Saturday, March 29, 2008

Using RED for fair bandwidth usage

George Ou recently wrote an article titled "Fixing the unfairness of TCP congestion control" which starts off (my emphasis added):
Bob Briscoe (Chief researcher at the BT Network Research Centre) is on a mission to tackle one of the biggest problems facing the Internet. He wants the world to know that TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) congestion control is fundamentally broken and he has a proposal for the IETF to fix the root cause of the problem.

All this is quite topical given Comcast's attempts to throttle peer-to-peer file-sharing traffic on their network, the FCC's involvement, and Comcast's recent promise to "stop meddling".

Nate Lawson wrote two great blog posts to address George Ou's article - effectively saying that the TCP/IP stack does not need to be swapped out and we don't need a complex new protocol to deal with the congestion problem. A simple option is to use RED (Rapid Early Discard) and Nate goes on to explain why this would work. Nate's 2nd post addresses Check the out here:

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