[Cerowrt-devel] Abandoning Window-based CC Considered Harmful (was Re: [Bloat] Bechtolschiem)

Bless, Roland (TM) roland.bless at kit.edu
Wed Jul 7 18:19:17 EDT 2021

Hi Matt,

[sorry for the late reply, overlooked this one]

please, see comments inline.

On 02.07.21 at 21:46 Matt Mathis via Bloat wrote:
> The argument is absolutely correct for Reno, CUBIC and all 
> other self-clocked protocols.  One of the core assumptions in 
> Jacobson88, was that the clock for the entire system comes from 
> packets draining through the bottleneck queue.  In this world, the 
> clock is intrinsically brittle if the buffers are too small.  The 
> drain time needs to be a substantial fraction of the RTT.
I'd like to separate the functions here a bit:

1) "automatic pacing" by ACK clocking

2) congestion-window-based operation

I agree that the automatic pacing generated by the ACK clock (function 
1) is increasingly
distorted these days and may consequently cause micro bursts.
This can be mitigated by using paced sending, which I consider very useful.
However, I consider abandoning the (congestion) window-based approaches
with ACK feedback (function 2) as harmful:
a congestion window has an automatic self-stabilizing property since the 
ACK feedback reflects
also the queuing delay and the congestion window limits the amount of 
inflight data.
In contrast, rate-based senders risk instability: two senders in an 
M/D/1 setting, each sender sending with 50%
bottleneck rate in average, both using paced sending at 120% of the 
average rate, suffice to cause
instability (queue grows unlimited).

IMHO, two approaches seem to be useful:
a) congestion-window-based operation with paced sending
b) rate-based/paced sending with limiting the amount of inflight data

> However, we have reached the point where we need to discard that 
> requirement.  One of the side points of BBR is that in many 
> environments it is cheaper to burn serving CPU to pace into short 
> queue networks than it is to "right size" the network queues.
> The fundamental problem with the old way is that in some contexts the 
> buffer memory has to beat Moore's law, because to maintain constant 
> drain time the memory size and BW both have to scale with the link 
> (laser) BW.
> See the slides I gave at the Stanford Buffer Sizing workshop december 
> 2019: Buffer Sizing: Position Paper 
> <https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1VyBlYQJqWvPuGnQpxW4S46asHMmiA-OeMbewxo_r3Cc/edit#slide=id.g791555f04c_0_5> 
Thanks for the pointer. I don't quite get the point that the buffer must 
have a certain size to keep the ACK clock stable:
in case of an non application-limited sender, a very small buffer 
suffices to let the ACK clock
run steady. The large buffers were mainly required for loss-based CCs to 
let the standing queue
build up that keeps the bottleneck busy during CWnd reduction after 
packet loss, thereby
keeping the (bottleneck link) utilization high.



> Note that we are talking about DC and Internet core.  At the edge, BW 
> is low enough where memory is relatively cheap.  In some sense BB came 
> about because memory is too cheap in these environments.
> Thanks,
> --MM--
> The best way to predict the future is to create it.  - Alan Kay
> We must not tolerate intolerance;
>        however our response must be carefully measured:
>             too strong would be hypocritical and risks spiraling out 
> of control;
>             too weak risks being mistaken for tacit approval.
> On Fri, Jul 2, 2021 at 9:59 AM Stephen Hemminger 
> <stephen at networkplumber.org <mailto:stephen at networkplumber.org>> wrote:
>     On Fri, 2 Jul 2021 09:42:24 -0700
>     Dave Taht <dave.taht at gmail.com <mailto:dave.taht at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     > "Debunking Bechtolsheim credibly would get a lot of attention to the
>     > bufferbloat cause, I suspect." - dpreed
>     >
>     > "Why Big Data Needs Big Buffer Switches" -
>     >
>     http://www.arista.com/assets/data/pdf/Whitepapers/BigDataBigBuffers-WP.pdf
>     <http://www.arista.com/assets/data/pdf/Whitepapers/BigDataBigBuffers-WP.pdf>
>     >
>     Also, a lot depends on the TCP congestion control algorithm being
>     used.
>     They are using NewReno which only researchers use in real life.
>     Even TCP Cubic has gone through several revisions. In my
>     experience, the
>     NS-2 models don't correlate well to real world behavior.
>     In real world tests, TCP Cubic will consume any buffer it sees at a
>     congested link. Maybe that is what they mean by capture effect.
>     There is also a weird oscillation effect with multiple streams,
>     where one
>     flow will take the buffer, then see a packet loss and back off, the
>     other flow will take over the buffer until it sees loss.
>     _______________________________________________
> _______________________________________________

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