NewNode - decentralized CDN from FireChat developer
The other day, I came across the mention of a NewNode:
NewNode - SDK for mobile development, which makes any application indestructible for any censorship and DDoS, and dramatically reduces the load on the server. P2P network. It can work in theory without the Internet.
It looked rather messy, but interesting, and I got to understand. There was no place in the repository for the description of the project, so I had to go to the Clostra website (rather strange) and re-read the local landing several times to understand what kind of technology it was and what part of it was basic. I retell below.
Clostra developers believe that traditional CDNs do not fight network congestion well, are vulnerable to possible censorship and hacking, and also require a lot of work and money when scaling. They offer an alternative - a decentralized CDN, inside which applications can exchange content without the ability to infiltrate and control traffic from the outside. Also, in their opinion, the massive use of dCDN will not cause network congestion and clutter.
Next, it turns out that NewNode is a peer-to-peer protocol on which dCDN is already built. It promises high speed, which usually causes problems in decentralized networks.
Formally, the protocol is not described anywhere, but from the pdf you can understand that it works:
- Bittorrent DHT
- Device-to-device connections from FireChat
A separate item indicates the property of networks on NewNode to deploy and repair automatically (the latter, most likely, implies the instability of the mesh network from mobile devices). Also, since the developers hope to integrate protocol support into all possible applications, traffic generated by NewNode will not unmask the user. Declared protection from DDoS and separately highlighted the phrase:
Take advantage of BitTorrent’s 250 Million user base
In general, it is not clear what they wanted to say by this and how the appeal to Bittorrent DHT in the protocol was equated to Bittorrent’s user base.
Work without the Internet is obviously inherited from FireChat technologies, but it is not clear to what extent. In the only line about offline access to “your content” is declared, which most likely means forwarding incoming data through a neighboring client with the Internet via a mesh network.
It contains the SDK for Android, iOS and macOS/Linux. Over the three and a half years of the project’s existence, 4 contributors were noted in it, but in fact all the code was written by one developer - Greg Hazel . Here, of course, I was depressed - all this ambitious tinsel turned out to be essentially a pet project of one developer. But something is encouraging.
Separate connections began to be built on the site, and rummaging in the github, I finally remembered. The project’s CEO Clostra and one of the contributors is Stanislav Shalunov, one of the FireChat developers and the author of Low Extra Delay Background Transport (LEDBAT), which Bittorrent, Apple, and probably something else go for. Now he is also an investor, and it is very likely that he plans to seriously develop his protocol and make it generally accepted (or at least generally known, as happened with LEDBAT).
What else bothers you
Besides being completely dependent on one developer, there are other oddities around this project.
- Nobody writes about him anywhere. Neither on HN, nor on the blocs or twitter. Full informational vacuum. I don’t even know how the person who wrote the description from the beginning of the post found out about him.
- If the idea is really good, using Shalunov’s personal brand and authority, you could have promoted it for a long time and obtained the support of major players (or a large community). None of this.
- Clostra is a very muddy studio. Very straightforward. They have an extremely dumb looking site on which they present their only Keymaker product (well, NewNode), all without examples, reviews, screenshots and other bullshit, which is mandatory for landing.There is simply inspiring text in blurry formulations and icons from the nearest runoff. You can’t study a team, vacancies or even learn something about this office. They have a twitter that seems to be running a bot, and abandoned facebook when it was created. But with all this external acrimony, in several places they emphasize the fact of their cooperation with public services, especially with the Department of Defense. There are three reviews about getting them to work, where two are very negative (for example, “Don’t waste your time with Clostra. Something stinks about this scam”, and one is very positive. In general, at first glance, such a project isn’t from scam) distinguish.
We’ll see what comes of all this; personally, it will be interesting for me to follow such an ambitious project. If NewNode shoots, it can change the work of mobile applications and their traffic quite a lot, and if it bends, someone more responsible and capable can pick up the idea.
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