Nine Apps That Put BitTorrent File-Sharing Protocol to Work

1 - Nine Apps That Put BitTorrent File-Sharing Protocol to Work
2 - Amazon: Distributing at High Scale
3 - Angie's List: Speeding Up Web Deployments
4 - BBC: Distributing the 'Dr. Who' Anniversary Box Set
5 - Blizzard: Delivering Large Media Files
6 - Creative Agencies: Managing Assets
7 - Facebook: Rolling Out Updates
8 - Team Live Longer: Battling Cervical Cancer in Haiti
9 - Thom Yorke: Album Release With No Middlemen
10 - Twitter: Working With Thousands of Servers
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Nine Apps That Put BitTorrent File-Sharing Protocol to Work

by Darryl K. Taft

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Amazon: Distributing at High Scale

Amazon S3 developers have the ability to retrieve any publicly accessible object via the BitTorrent protocol; this saves on costs when needing to distribute content at high scale. The costs of client/server distribution increase linearly as the number of users downloading objects increases; it can become expensive to distribute popular objects. BitTorrent addresses this problem by recruiting the clients that are downloading the object as distributors themselves. The benefit for publishers is that for large, popular files, the amount of data actually supplied by Amazon S3 can be substantially lower than what it would have been serving the same clients via client/server download. Less data transferred means lower costs for the publisher of the object.

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Angie's List: Speeding Up Web Deployments

The popular reviews Website employs hundreds of servers to run operations; when code updates needed to be pushed, the Web deployment process had been excruciatingly slow. Each individual environment would take about an hour to transfer data. A DevOps engineer found a better solution; using Powershell and the BitTorrent Sync API, he leveraged distributed technology and developed a method that reduced deployment time from hours down to seconds, with no downtime.

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BBC: Distributing the 'Dr. Who' Anniversary Box Set

To mark a decade of the series reboot, BBC Worldwide published an exclusive 10-episode box set, plus extras, to BitTorrent Bundle. With Bundle, they leveraged a digital platform that delivered content directly to fans, with no restrictions on size or content type. It allowed the BBC to reach a wide global audience, many who had not previously had means to access the episodes.

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Blizzard: Delivering Large Media Files

When distributing large files—such as cinematic trailers—games specialist Blizzard Entertainment uses the Blizzard Downloader, a software utility that makes use of the upload capability of user computers to distribute the program to other individuals who may also be downloading the files from Blizzard. The BitTorrent protocol is the technology behind the Blizzard Downloader.

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Creative Agencies: Managing Assets

Creatives work with files that are getting increasingly larger, reaching sizes that aren't well supported by cloud-based services. Singley+Mackie (LA), Farago Design (NYC), Sommerseth (Europe), Jam3 (Canada), among others, use BitTorrent Sync to share and manage files. Because the solution is cloudless; internal testing by BitTorrent Inc. has shown transfer speeds that are 16 times faster than the cloud, while remaining a fully private transaction.

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Facebook: Rolling Out Updates

Facebook is using the BitTorrent protocol to roll out updates. Facebook devised its own BitTorrent tracker, and rolling out a Facebook update averages only 30 minutes. This is achieved by turning every server into a peer that helps distribute the new code being rolled out.

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Team Live Longer: Battling Cervical Cancer in Haiti

Cervical cancer affects more than 270,000 women a year in developing nations, making it the fourth most common cause of cancer death for women. In Haiti, there is the highest mortality rate from cervical cancer in the world. Team Live Longer was established to leverage technology in an effort to address the problem. What they came up with was a way to use mobile devices, to transfer slide images for experts in other areas to diagnose remotely; when detected early, cervical cancer has a survival rate of more than 90 percent. However, the large image sizes, intermittent Internet connectivity and patient confidentiality proved to be a challenge. The team capitalized on BitTorrent Sync's distributed, peer-to-peer nature to address all of these issues.

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Thom Yorke: Album Release With No Middlemen

Thom York's last solo release, "Tomorrow's Modern Boxes" (TMB), is available exclusively as a BitTorrent Bundle, with the platform's first-ever pay gate option. Fans can purchase the album directly from Thom Yorke for $6, with 90 percent of revenue going back to the artist (compared with 60 percent when using iTunes) in addition to all fan data. It was a revolution in digital distribution and it eliminated the need for gatekeepers, or servers to host the content. The network of fans consuming the content became the distribution channel. TMB went on to sell more than any previous Yorke digital solo release, including "Atoms for Peace."

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Twitter: Working With Thousands of Servers

For Twitter, deploying code updates to thousands of servers in a centralized system was a long and cumbersome process. The engineering team turned to the BitTorrent protocol (running inside the data center) to launch a side-project called Murder. This new process sped up a 40-minute deployment process to just 12 seconds.

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