCP connection creation and the transfer of the images in a page in one big chunk instead of lots of little requests.

    Think real hard for a miniute. The few hundred K or less of HTML and images on an average web page being sucked through a 56K modem are going to be much slower than even virtual memory from a swap file! Memory and processor speed are the last of your considerations.

    Chris Cothrun
    Curator of Chaos

  • by crisco ( 4669 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @07:26PM (#331918) Homepage
    More information at the w3.org page [slashdot.org] on 'pipelining'.

    Apparantly the improvements span more than just compressing stuff. HTTP 1.1 has provision for maintaining a TCP connection for the duration of the transfer of page and page elements instead of creating a new TCP connection for each page element.

    Scroll down about halfway for the tables. A quick glance shows that compression works best for low bandwidth connections (naturally) and that the other improvements also made a difference.

    Chris Cothrun
    Curator of Chaos

  • by jaffray ( 6665 ) on Thursday March 29, 2001 @02:40AM (#331919)
    Recently, there was a despicable, unprovoked snowball attack on innocent MIT graduate students by Akamai customer care thugs.
    "Unprovoked"? So, your ragtag little band of punks just happened to tromp out an insult in the snow outside our office while randomly wandering around building snowmen? I think not.

    Gentle readers of Slashdot, do not let yourselves be deceived by the ravings of these pathological liars in LCS, the rotting remains of a once-great department, the dregs left behind when the real talent left to form Akamai. Read the full story [astral.net] and decide for yourself.

  • In fact, they're trying to determine the optimal first move for Tic Tac Toe down the exact box. I bet you never knew there was so much math involved, eh?
  • Why no question about the patent issues Akamai has been stirring up with Digital Island. You'd think this would directly impact acadamia and I'd have been interested in hearing the answer from an academic who worked at Akamai.

    Anyone with good thoughts? Is there a justification for the Akamai patent rattling, has their fight with digital island been resolved? We were going to go with them for some caching but pulled out because of their patent position. Would love to find out that has become a moot point.

  • From the interview:
    It is true that most of Akamai's servers are Linux servers. However we also run a large number of Windows 2000 servers, in particular the servers delivering Windows Media format.
    More evidence that proprietary File Formats and Protocols/APIs are the two tracks that carry the MS Monopoly Railroad forward.

    I know it's been said before, but it's worth saying again -- The way to increase the market share of alternate OSes is not to persuade users to install and use Linux. The way is to persuade users to use open File Formats and Protocols/APIs. Diversification of the OS market place will follow as a natural consequence.

    In the example above, when Akamai needed to deliver the open file formats and protocols of the Internet, they had several choices. They decided that Linux best suited thier needs. But when they needed to stream Windows Media, Win2000 was their only realistic choice.

    I may be a pessimist... but I fear that WMF is a problem that Open Source cannot overcome. Even if we achieved the tremendous feat of catching up with a patent free CODEC and streaming protocol that is comparable to ASF/WMF, we still would not have success. Big Media thinks OSS is evil -- and MS will pander to Big Media's obsession with total IP control.

    I hate to be gloomy, but I think that ASF/WMF is the first viable long-term Internet wedge for MS. I think .NET will be the second, and more are sure to follow.

    The future just does'nt look bright for alternate OSes from my POV... But then thats just my opinion... I could be wrong!

    Jonathan Weesner

    Level D Flight Simulators using Linux from NLX Corporation [nlxcorp.com]. That's my idea of FUN!

  • by Cort ( 26425 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @06:08PM (#331923) Homepage
    As it says in the interview, Bruce Maggs is a professor at Carnegie Mellon. I was in a discrete math course that he taught about three years ago, and one of my classmates produced this [cmu.edu] comic-book-style look at what "Maggs-neto" does with his spare time (namely, plot world domination with the aid of a mind-controlled pack of Spice Girls). Bruce was a good sport about the whole thing -- images and references to the comic's story began appearing in his lecture notes & slides! Sadly, it was never finished...
  • Without one you cannot download the paper... The description sounds interesting, though.
  • It's so weird to load Slashdot, look at the top article, and think, "Hey, that's my professor for 213 [cmu.edu]."

    Take that, MIT!
  • Gnutella, peer-to-peer, blah blah...

    A much simpler and more effective approach are proxy servers run by isp's. They significantly reduce the /. effect because the server will cache a site after the first user behind the proxy hits it, and then all the rest of the users get the cached content.

    Now if only people would use the proxy servers their isp's provide...
  • I walk by that room every day :)
  • Yea, I remember Maggs...

