[Cerowrt-devel] Ideas on how to simplify and popularize bufferbloat control for consideration.

Dave Taht dave.taht at gmail.com
Wed May 21 13:53:29 EDT 2014

On Wed, May 21, 2014 at 10:47 AM, Jim Gettys <jg at freedesktop.org> wrote:
> On Wed, May 21, 2014 at 12:03 PM, <dpreed at reed.com> wrote:
>> In reality we don't disagree on this:
>> On Wednesday, May 21, 2014 11:19am, "Dave Taht" <dave.taht at gmail.com>
>> said:
>> >
>> > Well, I disagree somewhat. The downstream shaper we use works quite
>> > well, until we run out of cpu at 50mbits. Testing on the ubnt edgerouter
>> > has had the inbound shaper work up a little past 100mbits. So there is
>> > no need (theoretically) to upgrade the big fat head ends if your cpe is
>> > powerful enough to do the job. It would be better if the head ends did
>> > it,
>> > of course....
>> >
>> There is an advantage for the head-ends doing it, to the extent that each
>> edge device has no clarity about what is happening with all the other cpe
>> that are sharing that head-end. When there is bloat in the head-end even if
>> all cpe's sharing an upward path are shaping themselves to the "up to" speed
>> the provider sells, they can go into serious congestion if the head-end
>> queues can grow to 1 second or more of sustained queueing delay.  My
>> understanding is that head-end queues have more than that.  They certainly
>> do in LTE access networks.
> I have measured 200ms on a 28Mbps LTE quadrant to a single station.  This
> was using the simplest possible test on an idle cell.  Easy to see how that
> can grow to the second range.
> Similarly, Dave Taht and I took data recently that showed a large downstream
> buffer at the CMTS end (line card?), IIRC, it was something like .25
> megabyte, using a UDP flooding tool.

No it was twice that. The udpburst tool is coming along nicely, but still
needs some analytics against the departure rate to get it right.

> As always, there may be multiple different buffers lurking in these complex
> devices, which may only come into play when different parts of them
> "bottleneck", just as we found many different buffering locations inside of
> Linux.  In fact, some of these devices include Linux boxes (though I do not
> know if they are on the packet forwarding path or not).
> Bandwidth shaping downstream of those bottlenecks can help, but only to a
> degree, and I believe primarily for "well behaved" long lived elephant
> flows.  Offload engines on servers and coalescing acks in various equipment
> makes the degree of help, particularly for transient behavior such as
> opening a bunch of TCP connections simultaneously and downloading the
> elements of a web page I believe are likely to put large bursts of packets
> into these queues, causing transient poor latency.  I think we'll get a bit
> of help out of the packet pacing code that recently went into Linux (for
> well behaved servers) as it deploys.  Thanks to Eric Dumazet for that work!
> Ironically, servers get updated much more frequently than these middle
> boxes, as far as I can tell.
> Somehow we gotta get the bottlenecks in these devices (broadband & cellular)
> to behave better.

Or we can take a break, and write books about how we learned to relax and
stop worrying about the bloat.

>                                       - Jim
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Dave Täht

NSFW: https://w2.eff.org/Censorship/Internet_censorship_bills/russell_0296_indecent.article

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