Set top boxes to revolutionise Internet architecture

Peer-to-Peer technology delivering content through set top boxes could see data center days numbered.

National ICT Australia (NICTA) has earned a spot in a European Commission project that aims to revolutionise the way information is delivered over the Internet.

The European Commissions 7th Framework Program (FP7) for Research and Technological Development is the $50 billion Euro umbrella under which research-related EU initiatives are housed, and is charged with keeping the EU at the forefront of technological research.

The project NICTA is working on, called Nano Data Centers (NADA), is part of the FP7's future Internet initiative, and has attracted almost AUD$5million in EU funding, with NICTA investing over a quarter of a million dollars in resources.

NADA will seek to build an Internet architecture that delivers data from the edge of the Internet, instead of the network-centric architecture that stores and delivers content from data centers via Internet backbones.

NICTA's Networked Systems Research Group Manager, Dr Max Ott, said the traditional way of delivering online services to the user from huge data centers is a very power and space hungry method that is expensive in terms of hardware, networking and cooling costs.

"If you think of services like video, music, entertainment and MMOGs (massively multiplayer online games), the end device is not necessarily your PC anymore. Rather it is something like a set top box or a game console, especially in Europe where set top boxes are very common in providing a lot of functionality like triple-play services and things like that."

These set top boxes are well ventilated, and are providing more and more efficient output as chip manufacturers create speedier, more energy efficient processors and storage manufacturers create smaller, higher capacity products.

"So why don't we try to take the functionality that we have now in the data center, and distribute it across hundreds of thousands of set top boxes so that we have these 'Nano Data Centers'," Ott explained.

NADA is seeking to leverage advancements in Peer-to-Peer technology to connect the Nano Data Centers to enable them to work together to provide services to end users.

The set top box would essentially be split in two - one half facing the end user with all the typical functionality and services, while the other half acts as the Peer, or Nano Data Center.

"We isolate them using virtualization technologies, and that secure compartment is now talking to all the other set top boxes, co-ordinating and shifting stuff around. Each of the set top boxes has plenty of storage in it so we can put them together and build a massive data store for all those YouTube videos, Flickr pictures or whatever. We're using Peer-to-Peer under the hood to provide a service," Dr Ott said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Andrew Hendry

Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?