Re: Friendliness vs. Performance

Charles Hedrick (!!
26 Aug 88 00:49:52 GMT

It's hard to make guesses as to what will sell. But aside from
occasional tests in the PC-compatible area, there isn't a lot of
benchmarking hysteria in the TCP/IP world. So I'd think vendors would
not be under the sort of pressure to get performance at all costs that
they are in some other markets. From the point of view of a manager I
can tell you that I get lots of calls about inability to get mail
through to distant sites, and broken telnet connections. By and large
our users do not carefully time their FTP's and call me when their
throughput is only 100 kbits/sec. I have conducted various reviews of
Internet performance at the IETF meetings, where we asked an
assemblage of network managers what problems they were seeing. Again,
it's clear that everytime somebody gets a "connection broken" message,
their network manager gets an irate call, but I don't see signs of
irate users demanding 20% more speed. (Gross slowdowns are another
thing, of course.)

So if there were really a speed/robustness tradeoff, I'd strongly
recommend that vendors favor robustness. But I'm not even convinced
that there is. The only case I know of where using Van's
recommendations would slow you down is where by not using them you
manage to get more than your fair share of a gateway. It's clear that
this isn't a stable situation: only one person can do this at a time,
and you can't guarantee that he will be able to do it consistently.
Furthermore, you're going to start seeing gateways that defend
themselves against this sort of thing. This is not just a concern of
us wierdos on the Internet either. There are lots of big corporate
networks being built, and they typically have lots of serial lines
carefully spec'ed to have no more bandwidth than necessary.

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