Towards efficient data distribution on computational desktop grids with BitTorrent

Baohua Wei, Gilles Fedak, Franck Cappello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Datacentric applications are still a challenging issue for large-scale distributed computing systems. The emergence of new protocols and software for collaborative content distribution over the Internet offers a new opportunity for efficient and fast delivery of a high volume of data. This paper presents an evaluation of the BitTorrent protocol for computational desktop grids. We first present a prototype of a generic subsystem dedicated to data management and designed to serve as a building block for any desktop grid system. Based on this prototype we conduct experiments to evaluate the potential of BitTorrent compared to a classical approach based on FTP data server. The preliminary results obtained with a 65-node cluster measure the basic characteristics of BitTorrent in terms of latency and bandwidth and evaluate the scalability of BitTorrent for the delivery of large input files. Moreover, we show that BitTorrent has a considerable latency overhead compared to FTP but clearly outperforms FTP when distributing large files or files to a high number of nodes. Tests on a synthetic application show that BitTorrent significantly increases the communication/computation ratio of the applications eligible to run on a desktop grid system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-989
Number of pages7
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • BitTorrent
  • Collaborative content distribution
  • Desktop grid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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