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Date:	Wed, 9 May 2007 02:31:31 -0400
From:	Bill Fink <billfink@...dspring.com>
To:	"SANGTAE HA" <sangtae.ha@...il.com>
Cc:	"Linux Network Developers" <netdev@...r.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: 2.6.20.7 TCP cubic (and bic) initial slow start way too slow?

Hi Sangtae,

On Tue, 8 May 2007, SANGTAE HA wrote:

> Hi Bill,
> 
> At this time, BIC and CUBIC use a less aggressive slow start than
> other protocols. Because we observed "slow start" is somewhat
> aggressive and introduced a lot of packet losses. This may be changed
> to standard "slow start" in later version of BIC and CUBIC, but, at
> this time, we still using a modified slow start.

"slow start" is somewhat of a misnomer.  However, I'd argue in favor
of using the standard "slow start" for BIC and CUBIC as the default.
Is the rationale for using a less agressive "slow start" to be gentler
to certain receivers, which possibly can't handle a rapidly increasing
initial burst of packets (and the resultant necessary allocation of
system resources)?  Or is it related to encountering actual network
congestion during the initial "slow start" period, and how well that
is responded to?

> So, as you observed, this modified slow start behavior may slow for
> 10G testing. You can alleviate this for your 10G testing by changing
> BIC and CUBIC to use a standard "slow start" by loading these modules
> with "initial_ssthresh=0".

I saw the initial_ssthresh parameter, but didn't know what it did or
even what its units were.  I saw the default value was 100 and tried
increasing it, but I didn't think to try setting it to 0.

[root@...g2 ~]# grep -r initial_ssthresh /usr/src/kernels/linux-2.6.20.7/Documentation/
[root@...g2 ~]#

It would be good to have some documentation for these bic and cubic
parameters similar to the documentation in ip-sysctl.txt for the
/proc/sys/net/ipv[46]/* variables (I know, I know, I should just
"use the source").

Is it expected that the cubic "slow start" is that much less agressive
than the bic "slow start" (from 10 secs to max rate for bic in my test
to 25 secs to max rate for cubic).  This could be considered a performance
regression since the default TCP was changed from bic to cubic.

In any event, I'm now happy as setting initial_ssthresh to 0 works
well for me.

[root@...g2 ~]# netstat -s | grep -i retrans
    0 segments retransmited

[root@...g2 ~]# cat /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_congestion_control
cubic

[root@...g2 ~]# cat /sys/module/tcp_cubic/parameters/initial_ssthresh
0

[root@...g2 ~]# nuttcp -T10 -i1 -w60m 192.168.89.15
   69.9829 MB /   1.00 sec =  584.2065 Mbps
  843.1467 MB /   1.00 sec = 7072.9052 Mbps
  844.3655 MB /   1.00 sec = 7082.6544 Mbps
  842.2671 MB /   1.00 sec = 7065.7169 Mbps
  839.9204 MB /   1.00 sec = 7045.8335 Mbps
  840.1780 MB /   1.00 sec = 7048.3114 Mbps
  834.1475 MB /   1.00 sec = 6997.4270 Mbps
  835.5972 MB /   1.00 sec = 7009.3148 Mbps
  835.8152 MB /   1.00 sec = 7011.7537 Mbps
  830.9333 MB /   1.00 sec = 6969.9281 Mbps

 7617.1875 MB /  10.01 sec = 6386.2622 Mbps 90 %TX 46 %RX

[root@...g2 ~]# netstat -s | grep -i retrans
    0 segments retransmited

						-Thanks a lot!

