An Adaptive Load Balancing Method for Multiple Paths Using Flow Statistics and Its Performance Analysis

Ryoichi KAWAHARA  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E87-B   No.7   pp.1993-2003
Publication Date: 2004/07/01
Online ISSN: 
DOI: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Network
Keyword: 
load balancing,  TCP,  MPLS,  

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Summary: 
We propose an adaptive load balancing method for multiple paths that makes it possible to achieve high TCP performance on each path. In conventional load balancing methods, link utilization is the main parameter to be balanced among multiple paths that are established between an ingress and egress node pair. However, when we take into account TCP-level performance, balancing the traffic in terms of only link utilization may not always result in balanced TCP performance on each path. Our method utilizes flow statistics such as the number of active flows in each path, which is easy to measure, and can treat TCP performance. By adaptively equalizing the average bandwidth used per active flow in each path, which is calculated by dividing the input rate to the path by the mean number of active flows, our method achieves fair and high TCP performance on each path. Unlike other methods, intermediate nodes between an ingress-egress pair are not required to perform traffic controls or measurements besides normal packet forwarding. We describe a load balancing method for adaptively equalizing the average bandwidth used per active flow on each path and show its effectiveness under heterogeneous conditions through simulation analysis.