[Bloat] [Starlink] [Rpm] Researchers Seeking Probe Volunteers in USA

Dick Roy dickroy at alum.mit.edu
Thu Jan 12 16:34:26 EST 2023



-----Original Message-----
From: rjmcmahon [mailto:rjmcmahon at rjmcmahon.com] 
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2023 10:03 AM
To: Sebastian Moeller
Cc: Dick Roy; Rodney W. Grimes; mike.reynolds at netforecast.com; libreqos;
David P. Reed; Rpm; bloat
Subject: Re: [Starlink] [Rpm] Researchers Seeking Probe Volunteers in USA


For WiFi there is the TSF



[RR] There is also a TimingAdvertisement function which can be used to
synchronize STAs to UTC time (or other specified time references . see the
802.11 standard for details . or ask me offline).  It was added in the
802.11p amendment along with OCB operation if you care to know:-) 


We in test & measurement use that in our internal telemetry. The TSF of 

a Wifi device only needs frequency-sync for some things typically 

related to access to the medium. A phase locked loop does it. A device 

that decides to go to sleep, as an example, will also stop its TSF 

creating a non-linearity. It's difficult to synchronize it to the system 

clock or the GPS atomic clock - though we do this for internal testing 

reasons so it can be done.


What's mostly missing for T&M with WiFi is the GPS atomic clock as 

that's a convenient time domain to use as the canonical domain.



> Hi RR,



>> On Jan 11, 2023, at 22:46, Dick Roy <dickroy at alum.mit.edu> wrote:




>> -----Original Message-----

>> From: Starlink [mailto:starlink-bounces at lists.bufferbloat.net] On 

>> Behalf Of Sebastian Moeller via Starlink

>> Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2023 12:01 PM

>> To: Rodney W. Grimes

>> Cc: Dave Taht via Starlink; mike.reynolds at netforecast.com; libreqos; 

>> David P. Reed; Rpm; rjmcmahon; bloat

>> Subject: Re: [Starlink] [Rpm] Researchers Seeking Probe Volunteers in 

>> USA


>> Hi Rodney,





>> > On Jan 11, 2023, at 19:32, Rodney W. Grimes
<starlink at gndrsh.dnsmgr.net> wrote:

>> >

>> > Hello,

>> >

>> >     Yall can call me crazy if you want.. but... see below [RWG]

>> >> Hi Bib,

>> >>

>> >>

>> >>> On Jan 9, 2023, at 20:13, rjmcmahon via Starlink
<starlink at lists.bufferbloat.net> wrote:

>> >>>

>> >>> My biggest barrier is the lack of clock sync by the devices, i.e.
very limited support for PTP in data centers and in end devices. This limits
the ability to measure one way delays (OWD) and most assume that OWD is 1/2
and RTT which typically is a mistake. We know this intuitively with airplane
flight times or even car commute times where the one way time is not 1/2 a
round trip time. Google maps & directions provide a time estimate for the
one way link. It doesn't compute a round trip and divide by two.

>> >>>

>> >>> For those that can get clock sync working, the iperf 2 --trip-times
options is useful.

>> >>

>> >>    [SM] +1; and yet even with unsynchronized clocks one can try to
measure how latency changes under load and that can be done per direction.
Sure this is far inferior to real reliably measured OWDs, but if life/the
internet deals you lemons....

>> >

>> > [RWG] iperf2/iperf3, etc are already moving large amounts of data back
and forth, for that matter any rate test, why not abuse some of that data
and add the fundemental NTP clock sync data and bidirectionally pass each
others concept of "current time".  IIRC (its been 25 years since I worked on
NTP at this level) you *should* be able to get a fairly accurate clock delta
between each end, and then use that info and time stamps in the data stream
to compute OWD's.  You need to put 4 time stamps in the packet, and with
that you can compute "offset".

>> [RR] For this to work at a reasonable level of accuracy, the 

>> timestamping circuits on both ends need to be deterministic and 

>> repeatable as I recall. Any uncertainty in that process adds to 

>> synchronization errors/uncertainties.


>>       [SM] Nice idea. I would guess that all timeslot based access 

>> technologies (so starlink, docsis, GPON, LTE?) all distribute "high 

>> quality time" carefully to the "modems", so maybe all that would be 

>> needed is to expose that high quality time to the LAN side of those 

>> modems, dressed up as NTP server?

