the reality is that we will be forced to continue using TCP on such multipath networks well after deployment of a future Internet is complete. In this paper, we investigate the use of best-effort packet reordering -- an optional network layer service for improving the performance of any TCP session in the presence of out-of-order packet delivery. Such a service holds the promise of allowing unmodified TCP to take advantage of the reliability and performance gains offered by a future multipath-enabled Internet without suffering the adverse performance effects commonly associated with out-of-order packet delivery. Our experiments test the performance of two common TCP variants under packet dispersion with differing numbers of paths and amounts of inter-path latency variance. They were conducted using multipath network and packet reorderer implementations implemented within the Emulab testbed. Our results demonstrate that a simple best-effort reordering service can insulate TCP from the type of reordering that might be expected from use of packet dispersion over disjoint paths in a wide-area network, and is capable of providing significant performance benefits with few ill side-effects." />


On Best-Effort Packet Reordering for Mitigating the Effects of Out-of-Order Delivery on Unmodified TCP

John Russell LANE  Akihiro NAKAO  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E93-B   No.5   pp.1095-1103
Publication Date: 2010/05/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E93.B.1095
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Technology and Architecture for Sustainable Growth of the Internet)
Category: 
Keyword: 
multipath,  packet dispersion,  best-effort reordering,  

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Summary: 
Multipath routing and the ability to simultaneously use multiple network paths has long been proposed as a means for meeting the reliability and performance improvement goals of a next generation Internet. However, its use causes out-of-order packet delivery, which is well known to hinder TCP performance. While next-generation transport protocols will no doubt better cope with this phenomenon, a complete switch to these new protocols cannot be made on all devices "overnight"; the reality is that we will be forced to continue using TCP on such multipath networks well after deployment of a future Internet is complete. In this paper, we investigate the use of best-effort packet reordering -- an optional network layer service for improving the performance of any TCP session in the presence of out-of-order packet delivery. Such a service holds the promise of allowing unmodified TCP to take advantage of the reliability and performance gains offered by a future multipath-enabled Internet without suffering the adverse performance effects commonly associated with out-of-order packet delivery. Our experiments test the performance of two common TCP variants under packet dispersion with differing numbers of paths and amounts of inter-path latency variance. They were conducted using multipath network and packet reorderer implementations implemented within the Emulab testbed. Our results demonstrate that a simple best-effort reordering service can insulate TCP from the type of reordering that might be expected from use of packet dispersion over disjoint paths in a wide-area network, and is capable of providing significant performance benefits with few ill side-effects.