Microsoft Replaces Skype P2P Supernodes with Linux Boxes

If you have being using Skype for a while, you may have heard the news a while back that Microsoft aquired Skype. Skype is one of the most used P2P calling applications both on Desktops and Mobile devices. In a bid to strengthen and solidify the Skype network, Microsoft recently took a drastic step to overhaul the entire Skype network.  It is said that this activity was started two months back.

The initial network architecture consisted of supernodes which were mostly regular users with enough bandwidth, processing power and other system requirements to handle communication distribution. These supernodes then transferred data with other supernodes in a peer-to-peer fashion. At any given time, there were typically a little more than 48,000 clients that operated this way.

A statement from a Microsoft spoke person is as below:

As part of our ongoing commitment to continually improve the Skype user experience, we developed supernodes which can be located on dedicated servers within secure datacentres. This has not changed the underlying nature of Skype’s peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture, in which supernodes simply allow users to find one another (calls do not pass through supernodes). We believe this approach has immediate performance, scalability and availability benefits for the hundreds of millions of users that make up the Skype community.

Well with all the whistles, I am just happy Microsoft isn’t planning any time soon to change the current Skype usage model. I am also excited by the fact that Microsoft themselves are making use of Linux to manage the current Skype network.


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