Modernizing the M-Lab Platform

When the M-Lab platform was initially launched in 2009, the software and operating system running on our servers used the best available boot management, virtualization, and kernel-level measurement instrumentation available. In the years since M-Lab’s initial launch, the state of system administration has improved dramatically. In 2017, the M-Lab team began work to upgrade the platform to adopt modern and flexible system administration components. This post provides a roadmap of that work.

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BBR TCP and Measurement Lab

What is TCP?

Since the beginning of the its existence, the Internet has expanded in scope, traffic, content, and a myriad of other ways. The protocols that make up the Internet’s backbone have mostly remained the same since they were developed in the 1980s. The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) was one of the first networking protocols defined during the Internet’s development, and specifies how data should be transmitted and received. TCP implementations, initially developed in the 1980’s, attempted to discover the right rate at which to send data by constantly trying to send more until reaching the point that not all of the data arrived at its destination, and then backing off on the amount being sent.

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