North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Can P2P applications learn to play fair on networks?

  • From: Daniel Senie
  • Date: Sun Oct 21 17:18:29 2007

At 01:59 PM 10/21/2007, Sean Donelan wrote:

On Sun, 21 Oct 2007, Mikael Abrahamsson wrote:
So your recommendation is that universities, enterprises and ISPs simply stop offering all Internet service because a few particular application protocols are badly behaved?

They should stop to offer flat-rate ones anyway.

Comcast's management has publically stated anyone who doesn't like the network management controls on its flat rate service can upgrade to Comcat's business class service.

I have Comcast business service in my office, and residential service at home. I use CentOS for some stuff, and so tried to pull a set of ISOs over BitTorrent. First few came through OK, now I can't get BitTorrent to do much of anything. I made the files I obtained available for others, but noted the streams quickly stop.

This is on my office (business) service, served over cable. It's promised as 6Mbps/768K and costs $100/month. I can (and will) solve this by just setting up a machine in my data center for the purpose of running BT, and shape the traffic so it only gets a couple of Mbps (then pull the files over VPN to my office) But no, their business service is being stomped in the same fashion. So if they did say somewhere (and I haven't seen such a statement) that their business service is not affecteds by their efforts to squash BitTorrent, then it appears they're not being truthful.

Problem solved?

Or would some P2P folks complain about having to pay more money?

Or do general per-user ratelimiting that is protocol/application agnostic.

As I mentioned previously about the issues involving additional in-line devices and so on in networks, imposing per user network management and billing is a much more complicated task.

If only a few protocol/applications are causing a problem, why do you need an overly complex response? Why not target the few things that are causing problems?

Ask the same question about the spam problem. We spend plenty of dollars and manpower to filter out an ever-increasing volume of noise. The actual traffic rate of desired email to and from our customers has not appreciably changed (typical emails per customer per day) in several years.

A better idea might be for the application protocol designers to improve those particular applications.

Good luck with that.

It took a while, but it worked with the UDP audio/video protocol folks who used to stress networks. Eventually those protocol designers learned to control their applications and make them play nicely on the network.

If BitTorrent and similar care to improve their image, they'll need to work with others to ensure they respect networks and don't flatten them. Otherwise, this will become yet another arms race (as if it hasn't already) between ISPs and questionable use.