Date Added: Jan 2011
A peer-to-peer, commonly abbreviated to P2P, is any distributed network architecture composed of participants that make a portion of their resources (such as processing power, disk storage or network bandwidth) directly available to other network participants, without the need for central coordination instances (such as servers or stable hosts). Peers are both suppliers and consumers of resources, in contrast to the traditional client-server model where only servers supply, and clients consume. Peer-to-peer systems often implement an Application Layer overlay network on top of the native or physical network topology. Such overlays are used for indexing and peer discovery. Content is typically exchanged directly over the underlying Internet Protocol (IP) network.