Tuesday, May 29, 2018

edge to edge bogus arguments in systems design

since the arrival of blockchain tech, we're seeing a lot of bandwagonning on

what most the pundits pushing for this is "just-inside-the-edge" computer/storage/services -

i.e. its still owned by network providers or co-lo kit from a good-old-fashioned-cloud service - same-old same-old. it is getting lower latency/higher availability, less backhaul network costs and (possibly) able to localize service behaviour to geographic jurisdiction, which are all ok things to do.

but it isn't p2p.

but it isn't end-to-end.

e2e was/is the liberating architectural feature of the net that lets anyone run a service. that lets value scale super-linearly (between n*ln(n) and n^2 depending who you believe).

p2p was a failed tech predicating on everyone running things e2e in their home, pocket/car. it failed because of three barriers
i) asymmetric capacity in access networks - this is hard to blame on anyone - its a feature of using old copper capacity and how shared medium spectrum works for fixed and wireless broadband. slowly, it is becomine less the case (last time i looked, 10M out of 35M households in the UK had fiber, which doesn't have these constraints.
ii) IPv4 address space depletion leading to being NATted to death, rather than deploying IPv6 (or anything else).
iii) software deficiencies leading to patriarchical firewalling of systems with vulnerabilities, rather than fixing the root cause (poor systems security).
iv) add yours here....

if you don't run the ledger, file service, social network, messenger platform in your home/pcket/car, it isn't end2end. if it isn't p2p, it isn't e2e. if it isn't e2e, its still 0wned by someone else. even if you have a spare set of keys.

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home