[Live-demo] Downloading via BitTorrent?

John Reuning john at ibiblio.org
Thu Jul 5 17:15:23 PDT 2012

Thanks all for the thoughts.  I'll try to answer several of the questions here.

ibiblio's hosting environment has both a standard internet uplink, as
well as an Internet2 link, and the Seed Bank servers (our BT server
software) benefit from this.  I've seen single Internet2 BT peers hit
50 Mbps.  We did have a sourceforge mirror at one time, but it's been
years since that was decommissioned.

A couple of benefits come to mind for BT distribution:

* Downloading 4 GB over a slow connection can take hours or days and
be prone to disconnects.  sf.net mirrors help, but in general, BT
clients tend to be more reliable than browsers on stop/restart.

* Multiple clients active at the same location benefit from data
sharing.  Students in a lab setting, for example, quickly start to
transfer among themselves.

Torrents wouldn't take the place of sf.net.  Most of the content on
terasaur.org (our BT platform) is also available via http from various
sources.  Even 5-10% downloads via BT shows viable interest.  ibiblio
will take care of the seeding so you don't have to worry about keeping
a BT client running somewhere.  Uploading via BT is coming soon.
Also, one of the mid-term goals is download activity graphing similar
to what's on sf.net.

> Is ibiblio running the tracker on those torrents? if not which tracker
> are you using? Download statistics are quite tricky with torrents since
> not all clients connect to all seeds. Also do you have a capacity cap on
> your torrents? I looked at doing something like that on my mirrors and
> the osgeo mirrors as a way to ensure other applications on those
> networks don't get saturated with just torrents.

terasaur.org includes the entire BT stack -- web CMS, torrent file
hosting, tracker, and seeding.  One of my core theories for torrent
publishing is that general torrent hosting/tracker sites don't make
sense for most projects.  So far, the BT environment is as stable as
our web site hosting, and we're planning to cluster the tracker and
seeds.  There's no cap on the torrents.

I've been enabling the private flag on our torrents, which should (in
theory) cut some of the P2P noise and increase the accuracy of
completed download tracking.  I've only lightly instrumented the Seed
Bank but intend to collect more data from there in the future.



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