1 YouServ: A Web Hosting and Content Sharing Tool for the Masses Roberto Bayardo IBM Almaden Research Center Joint work with Rakesh Agrawal, Daniel Gruhl, and Amit Somani
2 Goal Allow people to easily share as much stuff on the web as they please with little to no cost.
3 Solution Provide a system and software (called YouServ) that users run to serve content on the web with their own machines. Not just a webserver, but a webserving community: users cooperatively improve availability (through site replication/mirroring) users cooperatively liberate firewalled content (through P2P proxying/relaying) access to specific content can be restricted by simply listing who in the community can access it (through communal single sign-on). site always available at the same URL regardless of physical location of content
4 Alternatives Run your own webserver software (e.g. Apache httpd, Microsoft IIS, etc..) Centralized Storage (e.g. free or paid hosting services) Other P2P apps (Napster, Gnutella, XDegrees, Freenet, etc...)
5 YouServ vs. Centralized Storage Cheaper. Uses storage, compute power, & bandwidth you already have. Easier. Download & install, login, you're good to go. Shared files always local (for disconnected operation). Functions geared towards effective file sharing (e.g. built in ZIP function for easily sharing multi-file content). More private Fewer restrictions (e.g. some hosting services forbid MP3's) Automatic load distribution Know exactly who is accessing what, and when.
6 YouServ vs. other P2P Apps With other P2P apps, accessing content requires: you install special client software, or you install a special purpose browser plugin, or you route through (semi)centralized web proxy With YouServ, ALL content is ALWAYS served directly from the peers via standard web protocols (DNS + HTTP)
7 Deployment Details Running in IBM for about 1 year (though many important features were completed more recently) Any IBM employee can use it to publish. Anyone on IBM Intranet can access content. Deployed at Carnegie Mellon University last month. Anyone with a cmu.edu address can publish. Anyone on the internet can access (secured) content.
8 Usage (IBM) unique individuals have published a site with userv of those sites were available in the last week sites available simultaneously during peak hours, 400+ on weeknights, 300+ on weekends. Used quite differently than typical webserver software: many users share NO html content, only files: digital photos presentations, papers, work documents live video feeds from their offices!...
9 How does it work? 4 system components YouServ Coordinator (centralized) YouServ Dynamic DNS (centralized) YouServ Peer Nodes (end user publishers) Browsers (end users accessing YouServ content) 3 access scenarios Peer node is online: Standard site access Peer node is offline: Peer-hosted site access Peer node is firewalled: Proxied site access
10 Scenario 1: Standard (online node) Peer Node (Joe) [IP: ] YouServ 1 2 Determine that Joe Login is reachable dyndns 3 Register IP Address for Joe's site. YouServ Coordinator
11 Scenario 1: Standard (online node) Browser 3 HTTP Request 4 HTTP Response Peer Node (Joe) [IP: ] Resolve 1domain to IP 2 Address Return dyndns
12 Scenario 2: Peer Hosted 2 Peer Node (Alice) [IP: ] Check if Alice is available to serve replica of Joe's site 3 Provide site summary Peer Node (Joe) [IP: ] 1 YouServ Logout dyndns 4 Register for Joe's site YouServ Coordinator
13 Scenario 2: Peer Hosted 1 Browser dyndns HTTP Request, HOST=joe.youserv.com Resolve domain to IP Address Return HTTP Response from replica of Joe's site Peer Node (Alice) [IP: ]
14 Replication Details Replication Details Peers themselves are almost entirely responsible for replica maintenance. Coordinator's role is only to notify peers of presence and provide authenticating tokens for peers to communicate. Terminology: Replicator: Peer who replicates some other peer's site Master: Peer whose site is being replicated. A replicator periodically compares a "site summary" to that of the master. Also serves to detect when a master site is unavailable, at which point the replicator will initiate replica failover.
15 Replication Details If site summary fails to match, the replicator will initiate a phase for determining precisely which files and folders need to be updated or deleted. Files that are new or have changed are downloaded via HTTP GET (in their entirety).
16 Scenario 3: Proxied firewall 1 YouServ Login 2 Peer Node (Bob) [IP: ] Fail to connect back to Bob Request proxy 3 4 Return Joe's contact info 5 Establish persistent proxy connection Request IP 6update to Peer Node (Joe) [IP: ] dyndns 7 Register IP address for Bob's site YouServ Coordinator
18 Add'l Proxying Details Coordinator maintains list of "good" proxy candidates Responsive connection Consistently available Location of proxy is heursitically determined by login ID. (E.g. => => Australia). Coordinator always tries to refer a user to a good candidate that is also proximal.
19 Access Control & Authentication in YouServ Accessing secure content across multiple YouServ sites should be seamless. Don't want to require sites assign their own accounts and passwords to secure content. Accessing secure content should not require YouServ sites to be trusted. Don't want sites to directly receive a single-signon password to avoid password stashing.
20 Authentication Authentication provided via single sign on scheme similar to Microsoft Passport. Passwords are never directed to individual YouServ sites. Passwords are only validated through a secure authentication server over SSL. After signing in once with your password, you can authenticate with any YouServ site with a single click (until browser session ends).
21 Single Sign-on Authentication 6 Browser is goes back to Joe's site with his (encrypted) userid in URL parameter. Browser 2 HTTP Request 3 Redirect Peer Node (Joe) 5Redirect 4 Sign in w/ Login ID (over SSL) 1 Provide 3DES session key encrypted with Coordinator's public RSA key upon login. YouServ Coordinator
22 Scalability Potential Bottlenecks: DNS & Coordinator Coordinator: validates passwords (low bandwidth, easy to scale) Monitors availability Availability assitance provided by replicator peers polling their masters. DNS: Low bandwidth highly optimized nameservers (BIND), easy to distribute Existing services known to be highly scalable and cheap to operate (some funded by donations alone).
23 Desktop Integration
24 Application Integration
25 Future Plans Search capability While YouServ sites can be indexed in the "standard" way by search index crawlers... YouServ sites are more dynamic than typical sites Many YouServ sites still quite transient Routing based search methods are still not very good. Limited horizon bandwidth hog theoretical log/root(n) approaches not proven in practice How can we provide fast, effective, up to date search over YouServ content?
26 Future Plans Plugin API for adding services to YouServ servers Allow extending the functionality without access to kernel code. Similar to WinAmp skins, but for function, not for appearance. Open source?
27 In Closing... YouServ: an end-user P2P application with uses other than piracy :-) Everyone should be able to easily publish whatever they want and as much as they want on the web. Key challenge: engineering the system to work within the constraints imposed by standard browser software and web protocols. Limitations are becoming painful. Will protocols (and implementations) have to start evolving to get much further?
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