Design and performance evaluation of the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), a Decentralized Storage and Delivery Network
The last decade has seen dramatic centralisation of Internet services. Storage, bandwidth and compute are now largely provided by a handful of companies. To counter this trend, the research community has proposed many decentralized alternatives.
The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS - ipfs.io), along with libp2p (libp2p.io) and other supporting protocols and libraries, has taken center stage in this movement and has become the de facto standard for research, experimentation, and development of decentralised storage and delivery platforms. IPFS is an open membership (permissionless), content-addressable, peer-to-peer network protocol. The IPFS protocol stack is open-source with a vibrant community of thousands of contributors, a network size of 250,000 monthly nodes and a rapidly growing ecosystem of companies that build on top of the IPFS protocol stack.
In this talk we will introduce the building blocks of IPFS, how the overall system works and we will finally point to some of our latest findings from a large measurement campaign that we carried out recently. Our detailed measurement methodology and experimentation has revealed several important findings, such as the retrieval latency from several geographic regions, the churn rate of the P2P network, but also bottlenecks in the performance of the system.
Dr. Yiannis Psaras (research.protocol.ai/authors/yiannis-psaras/) is a Research Scientist at Protocol Labs. He is heavily involved in identifying the future research directions for IPFS and libp2p, especially with regard to the limitations that current versions of the protocols are expected to face. Among other projects, he is currently leading a large network measurement effort for the IPFS network and libp2p-based networks more generally.
Before joining Protocol Labs, he was an EPSRC Fellow and University Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at University College London. For the past decade he has been interested in areas related to resource management techniques for current and future networking architectures with a particular focus on routing, caching, and congestion control. Over the last few years he has focused on function-centric networks to realize distributed and decentralized edge computing, also referred to as “computing in the network”. He held a prestigious EPSRC Early Career Fellowship (2015-2020) in the area of “decentralized content-oriented and service-centric edge-computing architectures” and has received five (5) Best Paper Awards for his work. He has been heavily involved in the effort to shift the Internet towards an Information-Centric Networking environment, which he is now materializing through his contribution to the IPFS Ecosystem.