Reply To: Packet reordering

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Packet reordering is now considered naturally prevalent within complex networks like the Internet. When packets are reordered, the performance of transport protocols like TCP is severely hurt. To overcome performance issues a number of mitigations have been proposed. While evaluations have shown the success of such mitigations, most have not considered realistic scenarios where other impairments are present. Furthermore, most studies only evaluate the performance of long-lived TCP flows, although short-lived flows are the most common. In this paper we evaluate Linux’s built-in reordering mitigations and the TCP-NCR proposal using real protocol implementations. The results show that Linux and TCP-NCR are able to provide good protection against reordering when no other impairments are present. For flows that also experience packet loss, the performance is dominated by the negative effect of these losses. Results also indicate that short-lived flows are sensitive to how reordering mitigation is conducted. Linux was able to improve the performance of short flows slightly, while TCP-NCR performed worse than TCP without reordering protection.