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Decentralized file-sharing systems like Napster and Gnutella have popularized the peer-to-peer approach, which emphasizes the use of distributed resources in a decentralized manner. Peer-to-peer (P2P) systems are a relatively new addition to the large area of distributed systems. Their emphasis on sharing distributed resources, self-organization and use of discovery mechanisms sets them apart from other forms of distributed computing. Avoiding centralized components, and extensive resource/service sharing allows P2P systems to outperform other forms of distributed systems with regards to scalability and robustness due to load distribution and the avoidance of bottlenecks and single points of failure. This paper has two aims; firstly to report on the use of JXTA in converting a server-centric legacy forum system into a P2P system. It also attempts to encourage others in redesigning existing client-server systems into P2P applications as a way of to better understand and evaluate the costs and benefits of this technology.
Date of Conference: 2002