Services provided by IETF transport protocols and congestion control mechanisms

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Last updated 2015-02-27
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Network Working Group                                  G. Fairhurst, Ed.
Internet-Draft                                    University of Aberdeen
Intended status: Informational                          B. Trammell, Ed.
Expires: August 31, 2015                              M. Kuehlewind, Ed.
                                                              ETH Zurich
                                                       February 27, 2015

  Services provided by IETF transport protocols and congestion control


   This document describes services provided by existing IETF protocols
   and congestion control mechanisms.  It is designed to help
   application and network stack programmers and to inform the work of
   the IETF TAPS Working Group.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
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   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
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   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on August 31, 2015.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2015 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   ( in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of

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   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

1.  Introduction

   Most Internet applications make use of the Transport Services
   provided by TCP (a reliable, in-order stream protocol) or UDP (an
   unreliable datagram protocol).  We use the term "Transport Service"
   to mean the end-to-end service provided to an application by the
   transport layer.  That service can only be provided correctly if
   information about the intended usage is supplied from the
   application.  The application may determine this information at
   design time, compile time, or run time, and may include guidance on
   whether a feature is required, a preference by the application, or
   something in between.  Examples of features of Transport Services are
   reliable delivery, ordered delivery, content privacy to in-path
   devices, integrity protection, and minimal latency.

   The IETF has defined a wide variety of transport protocols beyond TCP
   and UDP, including TCP, SCTP, DCCP, MP-TCP, and UDP-Lite.  Transport
   services may be provided directly by these transport protocols, or
   layered on top of them using protocols such as WebSockets (which runs
   over TCP) or RTP (over TCP or UDP).  Services built on top of UDP or
   UDP-Lite typically also need to specify additional mechanisms,
   including a congestion control mechanism (such as a windowed
   congestion control, TFRC or LEDBAT congestion control mechanism).
   This extends the set of available Transport Services beyond those
   provided to applications by TCP and UDP.

   Transport protocols can also be differentiated by the features of the
   services they provide: for instance, SCTP offers a message-based
   service that does not suffer head-of-line blocking when used with
   multiple stream, because it can accept blocks of data out of order,
   UDP-Lite provides partial integrity protection, and LEDBAT can
   provide low-priority "scavenger" communication.

2.  Terminology

   The following terms are defined throughout this document, and in
   subsequent documents produced by TAPS describing the composition and
   decomposition of transport services.

   [NOTE: The terminology below was presented at the TAPS WG meeting in
   Honolulu.  While the factoring of the terminology seems
   uncontroversial, there may be some entities which still require names
   (e.g. information about the interface between the transport and lower
   layers which could lead to the availability or unavailability of

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