						-Bill



> Regards,
> Sangtae
> 
> 
> On 5/6/07, Bill Fink <billfink@...dspring.com> wrote:
> > The initial TCP slow start on 2.6.20.7 cubic (and to a lesser
> > extent bic) seems to be way too slow.  With an ~80 ms RTT, this
> > is what cubic delivers (thirty second test with one second interval
> > reporting and specifying a socket buffer size of 60 MB):
> >
> > [root@...g2 ~]# netstat -s | grep -i retrans
> >     0 segments retransmited
> >
> > [root@...g2 ~]# cat /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_congestion_control
> > cubic
> >
> > [root@...g2 ~]# nuttcp -T30 -i1 -w60m 192.168.89.15
> >     6.8188 MB /   1.00 sec =   57.0365 Mbps
> >    16.2097 MB /   1.00 sec =  135.9824 Mbps
> >    25.4553 MB /   1.00 sec =  213.5420 Mbps
> >    35.5127 MB /   1.00 sec =  297.9119 Mbps
> >    43.0066 MB /   1.00 sec =  360.7770 Mbps
> >    50.3210 MB /   1.00 sec =  422.1370 Mbps
> >    59.0796 MB /   1.00 sec =  495.6124 Mbps
> >    69.1284 MB /   1.00 sec =  579.9098 Mbps
> >    76.6479 MB /   1.00 sec =  642.9130 Mbps
> >    90.6189 MB /   1.00 sec =  760.2835 Mbps
> >   109.4348 MB /   1.00 sec =  918.0361 Mbps
> >   128.3105 MB /   1.00 sec = 1076.3813 Mbps
> >   150.4932 MB /   1.00 sec = 1262.4686 Mbps
> >   175.9229 MB /   1.00 sec = 1475.7965 Mbps
> >   205.9412 MB /   1.00 sec = 1727.6150 Mbps
> >   240.8130 MB /   1.00 sec = 2020.1504 Mbps
> >   282.1790 MB /   1.00 sec = 2367.1644 Mbps
> >   318.1841 MB /   1.00 sec = 2669.1349 Mbps
> >   372.6814 MB /   1.00 sec = 3126.1687 Mbps
> >   440.8411 MB /   1.00 sec = 3698.5200 Mbps
> >   524.8633 MB /   1.00 sec = 4403.0220 Mbps
> >   614.3542 MB /   1.00 sec = 5153.7367 Mbps
> >   718.9917 MB /   1.00 sec = 6031.5386 Mbps
> >   829.0474 MB /   1.00 sec = 6954.6438 Mbps
> >   867.3289 MB /   1.00 sec = 7275.9510 Mbps
> >   865.7759 MB /   1.00 sec = 7262.9813 Mbps
> >   864.4795 MB /   1.00 sec = 7251.7071 Mbps
> >   864.5425 MB /   1.00 sec = 7252.8519 Mbps
> >   867.3372 MB /   1.00 sec = 7246.9232 Mbps
> >
> > 10773.6875 MB /  30.00 sec = 3012.3936 Mbps 38 %TX 25 %RX
> >
> > [root@...g2 ~]# netstat -s | grep -i retrans
> >     0 segments retransmited
> >
> > It takes 25 seconds for cubic TCP to reach its maximal rate.
> > Note that there were no TCP retransmissions (no congestion
> > experienced).
> >
> > Now with bic (only 20 second test this time):
> >
> > [root@...g2 ~]# echo bic > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_congestion_control
> > [root@...g2 ~]# cat /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_congestion_control
> > bic
> >
> > [root@...g2 ~]# nuttcp -T20 -i1 -w60m 192.168.89.15
> >     9.9548 MB /   1.00 sec =   83.1497 Mbps
> >    47.2021 MB /   1.00 sec =  395.9762 Mbps
> >    92.4304 MB /   1.00 sec =  775.3889 Mbps
> >   134.3774 MB /   1.00 sec = 1127.2758 Mbps
> >   194.3286 MB /   1.00 sec = 1630.1987 Mbps
> >   280.0598 MB /   1.00 sec = 2349.3613 Mbps
> >   404.3201 MB /   1.00 sec = 3391.8250 Mbps
> >   559.1594 MB /   1.00 sec = 4690.6677 Mbps
> >   792.7100 MB /   1.00 sec = 6650.0257 Mbps
> >   857.2241 MB /   1.00 sec = 7190.6942 Mbps
> >   852.6912 MB /   1.00 sec = 7153.3283 Mbps
> >   852.6968 MB /   1.00 sec = 7153.2538 Mbps
> >   851.3162 MB /   1.00 sec = 7141.7575 Mbps