>> [RR] It's not that simple!  Distributing "high-quality time", i.e. 

>> "synchronizing all clocks" does not solve the communication problem in 

>> synchronous slotted MAC/PHYs!


>     [SM] I happily believe you, but the same idea of "time slot" needs to

> be shared by all nodes, no? So the clockss need to be reasonably

> similar rate, aka synchronized (see below).



>>  All the technologies you mentioned above are essentially P2P, not 

>> intended for broadcast.  Point is, there is a point controller (aka 

>> PoC) often called a base station (eNodeB, gNodeB, .) that actually 

>> "controls everything that is necessary to control" at the UE including 

>> time, frequency and sampling time offsets, and these are critical to 

>> get right if you want to communicate, and they are ALL subject to the 

>> laws of physics (cf. the speed of light)! Turns out that what is 

>> necessary for the system to function anywhere near capacity, is for 

>> all the clocks governing transmissions from the UEs to be 

>> "unsynchronized" such that all the UE transmissions arrive at the PoC 

>> at the same (prescribed) time!


>     [SM] Fair enough. I would call clocks that are "in sync" albeit with

> individual offsets as synchronized, but I am a layman and that might

> sound offensively wrong to experts in the field. But even without the

> naming my point is that all systems that depend on some idea of shared

> time-base are halfway there of exposing that time to end users, by

> "translating it into an NTP time source at the modem.



>> For some technologies, in particular 5G!, these considerations are 

>> ESSENTIAL. Feel free to scour the 3GPP LTE 5G RLC and PHY specs if you 

>> don't believe me! J


>     [SM Far be it from me not to believe you, so thanks for the pointers.

> Yet, I still think that unless different nodes of a shared segment

> move at significantly different speeds, that there should be a common

> "tick-duration" for all clocks even if each clock runs at an offset...

> (I naively would try to implement something like that by trying to

> fully synchronize clocks and maintain a local offset value to convert

> from "absolute" time to "network" time, but likely because coming from

> the outside I am blissfully unaware of the detail challenges that need

> to be solved).


> Regards & Thanks

>     Sebastian





>> >

>> >>

>> >>

>> >>>

>> >>> --trip-times

>> >>> enable the measurement of end to end write to read latencies (client
and server clocks must be synchronized)

>> > [RWG] --clock-skew

>> >     enable the measurement of the wall clock difference between sender
and receiver

>> >

>> >>

>> >>    [SM] Sweet!

>> >>

>> >> Regards

>> >>    Sebastian

>> >>

>> >>>

>> >>> Bob

>> >>>> I have many kvetches about the new latency under load tests being

>> >>>> designed and distributed over the past year. I am delighted! that

>> >>>> are happening, but most really need third party evaluation, and

>> >>>> calibration, and a solid explanation of what network pathologies

>> >>>> do and don't cover. Also a RED team attitude towards them, as well

>> >>>> thinking hard about what you are not measuring (operations

>> >>>> I actually rather love the new cloudflare speedtest, because it

>> >>>> a single TCP connection, rather than dozens, and at the same time

>> >>>> are complaining that it doesn't find the actual "speed!". yet... the

>> >>>> test itself more closely emulates a user experience than

>> >>>> does. I am personally pretty convinced that the fewer numbers of

>> >>>> that a web page opens improves the likelihood of a good user

>> >>>> experience, but lack data on it.

>> >>>> To try to tackle the evaluation and calibration part, I've reached

>> >>>> to all the new test designers in the hope that we could get together

>> >>>> and produce a report of what each new test is actually doing. I've

>> >>>> tweeted, linked in, emailed, and spammed every measurement list I

>> >>>> of, and only to some response, please reach out to other test

>> >>>> folks and have them join the rpm email list?

>> >>>> My principal kvetches in the new tests so far are:

>> >>>> 0) None of the tests last long enough.

>> >>>> Ideally there should be a mode where they at least run to "time of

>> >>>> first loss", or periodically, just run longer than the

>> >>>> industry-stupid^H^H^H^H^H^Hstandard 20 seconds. There be dragons

>> >>>> there! It's really bad science to optimize the internet for 20

>> >>>> seconds. It's like optimizing a car, to handle well, for just 20

>> >>>> seconds.

