Peer-to-Peer Architecture Case Study: Gnutella Network

Matei Ripeanu. 24 July, 2001.
Communicated by Ian Foster.


Despite recent excitement generated by the peer-to-peer (P2P) paradigm and the surprisingly rapid deployment of some P2P applications, there are few quantitative evaluations of P2P systems behavior. The open architecture, achieved scale, and self-organizing structure of the Gnutella network make it an interesting P2P architecture to study. Like most other P2P applications, Gnutella builds, at the application level, a virtual network with its own routing mechanisms. The topology of this virtual network and the routing mechanisms used have a significant influence on application properties such as performance, reliability, and scalability. We have built a "crawler" to extract the topology of Gnutella's application level network. In this paper we analyze the topology graph and evaluate generated network traffic. The two major findings we focus on are: (1) although Gnutella is not a pure power-law network, its current configuration has the benefits and the drawbacks of a power-law structure, and (2) the Gnutella virtual network topology does not match well the underlying Internet topology, hence leading to ineffective use of the physical networking infrastructure. These findings guide us to propose changes to the Gnutella protocol and implementations that may bring significant performance and scalability improvements. Although Gnutella network might fade, we believe the P2P paradigm is here to stay. In this light, our findings as well as our measurement and analysis techniques bring precious insight into P2P system design tradeoffs.

Keywords: peer-to-peer system evaluation, self-organized networks, power-law network, topology analysis.

Original Document

The original document is available in PDF (uploaded 24 July, 2001 by Ian Foster).

Additional Document Formats

The document is also available in Postscript (uploaded 24 July, 2001 by Ian Foster).

NOTE: The author warrants that these additional documents are identical with the originial to the extent permitted by the translation between the various formats. However, the webmaster has made no effort to verify this claim. If the authenticity of the document is an issue, please always refer to the "Original document." If you find significant alterations, please report to