Friday, March 31, 2006

Bandwidth

At times we take big hits on our system. For instance, when we recently put up scans of 100 lunar maps and hundreds of folks decided to download them all at the same time. Now demand has tapered off and things are back to normal. I've been an advocate here for BitTorrent. I thought putting up the files a day or two ahead of general release as torrents might lessen some of the load. But, that requires some tech savvy of the part of the users.

I've just discovered a new method of distributing large files when there is a peak in demand, Coral. This is nice since the user never even needs to know what is happening, it is all behind the scenes. The only change the server has to make is to add a short string to the URL. Once the peak is past, a script could easily remove the string and rename the files. Worth further investigation. Wikipedia has this to say:

Coral is an open source, peer-to-peer content distribution network designed to mirror web content. Coral is designed to use the bandwidth of volunteers to reduce the load on websites and other providers of web content. To use coral, simply add .nyud.net:8080 to the hostname in a URL. So, for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page becomes http://en.wikipedia.org.nyud.net:8080/wiki/Main_Page. The latter is known as a coralized link.

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