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Summary:

Peer-to-peer (P2P) networking is once again catching the imagination of the venture capital community in Silicon Valley. RedSwoosh, BitTorrent, Pando, and dozens of others have come out with different twists on the core concept of peer-to-peer networking, and have raised millions. SkyRider, a Mountain View, Calif.-based […]

Peer-to-peer (P2P) networking is once again catching the imagination of the venture capital community in Silicon Valley. RedSwoosh, BitTorrent, Pando, and dozens of others have come out with different twists on the core concept of peer-to-peer networking, and have raised millions. SkyRider, a Mountain View, Calif.-based start up is the latest to join the party, having raised $8 million from white shoe venture funds, Sequoia Capital and Charles River Ventures.

SkyRider was started by telecom veterans Ori Cohen and Stas Khirman (also co-founders of packet inspection company, Narus and VDOnet) in 2003, and has operated in stealth mode, finessing a new peer to peer networking platform. The company is keeping mum about its technology and strategy, and will offer its first product in Fall 2006.

“We are developing a commercial grade P2P networking platform, which we will offer to other companies,” says Ed Kozel, CEO of SkyRider, who previously had worked for Cisco Systems and Yahoo! He says that the four big P2P networks – Gnutella, Ares, Kazaa and eDonkey – continue to grow in popularity, yet there has been very little innovation around these networks. They are essentially used for swapping either music or video files.

Amongst other issues around these networks is that they still remain silos. SkyRider, has developed amongst other things a technology that will allow it to act almost like a bridge between those networks. By doing so, the company is opening up an opportunity for cross platform search – rather better P2P keyword search. According to some estimates there are 12 million simultaneous P2P users on the P2P networks, and there are nearly half-a-billion queries on these networks. That, according to ComScore data, it close to the number of daily searches on Google and Yahoo.

The big opportunity, Kozel says, is to bring the web-like ease to the P2P networks, and looking beyond video and music file sharing. SkyRider also has plans to apply P2P technology to user-generated content.

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  1. I wonder if there are any companies out there trying to leverage P2P and social networks together. Most focus on either one or the other, but the combination could be interesting if approached wit the the right model.

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  2. Enterprise P2P or real P2P has a some serious debacles to overcome in terms of Digital Rights Management. DRM at this level is quite tricky becuase first most of these loosely consistent architectures have a view of the data (bunch of bits) can be created somewhere and own somewhere else and their is no way to protect it. Data gets transfered from one node to another via the DHT or wherever mechanism one chooses to deploy internally, but who owns the content and who enforces the protection of the content.

    Perhaps their is a new business opportunity that may develop using this P2P infrastructure, if you will. A distributed commerce model can be applied to this infrastructure. (Maybe an idea to start something new for me…)

    P2P allows a good network or a strong infrastructure to reach people. Some of them be consumers of your service. If their are ways to track where exactly your content has mades its way and with a distributed trust model (which is always up) one can start selling content and consumers of the content can start buying them then their is some strong affinity based target marketing solution that can be developed. Perhaps Ed, Ori should think about it? It is not very difficult. I know how to do it.
    The business needs seem to be coming alive for these types of business. The P2P products vendors are focusing on selling their P2P architecture and software solution and are trying to make money off of them. But what exactly will the consumers of this technology equate their ROI to? Some real facts to think about. After all business is about making money. And their are a million already-existing data sharing technique and solutions out their.

    Please comment or send me your feedback as I am getting interested in this.

    My two cents.
    SG
    sganguly@yahoo.com

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  3. Recently both Tim O’Reilly and Jon Udell wrote about “open source, perhaps P2P infrastructure”, as a way for developers to prevent Google/Microsoft/Yahoo!/Amazon from gaining undue influence based on their economies of scale. Jon’s InfoWorld article mentions CoralCDN. From there, I found links to a number of P2P academic projects. Does anyone know if they’re still under development?

    1. MIT’s “Chord” and “Cooperative File System”: P2P read only storage system. Paper was published in 2001.

    2. UC Berkeley’s “OceanStore”: high availability storage utility than runs atop an infrastructure of untrusted servers. Site was last updated in 2002.

    3. “Pastry”: application-indepedent overlay network for routing requests and locating data among P2P nodes. Microsoft Research, Purdue and Washington University are involved with the project.

    4. CoralCDN itself sounds pretty cool. Like RedSwoosh, it’s a P2P content distribution network, but oes not require users to download a desktop client. It’s run by New York University in conjunction with “Illuminati” a research project for measuring the distance between web clients and their DNS resolvers.

    Sources:

    A more detailed summary of the above projects:
    http://isabelwang.typepad.com/blog/2006/07/openinfrastruc1.html

    Jon Udell’s article
    http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/07/26/31OPstrategic_1.html

    Tim O’Reilly’s post:
    http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2006/07/theriseofopeninfrastructur.html

    CoralCDN:
    http://www.coralcdn.org

    Cooperative File System:
    http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/papers/cfs:sosp01/

    OceanStore:
    http://oceanstore.cs.berkeley.edu/info/overview.html

    Pastry:
    http://freepastry.org/

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  4. everage P2P and social networks together:
    there is allpeers…

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  5. I think that this is a restart from Cright, an enterprise security company. Ori, Edward, and Stas manage(d) Cright and received $7m in funding from Seequoia and CRV about a year ago.

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  6. I understand Krawler[x] is the first true-blue p2p social network ?

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/web2explorer/?p=244

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  7. […] GigaOM – SkyRider, A New P2P Start Up Emerges […]

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  8. This is a company that is doing targeted searches based on keyword entries. To be honest, they are going to be dissappointed. The first is the founders age. This is a field for the young and their notion that P2P networks are growing in popularity is a serious mistake on their side. In actuallity the human count of P2P users is going down because of fake files, viruses, and now Skyrider spam.

    Torrents on the other hand are exploding in popularity. But guess what? Torrent files are indexed on community sites and the point of contact is community sites. So game over for SkyRider. The field is hot, but this is the wrong angle.

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  9. They seem to have taken all the failure execs (and employees?!) from Yahoo who really just happened to do nothing while drawing nice fat salaries. So after coming up with an idea for a startup that was a failure, they reinvented themselves as a “search company”, hired all these worthless employees and now hope to hit it big.. Hmm, IMHO I dont think these guys stand a chance..

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