    In a 211 class some number of years ago, Bruce was not his now lean-mean aikami self, but had quite a stomach... Somebody drew a cute little yoda like, round character, on the board one day, giving sage advice in a comic book baloon saying: "Don't forget to memoize." :-)

    He is quite a bit shorter than Guy Blelloch...
  • Slashdot can be easily argued that it serves to educate people. If Akamai claims that they would support academic goals, why don't they allow Slashdot to use their caching system to get /.'d on the front page?
  • What if everyone's browser was capable of serving requests for that cached data? This would not be efficient for sites with only a little traffic, but for /.ted sites or CNN and the like, it would work very well. The problem is finding another client that has the data you want cached, this might be resolveable using either peering groups (like routers and gnutella), or using a central server to track it all (like napster).

    There're tons of companies/groups working on variations of the same idea. To name a few:
    swarmcast [swarmcast.com], allcast [allcast.com], etc. So far none of them have taken off. I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out why.

  • I fear that WMF is a problem that Open Source cannot overcome.

    I have high hopes for Ogg Vorbis [xiph.org].

    We /. types like it because it's free. Big Business will like it because they will never have to pay anything to use it. The only people who won't like it will be the ones who want to lock up the music, but in the long run they are doomed to fail.

    (Given a choice between paying for music in WMF format and paying for music in a CD format, I will buy the CD every time. I predict that enough other people will do the same to ensure that WMF never takes over the world.)

    steveha

  • That photo of the Akamai Monitoring System makes me think that they're doing something more than caching web sites - it looks like they could lauch a space invasion from that thing!
  • by e_lehman ( 143896 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @06:52PM (#331933)

    Akamai shares a block with the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science. Recently, there was a despicable, unprovoked snowball attack on innocent MIT graduate students by Akamai customer care thugs. (Well, okay, there's a little more to the story... :-) But anyway, differences will be settled in a mathematical/theoretical computer science shootout [mit.edu] on the evening of April 3. Should be fun.

  • Firstly, most internet users are still on those slow dialups.

    Don't include them, or give them a lower priority.

    ...unless they have some kind of similar client, you're just going to be sitting their aimlessly

    If they don't have the client (I imagined it as a browser plugin, but it could be an OS feature, actually, if it's windows the plugin is an os feature ;) ), then they wouldn't be on the 'list', so to speak.

    Thirdly, you would be using the other person's (the hosts') upload bandwidth, and bandwidth is something no one wants to sacrifice.

    Yes, but it's upstream bandwidth. How much upstream bandwidth does the average 'net user utilize each day?

  • Yes, some sort of security would be needed... maybe a trust system where AOL and the like get first priority, then another ring of users etc... joe-schmuck on his 14.4 gets the lowest pritority...

    Uplink bandwidth is limited, but it's still faster than some sites I've seen slashdotted...

  • by zaius ( 147422 ) <jeff.zaius@dyndns@org> on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @06:07PM (#331936)
    Akamai is just one example of different systems people have come up with for working around the inherent flaws of the internet (which are clearly demonstrated by the "Slashdot Effect"). The problem is, everyone wants to look at the same content at the same time; under the current system, the server has to send out one copy of the data to each client that requests it, so if 1000 clients request it, the server has to send 1000 copies.

    This is completely bass-ackwards. The content that becomes more popular becomes harder to get, even though many, many more copies are made available. If said server sends out these 1000 copies of a file, why can't some of the clients share those 1000 copies?

    Potential solutions to this problem can be derrived from systems that have already found a way around it, such as Gnutella [wego.com] and any MCAST implementation.

    Gnutella, although its network model has other problems, allieviates the previously mentioned problem by forcing (or suggesting that) all clients cache and share for redistribution any content they download, thus increasing the number of available copies. MCAST, and other streaming technologies, handle the problem by allowing the server to send one copy of the content that can be shared by many clients... this is why we don't have to wait for TV/Radio shows to download.

    The problem with universally applying an MCAST-type solution to the internet is that the internet is not like TV and radio: the internet is supposed to be content-on-demand. If you turn on your TV five minutes before a show, you can't start watching it early; simlarily, if you tune in five minutes late you can't start back at the beginning (TVIO users aside). I think many /. readers would go into shock if they could only read slashdot on the hour, every hour. (Sidenote: one potential workaround for really busy sites is to broadcast the data every x number of seconds continuously, that way the data restarts often enough. The problem with this is that users with slower connections won't be able to keep up, and users with faster connections will be limited to whatever the server's streaming at. Also, the server will keep broadcasting regardless of what sort of traffic it gets, clogging up its bandwith).

