[Cerowrt-devel] [Bloat] Check out www.speedof.me - no Flash

David Lang david at lang.hm
Sat Jul 26 16:53:40 EDT 2014

On Sat, 26 Jul 2014, Sebastian Moeller wrote:

> On Jul 26, 2014, at 01:26 , David Lang <david at lang.hm> wrote:
>> But I think that what we are seeing from teh results of the bufferbloat work 
>> is that a properly configured network doesn't degrade badly as it gets busy.
>> Individual services will degrade as they need more bandwidth than is 
>> available, but that sort of degredation is easy for the user to understand.
>> The current status-quo is where good throughput at 80% utilization may be 
>> 80Mb, at 90% utilization it may be 85Mb, at 95% utilization it is 60Mb, and 
>> at 100% utilization it pulses between 10Mb and 80Mb averaging around 20Mb and 
>> latency goes from 10ms to multiple seconds over this range.
>> With BQL and fw_codel, 80% utilization would still be 80Mb, 90% utilization 
>> would be 89Mb, 95% utilization would be 93Mb with latency only going to 20ms
>> so there is a real problem to solve in the current status-quo, and the 
>> question is if there is a way to quantify the problem and test for it in ways 
>> that are repeatable, meaningful and understandable.
>> This is a place to avoid letting perfect be the enemy of good enough.
>> If you ask even relatively technical people about the quality of a network 
>> connection, they will talk to you about bandwidth and latency.
>> But if you talk to a networking expert, they don't even mention that, they 
>> talk about signal strength, waveform distortion, bit error rates, error 
>> correction mechanisms, signal regeneration, and probably many other things 
>> that I don't know enough to even mention :-)
>> Everyone is already measuring peak bandwidth today, and that is always going 
>> to be an important factor, so it will stay around.
>> So we need to show the degredation of the network, and I think that either 
>> ping(loaded)-ping(unloaded) or ping(loaded)/ping(unloaded) will give us 
>> meaningful numbers that people can understand and talk about, while still 
>> being meaningful in the real world.
> 	Maybe we should follow Neil and Martin’s lead and consider either 
> ping(unloaded)-ping(loaded) or ping(unloaded)/ping(loaded) and call the whole 
> thing quality estimator or factor (as negative quality or a factor < 0 
> intuitively shows a degradation).

That's debatable, if we call this a bufferbloat factor, the higher the number 
the more bloat you suffer.

there's also the fact that the numeric differences if you do small/large vs 
small/larger aren't impressive while large/small vs larger/small look 
substantially different. This is a psychology question.

> Also my bet is on the difference not on the ratio, why should people with bad 
> latency to begin with (satellite?) be more tolerant to further degradation? I 
> would assume that on a high latency link if at all the “budget” for further 
> degradation might be smaller than on a low latency link (reasoning: there 
> might be a fixed latency budget for acceptable latency for voip).

we'd need to check. The problem with difference is that it's far more affected 
by the bandwidth of the connection than a ratio is. If your measurement packets 
end up behind one extra data packet, your absolute number will grow based on the 
transmission time required for that data packet.

so I'm leaning towards the ratio making more sense when comparing vastly 
different types of lines.

As for th elatency budget idea, I don't buy that, if it was the case then we 
would have no problems until latency exceeding the magic value and then the 
service would fail entirely. What we have in practice is that buffering covers 
up a lot of latency, as long as the jitter isn't bad. You may have a lag between 
what you say and when someone on the other end interrupts you without much 
trouble (as long as echo cancellation takes it into account)

>> which of the two is more useful is something that we would need to get a 
>> bunch of people with different speed lines to report and see which is 
>> affected less by line differences and distance to target.
> 	Or make sure we always measure against the closest target (which with 
> satellite might still be far away)?

It's desirable to test against the closest target to reduce the impact on the 
Internet overall, but ideally the quality measurement would not depend on how 
far away the target is.

If you live in Silicon Valley, you are very close to a lot of good targets, if 
you live in outer mongolia (or on a farm in the midwestern US) you are a long 
way from any target, but we don't want the measurement to change a lot, because 
the problem is probably in the first couple of hops (absent a Verizon/Level3 
type peering problem :-)

David Lang

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