Tor 0.4.7.7 支援 congestion control

Tor 首度在協定內支援了 congestion control:「Congestion Control Arrives in Tor 0.4.7-stable!」。

這個新功能會帶來效能的提昇:

Tor has released 0.4.7.7, the first stable Tor release with support for congestion control. Congestion control will eliminate the speed limit of current Tor, as well as reduce latency by minimizing queue lengths at relays. It will result in significant performance improvements in Tor, as well as increased utilization of our network capacity.

之所以沒有辦法直接利用 packet loss 的方式讓 TCP network stack 直接判斷 congestion control,是因為這樣會產生 side channel:

Crucially, we rejected mechanisms to provide congestion control by allowing packet drops, due to the ability to introduce end-to-end side channels in the packet drop pattern.

所以 Tor 得自己實做 congestion control 演算法,選擇的演算法是結合了 Vegas 的 Tor-Vegas,可以看到在實驗中,德國與香港的 exit node 效率大幅提昇:

另外也因為 0.4.7.7 也出來一個禮拜了,也可以看到 Advertised Bandwidth (算是 Tor network 觀察到的 bandwidth) 開始成長:

另外一個重要的點是 UDP 的支援計畫,看起來在這次改善後也比較有可行性了:

The astute reader will note that we rejected datagram transports. However, this does not mean that Tor will never carry UDP traffic. On the contrary, congestion control deployment means that queue delay and latency will be much more stable and predictable. This will enable us to carry UDP without packet drops in the network, and only drop UDP at the edges, when the congestion window becomes full. We are hopeful that this new behavior will match what existing UDP protocols expect, allowing their use over Tor.

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