    Gnutella is a much better solution. I'm not going to try to work out the details, but stick with me for the big picture. When a user hits a webpage, even with the current model, all of the content is cached on the local hard drive, or sometimes somewhere in between the user and the server. What if everyone's browser was capable of serving requests for that cached data? This would not be efficient for sites with only a little traffic, but for /.ted sites or CNN and the like, it would work very well. The problem is finding another client that has the data you want cached, this might be resolveable using either peering groups (like routers and gnutella), or using a central server to track it all (like napster). This however gives bad users a chance to replace CNN's banner with their own ads etc, but this could perhaps be worked around with some sort of trust metric system?

    Well, there's my two cents, sorry if it's incoherent.

  • Mostly Akamai is in the image business, since images have been shown to take up most bandwidth (in some cases up to 85%). The reasons they decrease download times is two-fold: they're probably physically closer to the client than the source otherwise would be. Second, they probably have more bandwidth.

    Even so, you could be right. The overhead shifts from the image download to the DNS. Thus it wouldn't make sense for Joe Homeuser to "akamaize", but it does for Yahoo and CNN simply because there are so many people over a such a diverse area attempting to retrieve their pages.

    By the way, the estute will notice that the diagram in that article is wrong. The client contacts the client name server, which then will contact Akamai's name servers. This means that the DNS optimization is the client name server and not the client itself.
  • Here's an older (and shorter) interview [technologyreview.com] (from MIT's Technology Review [technologyreview.com]) with Tom Leighton, the guy who cofounded Akamai. The article is titled "Akamai's algorithms" and it treats many of the same topics mentioned in the post.
  • According to this article [slashdot.org] on the matter, it was Digital Island who made the first claim of patent infringement, followed by a frenzy of finger pointing.

    I wouldn't think that this case has any affect on acadamia, because even though the infrastructure was developed in an acedemic envornment, its use by Akamai is anything but; so the lawsuit was not over the acedemic roots of it but rather the commercial use.
    --
  • Well said, and I agree that a system based on the theory of Gnutella (the client _is_ the server) would be the most efficent. However, it just does not seem possible (atleast at the present) for sevral reasons.

    Firstly, most internet users are still on those slow dialups. Although Cable and DSL are very popular and affordable, they are not yet accesable everywhere, and to the casual internet user they can seem like overkill. The reason why connection speed is important is this; ever download a file from a gnutella client on a slow 56k modem? Now imagine that connection with sevral others on the same line... scary, eh?

    Secondly, suppose the to a page was redirected to someone else near you who just viewed it. You would send a request to them, but unless they have some kind of similar client, you're just going to be sitting their aimlessly. In order for something like this to work, it must be made into a standard that would be embedded and distributed into all OS's. If just a few OS's supported the system, it would not reach the point where it could actually take a significant load off a central server.

    Thirdly, you would be using the other person's (the hosts') upload bandwidth, and bandwidth is something no one wants to sacrifice.

    I could continue, but it just comes down to the fact that this kind of system is suitable for Gnutella for swapping mp3s, but not a global-scale webserving solution.
    --
  • What about Flash swf files and the like? I suppose they could be hosted the same as images, although a 1 MB swf would take up 50x the space of an average image. That's also where the end users would see a bigger jump in performance (in getting one big file instead of a bunch of little ones).
    --
  • The power required to do quick bzips wouldn't be the problem, seeing as how a gigahertz is now becoming a family computer. The problem I see is on the user end -- they would have to use a browser/plugin which did the decompressing and puts it back into the original format.

    It's certainly a good idea, it just needs to be integrated into MS IE and Netscape first.
    --
  • Here is an actually quite readable paper from ACM [acm.org] about the hashing routine that Akamai uses, called Consistent hashing and random trees: distributed caching protocols for relieving hot spots on the World Wide Web [acm.org] by David Karger et al (1997).
  • After you've read the Maggs article check out the fascinating interview he has with Brian Kernighan... http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mihaib/kernighan-interview/ index.html [cmu.edu] (It was actually posted on /. Sep 2000)
  • Well, I'll just assume that it is those non-Linux servers that slow down my surfing everytime I go to a site that uses Akamai. CNN is a prime example. Constantly waiting for the "contacting host xxx.x.akamai.net" where xxx is half a dozen different servers for each page. I've written to several of these sites to complain. This is supposed to be in the name of efficiency? Not from what I've seen. Akamai is guaranteed to make any site load way slower.
  • It doesn't work as well as you'd think because many (most?) pages are configured or misconfigured to expire immediately, or are personalized. Take for slashdot's main page. If it's aggressively cached, e.g. same content to the people from the same ISP, everyone there will receive the same slashboxes. This will be very apparent if you have ever run squid for a network. Same thing goes to caching other stuff via P2P: the cached data gets "dirty" too quickly to be effective.

