Fujitsu Laboratories Develops World's First Automatic Protocol Selection Technology For Any Environment


Fujitsu Laboratories Develops World's First Automatic Protocol Selection Technology for Any EnvironmentFujitsu Laboratories Limited announced the development of the world's first technology that speeds communications by automatically selecting the communications protocol best suited to its environment. This is used for applications being carried over such varied mediums as international lines or wireless channels.

A number of high-speed communications protocols have previously been developed that will maintain high speeds even in degraded communications environments, such as in wireless channels or international lines. But these do not solve the problem of obtaining sufficient communications performance (transmission time and latency) under all usage parameters, which include the communications environment and applications. What Fujitsu Laboratories has done is to develop a technology that is based on previously modeled protocol performance under all usage parameters to quickly estimate the communications performance of each protocol and automatically select the one that will yield the best communications performance given the current actual usage parameters.

This technology has been confirmed to enable smoother use of remote-desktop applications in a variety of communications environments than with TCP(1), the communications protocol used as a standard in many applications. For the variety of cloud-based, network-delivered services, this will allow users to enjoy a smooth service without having to worry about signal strength in their location.

Details of this technology are being presented at the Joint Meeting of the IEICE Technical Committees on Network Systems and Information Networks, March 7-8 in Okinawa, Japan.

Background

With the increased popularity of mobile devices and cloud services in recent years, applications are being used over networks in a variety of communications environments. In many applications, such as file transfer, virtual desktop, and other communications applications, TCP is employed as a standard communications protocol. One issue with TCP is that data loss (packet loss) can occur in low-quality communications environments, resulting in significant drops in transmission performance (reduced throughput and higher latency) due to increased latency from having to retransmit data. In the future, it is expected that international communications lines and wireless networks will be used more and more, deeming it necessary to ensure good communications performance regardless of the communications environment being used.

Technological Challenges

As one high-speed communications protocol, the High-Speed Retransmission-based Protocol(2) improves on TCP's communications performance with a re-engineered approach to retransmissions when packet loss occurs. This is effective for speeding up the transfer of large files, but retransmission processing cannot be entirely eliminated, meaning operational delays occur in interactive communications, such as for virtual desktops. Another high-speed protocol is the Error Correction-based Protocol(3), which recovers data without retransmission by taking advantage of data redundancy in the lost packets, but as this redundancy and error correction increases the burden on the CPU rises. The strengths of each communications protocol are different and no single one manages to provide an optimum level of communications performance in every type of communication environment or application usage. In the complex communications environment that already exists today, which include a mix of LANs, wireless networks, Internet and dedicated lines, understanding the communications environment in real time and determining which protocol is best is a difficult task. In addition, it has also been difficult make such determinations on the user's end.