For enterprises delivering Internet and extranet applications, TCP/IP inefficiencies, coupled the effects of WAN latency and packet loss, all conspire to adversely affect application performance. The result of these inefficiencies has inflated the response times for applications, and significantly reduced bandwidth utilization efficiency (ability to “fill the pipe”).
F5’s BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager provides a state-of-the-art TCP/IP stack that delivers dramatic WAN and LAN application performance improvements for real-world networks. These advantages cannot be seen in typical packet blasting test harnesses, rather they are designed to deal with real-world client and Internet conditions.
This highly optimized TCP/IP stack, called TCP Express, combines cutting-edge TCP/IP techniques and improvements in the latest RFCs with numerous improvements and extensions developed by F5 to minimize the effect of congestion and packet loss and recovery. Independent testing tools and customer experiences have shown TCP Express delivers up to a 2x performance gain for end users and a 4x improvement in bandwidth efficiency with no change to servers, applications, or the client desktops.
TCP Express – F5’s Optimized TCP Stack
F5’s TCP Express is a standards-based, state of the art TCP/IP stack that leverages optimizations natively supported in various client and server operating systems and optimizations that are not operating-system specific. F5’s TCP/IP stack contains hundreds of improvements that affect both WAN and LAN efficiencies, for example:
For high-speed LANs, F5’s TCP stack quickly expands buffer sizes and detects low-latency to manage congestion.
For low-speed WANs, F5’s TCP stack detects client speed and estimates bandwidth to limit packet loss and recovery in the case of dropped packets.
At the heart of the BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager is the TMOS architecture that provides F5’s optimized TCP/IP stack to all BIG-IP platforms and software add-on modules. These optimizations, which extend to both clients and servers in both LAN and WAN communications, are unique to F5. This capability puts the F5 solution in contrast to packet-by-packet systems that cannot provide comparable functionality, and are unable to approach these levels of optimization, packet loss recovery, or intermediation between suboptimal clients and servers.
The combination of F5’s TMOS full proxy architecture and TCP Express work to dramatically improve performance for all your TCP-based applications. Utilizing these technologies, the BIG-IP has been shown to dramatically:
Improve transfer rates for all connecting client types:
Average of 35% performance boost for dial-up clients
Average of 79% performance boost for broadband users
Improve connection reliability for dial-up clients:
Average of 56% reduction in TCP/IP errors (mostly TCP timeouts)
Increase bandwidth efficiency across existing ISP providers:
224% increase of data placed on the wire (3.2x improvement)
50% packet reduction on the wire (2x improvement)
Eliminated 63% of “empty” TCP packets (2.7x improvement)