Intel kick starts P-to-P development on .Net

Aiming to speed the development of peer-to-peer (p-to-p) applications using Microsoft's .Net framework, Intel on Thursday announced a p-to-p development toolkit for .Net.

The Intel Peer-to-Peer Accelerator Kit for Microsoft .Net includes source code, demo applications, and documentation, and will be made available for free on the Microsoft's .Net news Web site, www.gotdotnet.com, in early December.

Intel selected Microsoft .Net because it provides a powerful starting point for the development of p-to-p applications, said Dave Stewart, p-to-p engineering manager at Intel, in Santa Clara, Calif.

"We believe the .Net roadmap forms a strong foundation for building p-to-p applications," he said.

The Intel technology kit is designed to extend the distributed computing capabilities in .Net by providing support for location independence, encryption, and availability through "remoting," which supports interaction between applications on different peers and file copy.

In addition, the technology will aid in adding collaboration, knowledge management, search, and content distribution capabilities through Web service applications.

Microsoft's .Net framework offers an easy, powerful distributed programming model from which to build p-to-p capabilities, said Patrick Bohart, p-to-p marketing manager at Intel.

Some of the challenges with p-to-p computing are that peers are not always on and connected, that they do not have durable names, and that firewalls often lock transfers between peers, Intel officials said.

Using the .Net framework, the Intel kit can enable p-to-p file transfers, which are useful and easy to perform, Stewart said. "Eighty percent of p-to-p applications just want to copy a file from one machine to another," he said.

To address the issue of disconnected peers, the toolkit leverages the remoting feature in .Net. "Remoting is a powerful capability and we want to build on that for p-to-p," Stewart said.

In an attempt to solve the peer naming challenge, Intel also created a new peer naming scheme that is compatible with DNS (Domain Naming System). "For p-to-p computing, we want all peers to have a consistent and durable name," Stewart said.

Other enhancements offered by the technology include SSL-based security that provides a single certificate used by peers to recognize each other.

The goal of the accelerator kit effort is to illustrate how to use Web services technology to build p-to-p applications, Bohart said. "Our hope is by putting a spark out in the industry -- a stimulus package -- it will get the industry to pick up p-to-p computing," Bohart said.

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Cathleen Moore

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