Category: Transport layer

Static Route Load Balance

How it works?

If you have two routers / two Layer3 switches connected with two L3 links (two paths) you can route with two equal static routes towards the same prefix and the router will load balance traffic across both links.

The idea is to make two same static routes on the same router but with different next-hops. The question was: Which link or which route will be used? And if the traffic will be load balanced, which mechanism will be used to share the traffic across both of links.

static route load balancing


ip route
ip route

Nagle’s algorithm

How Nagle’s algorithm is making TCP/IP better and when is ok to use it. Truth be told, Nagle should be avoided in today’s high-speed networks.

This article it’s not about mathematics, don’t be afraid. I’m running a networking blog and it’s not my intention to speak or write about anything related to mathematics. Biggest math problem that I’ve done in last few years is some simple subneting, EIGRP metric calculation and that is where I stopped with math for now.

On the other hand, I love the theory behind algorithms, specially if the algorithm is used in networking and if it is so simple and powerful as Nagle’s algorithm.

You can guess, John Nagle is the name of the fellow who created the algorithm. He found a solution for TCP/IP efficiency issue also known as “small packet problem”.

Here’s what happens:

MPTCP – Multipath TCP


Multipath TCP is an extension of TCP that will soon be standardized by IETF. It is a succesful attempt to resolve major TCP shortcomings emerged from the change in the way we use our devices to communicate. There’s particularly the change in the way our new devices like iPhones and laptops are talking across network. All the devices like the networks are becoming multipath. Networks redundancy and devices multiple 3G and wireless connections made that possible.

Almost all today’s web applications are using TCP to communicate. This is due to TCP virtue of reliable packet delivery and ability to adapt to variable network throughput conditions. Multipath TCP is created so that it is backwards compatible with standard TCP. In that way it’s possible for today’s applications to use Multipath TCP without any changes. They think that they are using normal TCP.

MPTCP Protocol Stack from rfc6897


We know that TCP is single path. It means that there can be only one path between two devices that have TCP session open. That path is sealed as a communication session defined by source and destination IP address of communicating end devices. If some device wants to switch the communication from 3G to wireless as it happens on smartphones when they come in range of known WiFi connection, TCP session is disconnected and new one is created over WiFi. Using multiple paths/subsessions inside one TCP communication MPTCP will enable that new WiFi connection makes new subsession inside established MPTCP connection without braking TCP that’s already in place across 3G. Basically more different paths that are available will be represented by more subsessions inside one MPTCP connection. Device connected to 3G will expand the connection to WiFi and then will use algorithm to decide if it will use 3G and WiFi in the same time or it will stop using 3G and put all the traffic to cheaper and faster WiFi.

TCP single path property is TCP’s fundamental problem

In datacenter environment there is a tricky situation where two servers are talking to each other using TCP to communicate and that TCP session is created across random path between servers and switches in the datacenter. If there are more paths of course. If there are (and there are!) another two servers talking in the same time, it will possibly happen that this second TCP session will be established using partially the same path as the first TCP session. In that situation there will be a collision that will reduce the throughput for both sessions. There is actually no way to control this phenomenon in TCP world. As in our datacenter example the same thing works for every multipath environment so it it true for example for the Internet.

Answer is MPTCP!

Multipath TCP – MPTCP is better as TCP in that enables the use of multiple paths inside a single transport connection. It meets the goal to work well at any place where “normal” TCP would work.

DCCP – Datagram Congestion Control Protocol

DCCP transport layer protocol is used to control the datagram congestion. It provides an excellent procedure to stop the internet fall down, if it is caused by the congestion. In fact, this protocol is a brilliant competitor to be used as a substitute of UDP protocol.

DCCP account DCCP congestion control trait by means of a reliable acknowledgments delivery (in form of packets instead of bytes) will provide actually a congestion control with dynamism. DCCP will also make available the negotiable blocking control mechanism, but it will be up to the particular application’s specific requirements too. Moreover, these mechanisms come with a number of specific features, so to go well with different types of applications. The bandwidth consumption can be enhanced as the size of packets in case of DCCP is increased.

Port Numbers – How does Transport layer identifies the Conversations

Port Numbers – How does Transport layer identifies the Conversations

Computers are today equipped with the whole range of different applications. Almost all of these applications are able in some way to communicate across the network and use Internet to send and get information, updates or check the correctness of user purchase. Consider they all these applications are in some cases simultaneously receiving and sending e-mail, instant messages, web pages, and a VoIP phone calls. In this situation the computer is using one network connection to get all this communication running. But how is it possible that this computer is never confused about choosing the right application that will receive a particular packet? We are talking about the computer that processes two or more communications in the same time for two or more applications running.