On Sept. 17, a vital United States-based content delivery network (CDN) CloudFlare introduced a new decentralized content gateway via InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), a peer-to-peer (p2p) network run by thousands of computers bypassing the conventional HTTP system. Here’s how it supposed to work and why CloudFlare decided to support such a project.
What is CloudFlare?
CloudFlare is a company that provides content delivery network (CDN) services and DDoS protection. Basically, CloudFlare plays the role of an intermediary between the website and the visitor. It defends the website by filtering out suspicious requests and speeds up its overall performance via its CDN, powered by 152 data centers located in different parts of the world. As CloudFlare’s CEO Matthew Prince explained to the Wire:
“At that data center, we’ll make a series of determinations: Are you a good guy or a bad guy? Are you trying to harm the site? Or are you actually a legitimate customer? If we determine that you’re a bad guy, we stop you there. We act essentially as this force shield that covers and protects our customers.”
The company was created in 2009, when Prince and Lee Holloway, who had been jointly working on a system that tracked how spammers harvested email addresses (dubbed ‘Project Honey Pot’), met Michelle Zatlyn at the Harvard Business School, where Prince went to get his MBA. Together, they expanded the concept, came up with a new name and won the Harvard Business School Business Plan competition.
The service itself quietly launched its beta in June 2010. On Sept. 27 of the same year, CloudFlare was officially launched at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco. As per data stated on their website, the company serves around 8 million internet properties and “powers nearly 10 percent of all internet requests.” According to the Wire,