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Date:   Wed, 13 Jun 2018 10:32:46 -0700
From:   Yuchung Cheng <ycheng@...gle.com>
To:     Michal Kubecek <mkubecek@...e.cz>
Cc:     netdev <netdev@...r.kernel.org>,
        Eric Dumazet <edumazet@...gle.com>,
        Ilpo Jarvinen <ilpo.jarvinen@...sinki.fi>,
        linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH RESEND] tcp: avoid F-RTO if SACK and timestamps are disabled

On Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 9:55 AM, Michal Kubecek <mkubecek@...e.cz> wrote:
>
> When F-RTO algorithm (RFC 5682) is used on connection without both SACK and
> timestamps (either because of (mis)configuration or because the other
> endpoint does not advertise them), specific pattern loss can make RTO grow
> exponentially until the sender is only able to send one packet per two
> minutes (TCP_RTO_MAX).
>
> One way to reproduce is to
>
>   - make sure the connection uses neither SACK nor timestamps
>   - let tp->reorder grow enough so that lost packets are retransmitted
>     after RTO (rather than when high_seq - snd_una > reorder * MSS)
>   - let the data flow stabilize
>   - drop multiple sender packets in "every second" pattern
>   - either there is no new data to send or acks received in response to new
>     data are also window updates (i.e. not dupacks by definition)
>
> In this scenario, the sender keeps cycling between retransmitting first
> lost packet (step 1 of RFC 5682), sending new data by (2b) and timing out
> again. In this loop, the sender only gets
>
>   (a) acks for retransmitted segments (possibly together with old ones)
>   (b) window updates
>
> Without timestamps, neither can be used for RTT estimator and without SACK,
> we have no newly sacked segments to estimate RTT either. Therefore each
> timeout doubles RTO and without usable RTT samples so that there is nothing
> to counter the exponential growth.
>
> While disabling both SACK and timestamps doesn't make any sense, the
> resulting behaviour is so pathological that it deserves an improvement.
> (Also, both can be disabled on the other side.) Avoid F-RTO algorithm in
> case both SACK and timestamps are disabled so that the sender falls back to
> traditional slow start retransmission.
>
> Signed-off-by: Michal Kubecek <mkubecek@...e.cz>
Acked-by: Yuchung Cheng <ycheng@...gle.com>

Thanks for the patch (and packedrill test)! I would encourage
submitting an errata to F-RTO RFC about this case.

> ---
>  net/ipv4/tcp_input.c | 3 ++-
>  1 file changed, 2 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)
>
> diff --git a/net/ipv4/tcp_input.c b/net/ipv4/tcp_input.c
> index 355d3dffd021..ed603f987b72 100644
> --- a/net/ipv4/tcp_input.c
> +++ b/net/ipv4/tcp_input.c
> @@ -2001,7 +2001,8 @@ void tcp_enter_loss(struct sock *sk)
>          */
>         tp->frto = net->ipv4.sysctl_tcp_frto &&
>                    (new_recovery || icsk->icsk_retransmits) &&
> -                  !inet_csk(sk)->icsk_mtup.probe_size;
> +                  !inet_csk(sk)->icsk_mtup.probe_size &&
> +                  (tcp_is_sack(tp) || tp->rx_opt.tstamp_ok);
>  }
>
>  /* If ACK arrived pointing to a remembered SACK, it means that our
> --
> 2.17.1
>

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