> >   851.4927 MB /   1.00 sec = 7143.0240 Mbps
> >   850.8782 MB /   1.00 sec = 7137.8762 Mbps
> >   852.7119 MB /   1.00 sec = 7153.2949 Mbps
> >   852.3879 MB /   1.00 sec = 7150.2982 Mbps
> >   850.2163 MB /   1.00 sec = 7132.5165 Mbps
> >   849.8340 MB /   1.00 sec = 7129.0026 Mbps
> >
> > 11882.7500 MB /  20.00 sec = 4984.0068 Mbps 67 %TX 41 %RX
> >
> > [root@...g2 ~]# netstat -s | grep -i retrans
> >     0 segments retransmited
> >
> > bic does better but still takes 10 seconds to achieve its maximal
> > rate.
> >
> > Surprisingly venerable reno does the best (only a 10 second test):
> >
> > [root@...g2 ~]# echo reno > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_congestion_control
> > [root@...g2 ~]# cat /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_congestion_control
> > reno
> >
> > [root@...g2 ~]# nuttcp -T10 -i1 -w60m 192.168.89.15
> >    69.9829 MB /   1.01 sec =  583.5822 Mbps
> >   844.3870 MB /   1.00 sec = 7083.2808 Mbps
> >   862.7568 MB /   1.00 sec = 7237.7342 Mbps
> >   859.5725 MB /   1.00 sec = 7210.8981 Mbps
> >   860.1365 MB /   1.00 sec = 7215.4487 Mbps
> >   865.3940 MB /   1.00 sec = 7259.8434 Mbps
> >   863.9678 MB /   1.00 sec = 7247.4942 Mbps
> >   864.7493 MB /   1.00 sec = 7254.4634 Mbps
> >   864.6660 MB /   1.00 sec = 7253.5183 Mbps
> >
> >  7816.9375 MB /  10.00 sec = 6554.4883 Mbps 90 %TX 53 %RX
> >
> > [root@...g2 ~]# netstat -s | grep -i retrans
> >     0 segments retransmited
> >
> > reno achieves its maximal rate in about 2 seconds.  This is what I
> > would expect from the exponential increase during TCP's initial
> > slow start.  To achieve 10 Gbps on an 80 ms RTT with 9000 byte
> > jumbo frame packets would require:
> >
> >         [root@...g2 ~]# bc -l
> >         scale=10
> >         10^10*0.080/9000/8
> >         11111.1111111111
> >
> > So 11111 packets would have to be in flight during one RTT.
> > It should take log2(11111)+1 round trips to achieve 10 Gbps
> > (note bc's l() function is logE);
> >
> >         [root@...g2 ~]# bc -l
> >         scale=10
> >         l(11111)/l(2)+1
> >         14.4397010470
> >
> > And 15 round trips at 80 ms each gives a total time of:
> >
> >         [root@...g2 ~]# bc -l
> >         scale=10
> >         15*0.080
> >         1.200
> >
> > So if there is no packet loss (which there wasn't), it should only
> > take about 1.2 seconds to achieve 10 Gbps.  Only TCP reno is in
> > this ballpark range.
> >
> > Now it's quite possible there's something basic I don't understand,
> > such as some /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_* or /sys/module/tcp_*/parameters/*
> > parameter I've overlooked, in which case feel free to just refer me
> > to any suitable documentation.
> >
> > I also checked the Changelog for 2.6.20.{8,9,10,11} to see if there
> > might be any relevant recent bug fixes, but the only thing that seemed
> > even remotely related was the 2.6.20.11 bug fix for the tcp_mem setting.
> > Although this did affect me, I manually adjusted the tcp_mem settings
> > before running these tests.
> >
> > [root@...g2 ~]# cat /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_mem                                  393216  524288  786432
> >
> > The test setup was:
> >
