[e2e] TCP "experiments"

Lachlan Andrew lachlan.andrew at gmail.com
Sat Jul 27 17:33:57 PDT 2013

Greetings John,

On 28 July 2013 04:36, John Day <jeanjour at comcast.net> wrote:
> One never does experiments with a production network.
> An arbitrary network of several hundred nodes
> or even a few thousand is not that big a deal.

Greetings John,

You are absolutely right that testbed experiments should be performed
before "live" experiments.  However, it is not so much the size of the
network as the mix of applications running on it that makes the test
representative.  It is still very difficult to perform a test with a
few thousand human users all doing their thing.  That means that live
experiments still have a place.

Of course, that doesn't excuse un-monitored deployments as occurred
when Linux started using BIC as the default.  To my mind, the solution
would be for the IETF to provide more practical guidance on how to
perform limited-scale, monitored tests on the real Internet.  The
process of getting a protocol "approved", even as an experimental RFC,
is far too cumbersome for most researchers, especially since there is
no way to police the use of non-approved protocols.  The IETF will be
most relevant if its processes reflect its power.  We (or at least I)
want the Internet to be inherited by those who try to play by the
rules rather than those who flaunt them, but the if the only way to
make timely progress is by breaking the rules then we won't achieve
that (as we saw with CUBIC and NATs).  Getting the balance right is
difficult, but important.


Lachlan Andrew  Centre for Advanced Internet Architectures (CAIA)
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
Ph +61 3 9214 4837

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