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Congestion control in IP/TCP internetworks (RFC0896)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003945D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Jan-06
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Document File: 9 page(s) / 27K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

J. Nagle: AUTHOR

Abstract

Congestion control is a recognized problem in complex networks. We have discovered that the Department of Defense's Internet Pro- tocol (IP) , a pure datagram protocol, and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), a transport layer protocol, when used together, are subject to unusual congestion problems caused by interactions between the transport and datagram layers. In particular, IP gateways are vulnerable to a phenomenon we call "congestion col- lapse", especially when such gateways connect networks of widely different bandwidth. We have developed solutions that prevent congestion collapse.

This text was extracted from a ASCII document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 10% of the total text.

Network Working Group John Nagle

Request For Comments: 896 6 January 1984

Ford Aerospace and Communications Corporation

Congestion Control in IP/TCP Internetworks

This memo discusses some aspects of congestion control in IP/TCP

Internetworks. It is intended to stimulate thought and further

discussion of this topic. While some specific suggestions are

made for improved congestion control implementation, this memo

does not specify any standards.

Introduction

Congestion control is a recognized problem in complex networks.

We have discovered that the Department of Defense's Internet Pro-

tocol (IP) , a pure datagram protocol, and Transmission Control

Protocol (TCP), a transport layer protocol, when used together,

are subject to unusual congestion problems caused by interactions

between the transport and datagram layers. In particular, IP

gateways are vulnerable to a phenomenon we call "congestion col-

lapse", especially when such gateways connect networks of widely

different bandwidth. We have developed solutions that prevent

congestion collapse.

These problems are not generally recognized because these proto-

cols are used most often on networks built on top of ARPANET IMP

technology. ARPANET IMP based networks traditionally have uni-

form bandwidth and identical switching nodes, and are sized with

substantial excess capacity. This excess capacity, and the abil-

ity of the IMP system to throttle the transmissions of hosts has

for most IP / TCP hosts and networks been adequate to handle

congestion. With the recent split of the ARPANET into two inter-

connected networks and the growth of other networks with differ-

ing properties connected to the ARPANET, however, reliance on the

benign properties of the IMP system is no longer enough to allow

hosts to communicate rapidly and reliably. Improved handling of

congestion is now mandatory for successful network operation

under load.

Ford Aerospace and Communications Corporation, and its parent

company, Ford Motor Company, operate the only private IP/TCP

long-haul network in existence today. This network connects four

facilities (one in Michigan, two in California, and one in Eng-

land) some with extensive local networks. This net is cross-tied

to the ARPANET but uses its own long-haul circuits; traffic

between Ford facilities flows over private leased circuits,

including a leased transatlantic satellite connection. All

switching nodes are pure IP datagram switches with no node-to-

node flow control, and all hosts r...