M+E Daily

PARC Exec To Share Plans for Game-Changing Content-Centric Network at HITS

The Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) has a long history of launching big ideas into the world; among them, laser printing, Ethernet, and computer-generated bitmap graphics. Teresa Lunt, vice president and director of PARC’s Computing Science Laboratory, says that content-centric networking (CCN) has the potential to be the next game-changer for the entertainment industry.

Lunt will be focusing on CCN during her afternoon keynote at the Hollywood IT Summit (HITS) this Friday at Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus.

What exactly is CCN? As Lunt explains it, to find data today you need a link, website, file name, or some other identifier. With CCN, you can ask for the data directly by name rather than by the source and destination. The network finds the content and delivers it to you. Having intelligence built into the network makes the whole model of distributing content much simpler, Lunt says.

With CCN, because the data is named, the routers can cache content so you don’t have to go to the source – you can go to an intermediate node. Any piece of content only has to pass through a link once, removing congestion from the network.

For example, posting a popular viral video expected to attract millions of hits requires a content distribution scheme that could prove cost prohibitive. Using CCN, a file would be sent once and when the next person asks for it, it’s found in a downstream node. CCN has security built into the model so the content is self-protecting, says Lunt.

“In most cases, if you want that hot YouTube video, that content must traverse the Internet to you all the way from the source. The server is spitting out a million copies, congesting the Internet. With CCN, it’s pushed out to the edge of the network, so that later requests for the same content can be served locally. It’s revolutionary to have this capability built into the network.”

CCN has a bevy of potential benefactors, including service providers, content producers and distributors. PARC has been working with commercial partners to bring CCN to market.

“There are a small amount of companies working to promote the use of CCN on a wide variety of platforms; but it will start to grow quickly within a year,” Lunt says. “CCN could enable the industry to be in the driver seat for technology.”

You can still register to attend HITS by visiting the event site at www.HollywoodITSummit.com.