Hardware fixes to TCP Slow-start??

Rohit Khare (khare@mci.net)
Thu, 04 Sep 1997 22:16:10 -0400

[this is hilarious: hardware boxes that reinterpret slow-start and
sliding-window to smooth out TCP stream delivery over IP links. What's
next, ESP? But, no, I'm sure they'll find a market... some market. RK]

September 4, 1997 1:00 PM ET=20
A new cure for the bandwidth blues
By Paula Musich, PC Week Online

=A0 RUN Inc. has found a way to squeeze more bandwidth out of existing TCP/I=
networks without changing the network protocols or the applications that
run over them.

The Mahwah, N.J., company joins a handful of startups such as Packeteer
Inc., Aponet Inc. and others dedicated to smoothing out the response-time
uncertainties associated with Internet use. But its proprietary algorithms,
developed initially to boost the performance of AppleTalk networks, are
unique in their approach.

While other offerings implement compression, caching schemes and
rules-based systems for carving up available bandwidth, the runTCP
hardware/software combination alters the timing of packet transmissions to
use connections more efficiently.

"We're delivering rate-based protocol features to the Windows-based TCP
protocol," said Eldad Gefen, vice president of marketing for the company,
which is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel.=20

TCP employs a slow start mechanism to transmit data, starting with a set
amount, waiting for an acknowledgment, then sending a larger amount. It
continues to increase the amount of data transmitted after each
acknowledgment until it reaches a preset limit or until a router's buffer
overflows and data is lost. TCP then drops the amount of data and increases
it more slowly.

RunTCP's algorithms determine how much data to send and when to send
it--depending on the speed of the return acknowledgment--taking the initial
inefficiency out of transmissions and reducing the requirement to resend
lost data.

The runTCP hardware can be installed between the LAN and the router or
between the router and the WAN, depending on where bandwidth is an issue.=20

In field tests over the Internet, runTCP has accelerated data transfers by
as much four times, Gefen claimed. The device, due in the fourth quarter,
will range between $4,000 and $15,000 for units that support between one
server IP address and an unlimited number of server IP addresses.=20

RUN can be reached at www.runtcp.com.

Rohit Khare /// MCI Internet Architecture (BOS) /// khare@mci.net
Voice+Pager: (617) 960-5131  VNet: 370-5131   Fax: (617) 960-1009