Linux 3.3: Finally a little good news for bufferbloat

While I was out chasing computer history last week, the Linux 3.3 kernel was released. And a very interesting release it is, though not for its vaunted re-inclusion of certain Android kernel hacks. I think that modest move is being overblown in the press.  No, Linux 3.3 appears to be the first OS to really take a shot at reducing the problem of bufferbloat. It’s not the answer to this scourge, but it will help some, especially since Linux is so popular for high volume servers.

Bufferbloat, as you’ll recall from my 2011 predictions column, is the result of our misguided attempt to protect streaming applications (now 80 percent of Internet packets) by putting […]

By |March 25th, 2012|2012|39 Comments

Bufferbloat 2: The Need for Speed

Almost eight months ago in my annual predictions column I made a big deal about Bufferbloat, which was the name Bell Labs researcher Jim Gettys had given to the insidious corruption of Internet service by too many intelligent network devices. Well I’ve been testing one of the first products designed to treat bufferbloat and am here to report that it might work. But like many other public health problems, if we don’t all pay attention and do the right thing, ultimately we’ll all be screwed.

At the risk of pissing-off the pickier network mavens who read this column, Bufferbloat is a conflict between the Internet’s Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and various buffering schemes designed […]

By |July 25th, 2011|2011|63 Comments

2011 predictions: One word — bufferbloat. Or is that two words?

As promised, here are my technology predictions for 2011. These columns usually begin with a review of my predictions from the previous year because it annoys me that writers make predictions without consequences. If we are going to claim expertise then our feet should be held to the fire. But last January I didn’t write a predictions column, thinking we were past all that (silly me) so there is nothing with which to embarrass myself here. More sobering still, after last year’s holiday firestorm over our naked card Mrs. Cringely won’t let me post this year’s card. We have become so dull.

We also seem to have become verbose, because my first prediction (below) took 1400 words to write. So tell you what: […]

By |January 4th, 2011|2011|73 Comments