    The best cachable data are the images, which are minimal to sites that really matters. Now, if only there's support for seperation of content and layout ala XML/XSLT, only the XML have to be reloaded from the server, the XSLT can be cached.

  • The problem is, everyone wants to look at the same content at the same time; under the current system, the server has to send out one copy of the data to each client that requests it, so if 1000 clients request it, the server has to send 1000 copies.

    Have you set your connection proxy?

    If not, you probably should. And everyone out there too: The above is exactly what hierarchical proxy-cache servers were designed to prevent! As the name indicates, these servers will proxy your HTTP request(some other protocols can be used too), and cache the result. When another identical request comes in, it is served directly from the cache instead of contacting the server.

    The proxies-cache servers are organized in a hierachical fashion. So when you send a request, it does not matter if it is not currently in your proxy-cache: it may be stored in another cache higher in the hierarchy. The request will be sent upward, and only if it is really found nowhere between you and the target, the target server will be contacted.

    The result is: everyone wins!

    • On the server side, the server load is greatly reduced.
    • On the client side, browsing of popular sites is faster since the contents will likely already be in a proxy-cache closer than the target

    In the situation you describe, if your 1000 clients are under 50 different ISPs, there would be only 50 requests to the server. And everyone (except for the first connected guy of each ISP) would browse much faster, since they get all the data directly from their ISP.

    Note that some ISPs enforce the use of their proxy. That's a little bit radical, but if every ISP did that, the Slashdot effect would be a memory, and the net would be a better place...

    Conclusion:

    Save the Internet : set up your proxy !
    (Check with your ISP what proxy you should use).

    If you want to know more on proxy-caches, check out the docs of Squid [squid-cache.org], a popular proxy-cache server.

    --
    SOMEBODY SET UP US THE PROXY !
  • The problem with universally applying an MCAST-type solution to the internet is that the internet is not like TV and radio: the internet is supposed to be content-on-demand. If you turn on your TV five minutes before a show, you can't start watching it early; simlarily, if you tune in five minutes late you can't start back at the beginning.

    Digital Fountain [digitalfountain.com] seeks to solve this problem.

  • no, i was using gaming as an example.

    with 2,000ms pingtimes being quite normal, all but the most sparse websites take quite some time to load completely. again, i'll take the occasional dns round-robin over your sat uplink anyday.

    besides, you speak as if satelites don't fail. the fact is they do. and when one does, in the system you outline, you now have a single point of failure ...which is exactly what the internet avoids (unless the source itself is screwed).

    oh, and ...i work in that room. =)

    My .02,

  • Because I work there (in that room, specifically), i can't say much more than that the numbers cited are correct.

    My .02,

  • Yes, but the diagram is dumbed down for the average user. It would be confusing if the diagram included the name servers, and such... most people think that the cnn.com (example) is known by their computer, and have no knowledge of an independant name server.
  • My first problem with the assumption... the frequency of the processor is not an inherent definition of the computer's speed, the frequency is approximate, and the gigahertz processors are quirky. Second, just because the processor is fast, does not mean the person has enough memory in his or her system to decompress/unarchive ever bit of data coming into his machine. Most users will assume that since their system is fast, (the processor) they don't need a lot of RAM (bad idea). In order to have the browser decompress, and detar (or whatever archiving program would be used) and then display the images, the system would have to have a LOT of RAM. The system would slow down quickly if the brunt of loading a page was forced on the end user. Most users wouldn't wait long enough for the page to fully load, and would blame the server rather than their own system. Even if the problem was in the lack of memory.
  • I realize this, however, what they are suggesting would be to recompress them in (tar)bzip format. Then have the browser decompress them to the image format. JPEG and GIF compression still leave an image that is viewable, you wouldn't be able to view it without decompressing it.
  • Is akamai caching websites, or are they serving images for websites? If they are caching the websites, how does that increase the speed of download for a specific website? A mirror may help remove the load off a server, but the end-user still is downlink from any bottlenecks from any system. Especially the original system that is serving cached webpages through Akamai, as the original server is handling all requests, and still has to pass them on.

    If Akamai is serving images for the websites, doesn't that increase the download time, (albeit not considerably in a theoretical, perfectly stable connection) as the end-user is being "served" from multiple systems.

