Peering Into the Future of Peer-To-Peer
Napster-like companies may come and go, but P2P is here to stayNapster-like companies may come and go, but P2P is here to stay. At least thats what peer-to-peer companies say. Why these companies think they can eke out a business plan inspired by a company that made only its lawyers rich and ultimately collapsed is another question. This doesnt mean that there arent interesting companies in this market, however. Netscape vets Marc Andreessen and Jim Barksdale, who know all about collapsing businesses, are the big investors behind Zodiac Networks, a P2P company focused on the content delivery network. Zodiac reportedly enhances content delivery networks, such as Akamai Technologies, by distributing and sharing data among their client nodes. For example, content creation sites may use Akamais services to cache content at the network level. Zodiac will recache the data at the client level and distribute it via P2P, making the entire network more efficient.
Andreessens Loudcloud, which should have gone public by the time you read this, has a deal with Akamai. Andreessen bills Loudcloud as the "leading software infrastructure services provider" (pretty arrogant for a startup). Loudclouds customers apparently will have easy ways to tap into Akamais network. We can speculate that Akamai will leverage Zodiacs technology, making Andreessen a key player in the content delivery space.