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Google, Microsoft Cheat On Slow-Start — Should You? 123

kdawson writes "Software developer and blogger Ben Strong did a little exploring to find out how Google achieves its admirably fast load times. What he discovered is that Google, and to a much greater extent Microsoft, are cheating on the 'slow-start' requirement of RFC-3390. His research indicates that discussion of this practice on the Net is at an early, and somewhat theoretical, stage. Strong concludes with this question: 'What should I do in my app (and what should you do in yours)? Join the arms race or sit on the sidelines and let Google have all the page-load glory?'"
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Google, Microsoft Cheat On Slow-Start — Should You?

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  • lol kdawson (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Friday November 26, 2010 @02:56PM (#34351728)

    So kdawson couldn't post this FUD himself? He needed Soulskill to do it for him?

  • by courteaudotbiz ( 1191083 ) on Friday November 26, 2010 @03:00PM (#34351756) Homepage
    Great, yet simple research! It's funny to see how the web servers are acting exactly as their own mother company in real life:
    • Google: Trying to be the first, tries to make a standard with some promising trick;
    • Microsoft: Bypassing all rules to be the first;
    • All the others: pretty average (I'd have expected Facebook to be more innovative on this side. Wait when they discover that this trick exists...)
  • Re:Seems to me... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Friday November 26, 2010 @03:20PM (#34351886)

    Strict adherence to the guidelines doesn't matter to either of us and doesn't affect anyone else.

    The Goal of slow start is to achieve minimal loss and fairness with all flows.

    Fairness does effect other people. Not using slow start is much more aggressive and can stop on other people's data flows, particularly when a shared WAN is involved, even flows that might be much more important than your casual Google search.

    But this may be a bigger concern for large ISPs that oversubscribe by having hundreds of thousands of customers, and only enough bandwidth to deliver the promised data rate for a few thousand.

  • New era of networks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 26, 2010 @03:36PM (#34351980)

    Slow start and congestion avoidance were designed in the time of unreliable networks. Shouldn't the TCP/IP protocol be rediscussed in the age of fiber networks?

  • Re:lol kdawson (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Morty ( 32057 ) on Friday November 26, 2010 @04:51PM (#34352676) Journal

    So kdawson couldn't post this FUD himself? He needed Soulskill to do it for him?

    Considering that people cannot be objective about their own posts, I applaud kdawson for *not* posting this. Letting it go through someone else's editorial review is the right thing to do.

  • Re:Misread the RFC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nick Ives ( 317 ) on Friday November 26, 2010 @06:22PM (#34353436)

    We do NOT allow this change as part of the standard defined by this document.

    Seems fairly unambiguous to me.

    People have been gaming slow-start for yonks; I remember when you could ACK flood a server to increase your download speed. Server admins hated it because it slowed the site down for everyone else.

  • Re:Misread the RFC (Score:4, Interesting)

    by u38cg ( 607297 ) <> on Saturday November 27, 2010 @03:12AM (#34356474) Homepage
    I thought he'd been sacked. I don't have him filtered (I like them where I can see them) and I haven't seen his stories for ages, or indeed anyone complaining about them :)

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