>> >>>> 1) Not testing up + down + ping at the same time

>> >>>> None of the new tests actually test the same thing that the infamous

>> >>>> rrul test does - all the others still test up, then down, and ping.

>> >>>> was/remains my hope that the simpler parts of the flent test suite -

>> >>>> such as the tcp_up_squarewave tests, the rrul test, and the rtt_fair

>> >>>> tests would provide calibration to the test designers.

>> >>>> we've got zillions of flent results in the archive published here:

>> >>>> https://blog.cerowrt.org/post/found_in_flent/

>> >>>> ps. Misinformation about iperf 2 impacts my ability to do this.

>> >>>

>> >>>> The new tests have all added up + ping and down + ping, but not up +

>> >>>> down + ping. Why??

>> >>>> The behaviors of what happens in that case are really non-intuitive,

>> >>>> know, but... it's just one more phase to add to any one of those new

>> >>>> tests. I'd be deliriously happy if someone(s) new to the field

>> >>>> started doing that, even optionally, and boggled at how it defeated

>> >>>> their assumptions.

>> >>>> Among other things that would show...

>> >>>> It's the home router industry's dirty secret than darn few "gigabit"

>> >>>> home routers can actually forward in both directions at a gigabit.

>> >>>> like to smash that perception thoroughly, but given our starting

>> >>>> is a gigabit router was a "gigabit switch" - and historically been

>> >>>> something that couldn't even forward at 200Mbit - we have a long way

>> >>>> to go there.

>> >>>> Only in the past year have non-x86 home routers appeared that could

>> >>>> actually do a gbit in both directions.

>> >>>> 2) Few are actually testing within-stream latency

>> >>>> Apple's rpm project is making a stab in that direction. It looks

>> >>>> highly likely, that with a little more work, crusader and

>> >>>> go-responsiveness can finally start sampling the tcp RTT, loss and

>> >>>> markings, more directly. As for the rest... sampling TCP_INFO on

>> >>>> windows, and Linux, at least, always appeared simple to me, but I'm

>> >>>> discovering how hard it is by delving deep into the rust behind

>> >>>> crusader.

>> >>>> the goresponsiveness thing is also IMHO running WAY too many streams

>> >>>> at the same time, I guess motivated by an attempt to have the test

>> >>>> complete quickly?

>> >>>> B) To try and tackle the validation problem:ps. Misinformation about
iperf 2 impacts my ability to do this.

>> >>>

>> >>>> In the libreqos.io project we've established a testbed where tests

>> >>>> be plunked through various ISP plan network emulations. It's here:

>> >>>> https://payne.taht.net (run bandwidth test for what's currently

>> >>>> up)

>> >>>> We could rather use an AS number and at least a ipv4/24 and ipv6/48

>> >>>> leverage with that, so I don't have to nat the various emulations.

>> >>>> (and funding, anyone got funding?) Or, as the code is GPLv2

>> >>>> to see more test designers setup a testbed like this to calibrate

>> >>>> their own stuff.

>> >>>> Presently we're able to test:

>> >>>> flent

>> >>>> netperf

>> >>>> iperf2

>> >>>> iperf3

>> >>>> speedtest-cli

>> >>>> crusader

>> >>>> the broadband forum udp based test:

>> >>>> https://github.com/BroadbandForum/obudpst

>> >>>> trexx

>> >>>> There's also a virtual machine setup that we can remotely drive a

>> >>>> browser from (but I didn't want to nat the results to the world) to

>> >>>> test other web services.

>> >>>> _______________________________________________

>> >>>> Rpm mailing list

>> >>>> Rpm at lists.bufferbloat.net

>> >>>> https://lists.bufferbloat.net/listinfo/rpm

>> >>> _______________________________________________

>> >>> Starlink mailing list

>> >>> Starlink at lists.bufferbloat.net

>> >>> https://lists.bufferbloat.net/listinfo/starlink

>> >>

>> >> _______________________________________________

>> >> Starlink mailing list

>> >> Starlink at lists.bufferbloat.net

>> >> https://lists.bufferbloat.net/listinfo/starlink


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