Analysis Evaluation of Parallel TCP: Is It Really Effective for Long Fat Networks?

Zongsheng ZHANG  Go HASEGAWA  Masayuki MURATA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E90-B    No.3    pp.559-568
Publication Date: 2007/03/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1093/ietcom/e90-b.3.559
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Internet
parallel TCP,  throughput,  Long Fat Network,  

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Parallel TCP is one possible approach to increasing throughput of data transfer in Long Fat Networks (LFNs). Using parallel TCP is something of black art. As high-speed transport-layer protocols appear, e.g. HSTCP, it is necessary to reinvestigate the performance of parallel TCP, because a choice has to be make among them for the system. In this paper, the performance of parallel TCP is evaluated by mathematical analysis based on a simple dumbbell topology. Packet drop rate and aggregate goodput are used as two metrics to characterize the performance of parallel TCP. Two cases, namely synchronization and non-synchronization, are analyzed in detail when DropTail is deployed on routers. The synchronization case is common in using parallel TCP, but the goodput deteriorates seriously. The non-synchronization case may benefit parallel TCP, but extra mechanisms are required, and it is not easy to implement in the real world. The problem also remains even if Random Early Detection (RED) queue management is employed on routers. The analysis results show the difficulty in using parallel TCP in practice.