Improving TCP Data Transportation for Internet of Things

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Virginia Tech

Internet of Things (IoT) is the idea that every device around us is connected and these devices continually collect and communicate data for analysis at a large scale in order to enable better end user experience, resource utilization and device performance. Therefore, data is central to the concept of IoT and the amount being collected is growing at an unprecedented rate. Current networking systems and hardware are not fully equipped to handle influx of data at this scale which is a serious problem because it can lead to erroneous interpretation of the data resulting in low resource utilization and bad end user experience defeating the purpose of IoT. This thesis aims at improving data transportation for IoT. In IoT systems, devices are connected to one or more cloud services over the internet via an access link. The cloud processes the data sent by the devices and sends back appropriate instructions. Hence, the performance of the two ends of the network ie the access networks and datacenter network, directly impacts the performance of IoT.

The first portion of the our research targets improvement of the access networks by improving access link (router) design. Among the important design aspects of routers is the size of their output buffer queue. %Selecting an appropriate size of this buffer is crucial because it impacts two key metrics of an IoT system: 1) access link utilization and 2) latency. We have developed a probabilistic model to calculate the size of the output buffer that ensures high link utilization and low latency for packets. We have eliminated limiting assumptions of prior art that do not hold true for IoT. Our results show that for TCP only traffic, buffer size calculated by the state of the art schemes results in at least 60% higher queuing delay compared to our scheme while achieving almost similar access link utilization, loss-rate, and goodput. For UDP only traffic, our scheme achieves at least 91% link utilization with very low queuing delays and aggregate goodput that is approx. 90% of link capacity. Finally, for mixed traffic scenarios our scheme achieves higher link utilization than TCP only and UDP only scenarios as well as low delays, low loss-rates and aggregate goodput that is approx 94% of link capacity.

The second portion of the thesis focuses on datacenter networks. Applications that control IoT devices reside here. Performance of these applications is affected by the choice of TCP used for data communication between Virtual Machines (VM). However, cloud users have little to no knowledge about the network between the VMs and hence, lack a systematic method to select a TCP variant. We have focused on characterizing TCP Cubic, Reno, Vegas and DCTCP from the perspective of cloud tenants while treating the network as a black box. We have conducted experiments on the transport layer and the application layer. The observations from our transport layer experiments show TCP Vegas outperforms the other variants in terms of throughput, RTT, and stability. Application layer experiments show that Vegas has the worst response time while all other variants perform similarly. The results also show that different inter-request delay distributions have no effect on the throughput, RTT, or response time.

Internet of Things, TCP, Routers, Router Buffers, Buffer Sizing, Cloud, Datacenter, Reno, Cubic, Vegas, DCTCP