[Bloat] [aqm] ping loss "considered harmful"

Bill Ver Steeg (versteb) versteb at cisco.com
Mon Mar 2 15:48:53 EST 2015

While I do not formally speak for “a big vendor” in this (or any) context, I do happen to work for one.

There are several efforts underway within this particular big vendor to address bloat. Are these efforts crash programs to get code out the door as fast as humanly possible? No. There are efforts underway, though. These things take time…… To be frank, the best way to drive feature development/deployment/adoption in most big companies is to have customers ask for them.

We are actually starting to see broader awareness of the problem at the SP network edge, and this is probably where we need solutions the fastest. There have been some gap-filler changes in the HFC space recently, and the next generation CMTS products will have a quite robust solution. As noted previously, the CPE and the DSLAMs will also need to be addressed. Unfortunately (perhaps fortunately to some folks on this list…. but I digress), the company I work for is no longer in these parts of the business, as we sold off the Linksys group off a few years ago and got out of the DSLAM business many years ago. I do still have some contacts in the chipset vendor community in the CPE space, and could help drive awareness if it would help. As most of us understand, the chipset vendors have a lot clout in this area - as they supply most of the heavy lifting code to the OEM/ODM CPE folks for their commercial offers. The open source community is currently ahead of the chipset folks and the OEM/ODM folks in this space.

So, IMHO the best way to make progress in the CPE arena is to get the chipset vendors to provide a robust AQM scheme in their default drivers. There may have to be some tweaks to get a given algorithm to work in a given chipset/memory/CPU architecture. In fact, there may be room for algorithms that take advantage of features of a given chipset, or to design a new chipset that “does the right thing” in uCode.  If I were a consultant – this is where I would focus my efforts……….

I am not sure how to crack the DSLAM egg, though. Different set of players, different set of initial conditions.

Bill VerSteeg

From: bloat-bounces at lists.bufferbloat.net [mailto:bloat-bounces at lists.bufferbloat.net] On Behalf Of Jonathan Morton
Sent: Monday, March 02, 2015 2:42 PM
To: Kathleen Nichols
Cc: bloat
Subject: Re: [Bloat] [aqm] ping loss "considered harmful"

Probably the least cynical answer to that I can come up with is the hope that big vendors get a clue that this stuff is needed, and start hiring field experts as consultants to help them get it right.

You can stop snickering now.

Another possibility is that some of us have to club together and make our own hardware that Does The Right Thing, possibly still based on one of the generic reference hardware platforms, if we can find one that we like and is cheap enough to compete. Which, once again, would take care of the CPE problem but practically nothing else, unless we somehow managed to get a foot in the door of the DSLAM market. Which is about as likely as the Prince of Darkness taking a skiing holiday at home.

- Jonathan Morton
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