Monday, December 29, 2008

Faster Internet In 2009?
Monique Morrow at Cisco guided me to an article on December, 2008, IEEE Spectrum publication, which I some how managed to miss. The article is “A Fairer, Faster Internet Protocol ” by Bob Briscoe, Chief Researcher at BT’s Networks Research Centre. The article describes the current TCP protocols problems in giving us better and fair access to the internet. TCP handles about 90% of the 200,000 terabytes that cross the Internet each second. But many companies which provides VoIP and TV services are opting out of TCP’s sharing regime to provide a better service to their customers.
The author and collegues have figured out a way to reveal congestion so that limits can be enforced.
"We call it “refeedback” [see “Minimizing Congestion: A Refeedback Primer.”]. Here’s how it works. Recall that today the computers at each end of an exchange of packets see congestion, but the networks between them can’t. So we built on a technique called Explicit Congestion Notification—the most recent change to the TCP/IP standard, made in 2001. Equipment that implements that change marks packets during impending congestion rather than doing nothing until forced to drop them. The marks—just a change in a single bit—let the network see congestion directly, rather than inferring it from gaps in the packet stream. It’s also particularly neat to be able to limit congestion before anyone suffers any real impairment. "

All the articles are of very high value and gives one insight into current status of the Internet and one of the solutions to make it better, until a better one comes along..


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