Cloudflare, which is a prominent content delivery network, published a blog post on the 17th of September announcing the launch of its brand new decentralised content gateway using the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS).
This announcement is a part of the Cloudflare Crypto Week which is dedicated towards to promotion of technologies made possible because of cryptography. The IPFS Gateway is just the first of many products that are set to be launched by Cloudflare’s Distributed Web Gateway project that is dedicated to distributed ledger technologies.
Using Cloudflare’s IPFS Gateways, users are no longer required to download or install any software in order to access content from the IPFS. This will therefore enable the usage of a plethora of ‘highly reliable and security enhanced web applications’.
According to the blog post published by Cloudflare, “Usually, when you access a website from your browser, your browser tracks down the origin server (or servers) that are the ultimate, centralized repository for the website’s content. It then sends a request from your computer to that origin server, wherever it is in the world, and that server sends the content back to your computer. This system has served the internet well for decades, but there’s a pretty big downside: centralization makes it impossible to keep content online any longer than the origin servers that host it. If that origin server is hacked or taken out by a natural disaster, the content is unavailable. If the site owner decides to take it down, the content is gone. In short, mirroring is not a first-class concept in most platforms.The InterPlanetary File System aims to change that. IPFS is a peer-to-peer file system composed of thousands of computers around the world, each of which stores files on behalf of the network. These files can be anything: cat pictures, 3D models, or even entire websites. Over 5,000,000,000 files had been uploaded to IPFS already”
Protocol labs was the company behind the development of the IPFS protocol and network which make it possible to engage in peer-to-peer sharing and storage of data. Using this IPFS protocol Cloudflare will be able to bring about a decentralised method by which data can be accessed on the internet. This method of accessing data will eliminate the dependance on any server that hosts said data which will therefore provide greater reliability in a scenario where a server might be hacked or lose power supply owing to a natural calamity.