W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > ietf-http-wg@w3.org > October to December 2013

Re: Question on flow control for a single file transfer

From: Amos Jeffries <squid3@treenet.co.nz>
Date: Mon, 04 Nov 2013 18:55:44 +1300
Message-ID: <527736E0.4000508@treenet.co.nz>
To: ietf-http-wg@w3.org
On 4/11/2013 6:19 p.m., Peter Lepeska wrote:
> Roberto,
>
> I'm not getting your point. When the sender is the browser (for 
> uploads) the data is buffered in the TCP stack on the end user's 
> machine, so this would have no impact on servers at scale. When the 
> sender is the server (for downloads), there should be no 
> scaleability-related difference if data is buffered in the user mode 
> application or in the kernel, if it is in TCP's buffer. Why is there a 
> scalability advantage buffering in the user mode process (when we 
> respect the remote peer's receive window) as opposed to the TCP stack 
> in the kernel?
>
> I recognize that I have less implementation experience at scale, but I 
> still don't understand your argument. Trying to though...
>
> "Speaking as someone who has some implementation experience at scale, 
> when the receiver asserts flow control or other policy, and the 
> csender fails to respect it, it will be assumed to be malicious and 
> the connection is far likelier to be terminated."
>
> We don't have app-level flow control today (in HTTP 1.x 
> implementations) so why would this be assumed to be malicious? I'm 
> just suggesting we put in the spec that receiver advertised windows 
> not be respected when there is only one active stream. If it is the 
> standard and this behavior is in standards-compliant browsers, why 
> would we assume this to be malicious?
>
> Peter
>

You are thinking only of the case where a client is directly plugged 
into the origin server.

HTTP contains proxies. Meaning there are at least two TCP buffers in 
series to be traversed.
  * In HTTP/1 this is not a problem since for period when data is being 
relayed end-to-end the proxy is simply pushing client bytes to the 
server and vice versa an can simply pause reading/writing at any point.
  * With HTTP/2 multiplexing this protection disappears. Two or more 
clients requests may be delivered to the same server connection 
simultaneously. If the proxy is not explicitly informed about each 
clients receive limit, it has no way to reliably limit data from the 
server to that client and may hit a deadlock situation where its buffer 
is filled with frames awaiting delivery to the slowest client while the 
faster client is starved.

The more complex case where multiple clients with multiple streams are 
split N:M across several faster server connections can hit contention on 
flow back to the clients. If any one client connection is slower than 
the sum of server connections output destined there, the sheer flood of 
data being delivered to it will cause the same form of server connection 
buffer inside the proxy to fill/block with that clients data and starve 
other clients.

These are strong cases for per-stream WINDOW_UPDATE flow control. Im not 
sure what the use-case for connection-wide flow control is. Perhapse 
that is best left for the TCP level.

Amos
Received on Monday, 4 November 2013 05:56:11 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 1 March 2016 11:11:19 UTC