John L. Miller's Blog: Networking and more

John L. Miller's weblog covering his work, research, and programming-related interests

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  • Blog Post: Recent research results

    Hard to believe it's been two years since I posted! I expect to be writing more regularly moving forward. Not that the bar is very high at this point :) Over the past few years I've helped write a few papers related to distributed virtual environments in various workshops. In case you're interested...
  • Blog Post: DVE Scalability - More to be done?

    Much of my last year has been spent reading about distributed virtual environment scalability. As it turns out, perhaps it shouldn't have been. A lot of research papers I've read begins like this: "DVE's consume loads of bandwidth, and there are lots of opportunities to improve their network...
  • Blog Post: Peer-to-Peer Content Distribution and download speeds

    When I talk to people about P2P content distribution, there's a common misperception. They assume that the more people there are downloading that file, the faster download goes. This isn't usually true, as I'll explain below. What is true is that a peer-to-peer system in which servers participate should...
  • Blog Post: 'Managed Prototypes'

    MSCD has a front-page story on research.microsoft.com . A friend of mine asked me about a quote in the article which could perhaps be misunderstood: “It is as much as eight times faster than our original managed prototype, and it’s great that customers will have a chance to experience the benefits...
  • Blog Post: MSCD links to download Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2

    If you're interested in using Microsoft Secure Content Distribution to download Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2, just click here , install and run the downloader, and you'll be off and running! This version of MSCD will be available for four weeks, so you have until 22-August to give it a try!
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Secure Content Distribution

    A few years ago, Pablo Rodriguez and Christos Gkantsidis applied Network Coding to Peer-to-Peer file swarming, calling their system 'Avalanche' . I was lucky enough to be involved in their project. Over time, Cambridge Incubation at Microsoft Research Cambridge built a content distribution system around...
  • Blog Post: Writing a Packet-level Simulator

    Over the years I've gained a healthy respect for the value of simulation. Abstract algorithm simulation can help you fine-tune your core concepts and transaction structure. Low-level network simulation can give you a controlled environment in which to evaluate and debug your protocol and implementation...
  • Blog Post: May the best bot win...

    There are two broad areas in gaming I want to take a closer look at. The first is distributed games, and models for ensuring fairness and cheat-proofing. The second is issues which affect game play quality, such as latency and jitter in network connections. As part of this research, I need a way of reproducibly...
  • Blog Post: And now for something completely different...

    So far I've mostly written about issues that come up in my day-to-day development life, and not very often at that. Starting with my next post, most of what I write about will be related to my research efforts, and I should be posting more frequently. So what are my research interests? So glad you...
  • Blog Post: Threading models for network services

    One of the first steps in writing a multi-layered network service is determining a threading model. Common wisdom for a performant network service is that the socket layer, at the very least, should use some form of overlapped IO, such as async winsock calls or IO completion ports. I do a lot of interviewing...
  • Blog Post: NAT Traversal

    Over the years I've done a lot of work on P2P protocols. One challenge which consistently arises is devising a good P2P NAT traversal strategy, i.e. one which doesn't require all data between clients be relayed through a server. Common wisdom divides NAT's into several categories, depending upon how...
  • Blog Post: Using SCHANNEL and TLS

    A few areas of computer science are especially intimidating. The two worst for my money are networking and security. Networking because it involves LAL of TLA's, and security because, well, it's security. Just because these areas are intimidating doesn't mean they're difficult. Especially if you follow...
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