    If I understood the portion of the interview pointing at Akamai correctly, the system is only good for the servers. The end user is making multiple, simultaneous requests for the page from several different servers, this should (technically) bring into account bottlenecks between the systems.

    Of course, the practice is used all the time via doubleclick and the other ad agencies, and page time isn't to difficult to contend with (I assume) on a non-broadband connection, but when one introduces advertisements, downloading the images, and getting any server database calls from MULTIPLE servers, the backup is potentially paralyzing...
  • I guess in a related note, would it be possible to design a system where all the data on a page is compressed (say, into a bzipped tarbal) and decompressed by the client? How much power would be required to do multiple extremely quick bzips?
  • by Maldivian ( 264175 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @06:07PM (#331956)
    The picture is from This page [akamai.com]. Which describes their network tech. here is the orginal picture [akamai.net].

    Enjoy

  • The article started nicely but then it went in to a flurry of Akamai marketing BS.

    Sure Akamai does some neat stuff, but so does a company called Edgix [edgix.com], which does it via satellite to an ISP bypassing the need to go through hops upon hops of information. What I found neat about Edgix' technology was (although this post sounds like a marketing ploy) they sell their caching servers which poll the most sought after websites' content then cache it hourly, daily, whatever. Then when someone looks something up, it pulls it directly off of the ISP's server which means faster content delivery.

    But you don't see me interviewing their staff in attempts for them to flood an article while masquerading as an interview do you?

    Not only that but it does this on a satellite based mechanism which means if Globix, UUNet, Exodus, Level3 all blow up, you'll still get a cached slashdot without routes being broken, and a slew of timeout errors.

    Well... At least I got to see where he went to school though, such an informative interview.

    Toy truck thieves still at large [antioffline.com]
  • While you worry about a game, I worry about NASDAQ, IPO's, fractions when the bell tolls on Wall Street, so while my ISP delivers the content I need, and my bank account gets heavier, keep fragging on.

    Different strokes for different folks I guess.

    Now that you mention it though, I'd like to see how your solution would fly when on a business trip on an airplane. Oh those telco wires at 30,000 feet, how fast they zoom that data through don't they
  • Clearly Akamai was high on stock when they built that place. I'd be willing to bet that if they had it to do all over again (with a $10 and falling stock price), that room would consist of a large pull-down atlas, three DECStations and an old Mac Plus.
  • This is exactly what Akamai does, only the ISPs don't actually get to run the servers (thus eliminating the mess that would invariably result) and providing powerful revenue opportunities to a plucky little Boston startup.
  • Not to mention that any client could simply lie about the content it has: "Yes, I've got slashdot.org-- ok, it may look like a bunch of porn links, but..."

    The only way to solve that is to have some way of verifying content, maybe a signature or something, but then you've got to have a third party signing everything. This is all aside from the problem of a publisher needing to modify a web page once released (a big one.)

    And of course, uplink bandwidth is very limited on the majority of DSL/Cable systems.

  • It even says so in the article: I grew up in Illinois, in the center of the US, but in my childhood I spent many months living in Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and I even spent the summer of 1969 in Romania. .

    My fellow Americans, such double agents for the Eastern Bloc have pervaded our society, as is evidenced by the Hanssen case, and now this new relevation. We must be eve viligent against the Red Menace, and stand up against the Commie bastards.

    Thank you and God bless America.
    --
    George W. Bush

  • Sounds way over the roof.
    500 locations and 8000 servers, that's about 16 servers in each. That doesn't look right. What I have been hearing is that Akamai has 3 servers in cluster.
    Here is how live Akamai cluster looks like. [meltzer.org]
    Also on Content Delivery Networks conference July 6-7, 2000 Barcelona, Spain [terena.nl] in the study "The Measured Performance of Content Distribution Networks" it was shown that to achieve optimal performace you don't need even a 1000 servers, much less number will do the same job.
    So what those "8000" servers are for?
  • I love it when intellectuals get testy....
    -----------------
  • by sagacious_gnostic ( 319793 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:56PM (#331965)
    That picture of the monitoring system is taken directly from the movie "War Games".

    The article is an obvious attempt to obscure their real purpose; to establish a world wide tic-tac-toe solving distributed supercomputer.
  • Hey, I was in 251 [cmu.edu] with him last year. Jason from the post above was in that class too. (Ha Ha, try to guess who I am) He's a pretty good professor, occasionally a bit boring but much better than many I've had, and he knows what he's talking about. Here's [cmu.edu] his homepage. Mod me up to 4 too, please.

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