MAN as an Overlay Network

One use for a MetropolitanAreaNetwork is to provide existing network (Internet or private) users to communicate with each other without using paid-for infrastructure such as T1's or cable modems. A wireless mesh of sufficient density and interconnectedness allows two users in different parts of the city to share data without touching the public Internet, and potentially do so at higher speeds.

However, the resources that a given user can provide themselves are rather limited and generally not of interest to a large number of people. Even if Google were to directly connect to the cloud, allowing hyper-fast local access to, the total benefit would be essentially zero, because the whole point of the Internet is to hyperlink to other sites.

The only resource that's useful in a general sense that nearly anyone (with hardware and the right config) can provide is a cache. This includes both web caches (think Squid) and mirrors of large archives (think Debian). With the right software distributed across all the servers in the cloud, web surfing and site mirroring could be made to operate in parallel, load-balancing each of the Internet connections available to the cloud.


ManOverlay (last edited 2007-11-23 18:01:20 by localhost)