Swarmcast was the first peer-to-peer (P2P) content delivery system and the originator of the term "Swarming Downloads." The program was invented and developed in 1999 by Justin Chapweske (of OnionNetworks fame) and sold to Opencola, which released the software under a GPL license.

How it works

The program first breaks a file into multiple little packets, distributing those packets to computers that have downloaded the file, and randomly requesting those packets from whoever has them. The result is a mesh of packets, which, with a large number of users, can be downloaded in parallel for faster downloads.

Technology overview

The technique of segmented downloading was also used in later peer-to-peer systems, including BitTorrent and derivatives of Gnutella such as BearShare.

Company history

Chapweske founded Onion Networks in 2001, which later became the relaunched Swarmcast.com, after he resecured the rights to Swarmcast software upon the sale of Opencola.

He pursued investment capital, patent coverage of ideas embodied in the Swarmcast software, and focused on added-value content distribution.

The company received $5 million in November, 2006 investment capital.

A significant user of Swarmcast is MLB.com as part of its Mosaic product, which offers viewers simultaneous access to video feeds from nine baseball games.


External links

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