TCP Friendly Rate Control (TFRC): The Small-Packet (SP) Variant, April 2007
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This document proposes a mechanism for further experimentation, but not for widespread deployment at this time in the global Internet.
TCP-Friendly Rate Control (TFRC) is a congestion control mechanism for unicast flows operating in a best-effort Internet environment (RFC 3448). TFRC was intended for applications that use a fixed packet size, and was designed to be reasonably fair when competing for bandwidth with TCP connections using the same packet size. This document proposes TFRC-SP, a Small-Packet (SP) variant of TFRC, that is designed for applications that send small packets. The design goal for TFRC-SP is to achieve the same bandwidth in bps (bits per second) as a TCP flow using packets of up to 1500 bytes. TFRC-SP enforces a minimum interval of 10 ms between data packets to prevent a single flow from sending small packets arbitrarily frequently.
Flows using TFRC-SP compete reasonably fairly with large-packet TCP and TFRC flows in environments where large-packet flows and small-packet flows experience similar packet drop rates. However, in environments where small-packet flows experience lower packet drop rates than large-packet flows (e.g., with Drop-Tail queues in units of bytes), TFRC-SP can receive considerably more than its share of the bandwidth. This memo defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet community.
For the definition of Status, see RFC 2026.
For the definition of Stream, see RFC 4844.