> >         +-------+                 +-------+                 +-------+
> >         |       |eth2         eth2|       |eth3         eth2|       |
> >         | lang2 |-----10-GigE-----| lang1 |-----10-GigE-----| lang3 |
> >         |       |                 |       |                 |       |
> >         +-------+                 +-------+                 +-------+
> >         192.168.88.14    192.168.88.13/192.168.89.13    192.168.89.15
> >
> > All three systems are dual 2.8 GHz AMD Opteron Processor 254 systems
> > with 4 GB memory and all running the 2.6.20.7 kernel.  All the NICs
> > are Myricom PCI-E 10-GigE NICs.
> >
> > The 80 ms delay was introduced by applying netem to lang1's eth3
> > interface:
> >
> > [root@...g1 ~]# tc qdisc add dev eth3 root netem delay 80ms limit 20000
> > [root@...g1 ~]# tc qdisc show
> > qdisc pfifo_fast 0: dev eth2 root bands 3 priomap  1 2 2 2 1 2 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
> > qdisc netem 8022: dev eth3 limit 20000 delay 80.0ms reorder 100%
> >
> > Experimentation determined that netem running on lang1 could handle
> > about 8-8.5 Gbps without dropping packets.
> >
> > 8.5 Gbps UDP test:
> >
> > [root@...g2 ~]# nuttcp -u -Ri8.5g -w20m 192.168.89.15
> > 10136.4844 MB /  10.01 sec = 8497.8205 Mbps 100 %TX 56 %RX 0 / 1297470 drop/pkt 0.00 %loss
> >
> > Increasing the rate to 9 Gbps would give some loss:
> >
> > [root@...g2 ~]# nuttcp -u -Ri9g -w20m 192.168.89.15
> > 10219.1719 MB /  10.01 sec = 8560.2455 Mbps 100 %TX 58 %RX 65500 / 1373554 drop/pkt 4.77 %loss
> >
> > Based on this, the specification of a 60 MB TCP socket buffer size was
> > used during the TCP tests to avoid overstressing the lang1 netem delay
> > emulator (to avoid dropping any packets).
> >
> > Simple ping through the lang1 netem delay emulator:
> >
> > [root@...g2 ~]# ping -c 5 192.168.89.15
> > PING 192.168.89.15 (192.168.89.15) 56(84) bytes of data.
> > 64 bytes from 192.168.89.15: icmp_seq=1 ttl=63 time=80.4 ms
> > 64 bytes from 192.168.89.15: icmp_seq=2 ttl=63 time=82.1 ms
> > 64 bytes from 192.168.89.15: icmp_seq=3 ttl=63 time=82.1 ms
> > 64 bytes from 192.168.89.15: icmp_seq=4 ttl=63 time=82.1 ms
> > 64 bytes from 192.168.89.15: icmp_seq=5 ttl=63 time=82.1 ms
> >
> > --- 192.168.89.15 ping statistics ---
> > 5 packets transmitted, 5 received, 0% packet loss, time 4014ms
> > rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 80.453/81.804/82.173/0.722 ms
> >
> > And a bidirectional traceroute (using the "nuttcp -xt" option):
> >
> > [root@...g2 ~]# nuttcp -xt 192.168.89.15
> > traceroute to 192.168.89.15 (192.168.89.15), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
> >  1  192.168.88.13 (192.168.88.13)  0.141 ms   0.125 ms   0.125 ms
> >  2  192.168.89.15 (192.168.89.15)  82.112 ms   82.039 ms   82.541 ms
> >
> > traceroute to 192.168.88.14 (192.168.88.14), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
> >  1  192.168.89.13 (192.168.89.13)  81.101 ms   83.001 ms   82.999 ms
> >  2  192.168.88.14 (192.168.88.14)  83.005 ms   82.985 ms   82.978 ms
> >
> > So is this a real bug in cubic (and bic), or do I just not understand
> > something basic.
> >
> >                                                 -Bill
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