Avoiding the TCP TIME_WAIT state at Busy Servers

Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (individual)
Authors Joseph Touch  , Ted Faber  , Wei Yue 
Last updated 1997-09-11
Stream (None)
Intended RFC status (None)
Expired & archived
pdf htmlized (tools) htmlized bibtex
Stream Stream state (No stream defined)
Consensus Boilerplate Unknown
RFC Editor Note (None)
IESG IESG state Expired
Telechat date
Responsible AD (None)
Send notices to (None)

This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


This document describes the problems associated with the accumulation of TCP TIME_WAIT states at a network server, such as a web server, and details two methods for avoiding that accumulation. Servers that have many TCP connections in TIME_WAIT state experience performance degradation, and can collapse. One solution is a TCP modification that causes clients to enter TIME_WAIT state rather than servers. The other is an HTTP modification that allows the client to close the transport connection, maintaining the TIME_WAIT state at the client. The goal of both approaches is ensure that TIME_WAIT states accumu- late at the less loaded endpoint. The document also presents initial performance data from reference implementations of these solutions, which suggest that the modifica- tions improve HTTP connection rates at the server by as much as 50%, and allow servers to operate at small transaction throughputs that they cannot sustain their default configuration.


Joseph Touch (touch@isi.edu)
Ted Faber (faber@isi.edu)
Wei Yue (wyue@isi.edu)

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)