Grid Networks’ low-cost P2P delivery model

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Engadget has an interview with two top execs from Content Delivery Network platform developer Grid Networks. The interview, with CEO Jeff Payne and VP of sales and marketing Bo Wandell, explores the Seattle-based company’s vision of a low cost, on-demand DVD quality video service.

The low cost — projected at 10% of current services — would use a peer-to-peer distribution model.

“The concept is simple. Build out a traditional CDN, whereby content is propagated out to a collection of strategically placed edge servers, and then take it a step further,” writes Engadget’s Stephen Speicher. “Instead of caching the content strictly on those servers, use the client nodes to house and serve the content as well. Whenever possible, have clients pull content from the grid of other clients.”

Speicher explains that the traditional servers would then be used to fill in gaps and push content onto the grid. “Such a strategy helps to eliminate choke points and greatly reduces the bandwidth overhead required by a traditional system,” he points out.

With codes built on microkernels, the solution is already well underway, as well as part of the security matrix. Yet work is still being done on the decryption algorithms. It is only then that set top manufacturers and cable companies may be persuaded to seriously consider incorporating the Grid platform in their set-top boxes. Still, Payne tells Engadget that “at least one studio has vetted and passed the security measure,” and that more will follow.

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