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Concept Corner: Home Cache Server

This device is intended for home use. It is especially useful for users with bandwidth caps on their home internet connections. Even if you don’t have a cap, this could still be a useful piece of technology that would help to keep your bandwidth flowing more freely and not being clogged with unnecessary packets.Downloaded items like Operating System updates, Game patches, and movie downloads are generally very large and need to be downloaded for more than one computer in your house. Why download the same 800mb patch several different times, or worse at the same time?

Hardware wise, it would look much like your current wireless / wired router that you have at home. It would be almost identical to that kind of device, with the addition of either an internal hard drive or firewire/USB ports to allow for external storage. The device at its most basic level, would see that you are downloading an 800mb file called “OSupdate2010.dmg”, give it a unique hash that would include file origination data and store this file on the local hard drive. When your second computer tried to reach out to get this same file two days later, the device would intercept and serve it to you from the local hard drive rather than going back out to the internet to get it.

Of course, this device could either be used out of the box in “user mode” or set to a highly configurable “admin mode” with rules for how to handle data and file serving. Rules such as:

  • If a file has not been accessed in X days, delete it.
  • Only cache files larger than X mb.
  • Only cache files for the following computers.
  • Show warnings to user if the file is not currently cached and will use bandwidth.

Let me know what you think in the comments!