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Peer-To-Peer (P2P) le sharing systems such as Gnutella have been widely acknowledged as the fastest growing Internet applications ever. The P2P model has many potential advantages including high flexibility and server-less management. However, these systems suffer from the well-known performance mismatch between the randomly constructed overlay network topology and the underlying IP-layer topology. This paper proposes to structure the P2P overlay topology using a heterogeneity-aware multi-tier topology to better balance the load at peers with heterogeneous capacities and to prevent low capability nodes from throttling the performance of the system. An analytical model is developed to enable the construction and maintenance of heterogeneity-aware overlay topologies with good node connectivity and better load balance.
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