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tcp_bbr: add BBR congestion control

This commit implements a new TCP congestion control algorithm: BBR
(Bottleneck Bandwidth and RTT). A detailed description of BBR will be
published in ACM Queue, Vol. 14 No. 5, September-October 2016, as
"BBR: Congestion-Based Congestion Control".

BBR has significantly increased throughput and reduced latency for
connections on Google's internal backbone networks and and
YouTube Web servers.

BBR requires only changes on the sender side, not in the network or
the receiver side. Thus it can be incrementally deployed on today's
Internet, or in datacenters.

The Internet has predominantly used loss-based congestion control
(largely Reno or CUBIC) since the 1980s, relying on packet loss as the
signal to slow down. While this worked well for many years, loss-based
congestion control is unfortunately out-dated in today's networks. On
today's Internet, loss-based congestion control causes the infamous
bufferbloat problem, often causing seconds of needless queuing delay,
since it fills the bloated buffers in many last-mile links. On today's
high-speed long-haul links using commodity switches with shallow
buffers, loss-based congestion control has abysmal throughput because
it over-reacts to losses caused by transient traffic bursts.

In 1981 Kleinrock and Gale showed that the optimal operating point for
a network maximizes delivered bandwidth while minimizing delay and
loss, not only for single connections but for the network as a
whole. Finding that optimal operating point has been elusive, since
any single network measurement is ambiguous: network measurements are
the result of both bandwidth and propagation delay, and those two
cannot be measured simultaneously.

While it is impossible to disambiguate any single bandwidth or RTT
measurement, a connection's behavior over time tells a clearer
story. BBR uses a measurement strategy designed to resolve this
ambiguity. It combines these measurements with a robust servo loop
using recent control systems advances to implement a distributed
congestion control algorithm that reacts to actual congestion, not
packet loss or transient queue delay, and is designed to converge with
high probability to a point near the optimal operating point.

In a nutshell, BBR creates an explicit model of the network pipe by
sequentially probing the bottleneck bandwidth and RTT. On the arrival
of each ACK, BBR derives the current delivery rate of the last round
trip, and feeds it through a windowed max-filter to estimate the
bottleneck bandwidth. Conversely it uses a windowed min-filter to
estimate the round trip propagation delay. The max-filtered bandwidth
and min-filtered RTT estimates form BBR's model of the network pipe.

Using its model, BBR sets control parameters to govern sending
behavior. The primary control is the pacing rate: BBR applies a gain
multiplier to transmit faster or slower than the observed bottleneck
bandwidth. The conventional congestion window (cwnd) is now the
secondary control; the cwnd is set to a small multiple of the
estimated BDP (bandwidth-delay product) in order to allow full
utilization and bandwidth probing while bounding the potential amount
of queue at the bottleneck.

When a BBR connection starts, it enters STARTUP mode and applies a
high gain to perform an exponential search to quickly probe the
bottleneck bandwidth (doubling its sending rate each round trip, like
slow start). However, instead of continuing until it fills up the
buffer (i.e. a loss), or until delay or ACK spacing reaches some
threshold (like Hystart), it uses its model of the pipe to estimate
when that pipe is full: it estimates the pipe is full when it notices
the estimated bandwidth has stopped growing. At that point it exits
STARTUP and enters DRAIN mode, where it reduces its pacing rate to
drain the queue it estimates it has created.

Then BBR enters steady state. In steady state, PROBE_BW mode cycles
between first pacing faster to probe for more bandwidth, then pacing
slower to drain any queue that created if no more bandwidth was
available, and then cruising at the estimated bandwidth to utilize the
pipe without creating excess queue. Occasionally, on an as-needed
basis, it sends significantly slower to probe for RTT (PROBE_RTT

BBR has been fully deployed on Google's wide-area backbone networks
and we're experimenting with BBR on and YouTube on a global
scale.  Replacing CUBIC with BBR has resulted in significant
improvements in network latency and application (RPC, browser, and
video) metrics. For more details please refer to our upcoming ACM
Queue publication.

Example performance results, to illustrate the difference between BBR
and CUBIC:

Resilience to random loss (e.g. from shallow buffers):
  Consider a netperf TCP_STREAM test lasting 30 secs on an emulated
  path with a 10Gbps bottleneck, 100ms RTT, and 1% packet loss
  rate. CUBIC gets 3.27 Mbps, and BBR gets 9150 Mbps (2798x higher).

Low latency with the bloated buffers common in today's last-mile links:
  Consider a netperf TCP_STREAM test lasting 120 secs on an emulated
  path with a 10Mbps bottleneck, 40ms RTT, and 1000-packet bottleneck
  buffer. Both fully utilize the bottleneck bandwidth, but BBR
  achieves this with a median RTT 25x lower (43 ms instead of 1.09

Our long-term goal is to improve the congestion control algorithms
used on the Internet. We are hopeful that BBR can help advance the
efforts toward this goal, and motivate the community to do further

Test results, performance evaluations, feedback, and BBR-related
discussions are very welcome in the public e-mail list for BBR:!forum/bbr-dev

NOTE: BBR *must* be used with the fq qdisc ("man tc-fq") with pacing
enabled, since pacing is integral to the BBR design and
implementation. BBR without pacing would not function properly, and
may incur unnecessary high packet loss rates.

Signed-off-by: Van Jacobson <>
Signed-off-by: Neal Cardwell <>
Signed-off-by: Yuchung Cheng <>
Signed-off-by: Nandita Dukkipati <>
Signed-off-by: Eric Dumazet <>
Signed-off-by: Soheil Hassas Yeganeh <>
Signed-off-by: David S. Miller <>
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Neal Cardwell authored and davem330 committed Sep 20, 2016
1 parent 7e74417 commit 0f8782ea14974ce992618b55f0c041ef43ed0b78
Showing with 928 additions and 0 deletions.
  1. +13 −0 include/uapi/linux/inet_diag.h
  2. +18 −0 net/ipv4/Kconfig
  3. +1 −0 net/ipv4/Makefile
  4. +896 −0 net/ipv4/tcp_bbr.c
@@ -124,6 +124,7 @@ enum {

@@ -157,8 +158,20 @@ struct tcp_dctcp_info {
__u32 dctcp_ab_tot;


struct tcp_bbr_info {
/* u64 bw: max-filtered BW (app throughput) estimate in Byte per sec: */
__u32 bbr_bw_lo; /* lower 32 bits of bw */
__u32 bbr_bw_hi; /* upper 32 bits of bw */
__u32 bbr_min_rtt; /* min-filtered RTT in uSec */
__u32 bbr_pacing_gain; /* pacing gain shifted left 8 bits */
__u32 bbr_cwnd_gain; /* cwnd gain shifted left 8 bits */

union tcp_cc_info {
struct tcpvegas_info vegas;
struct tcp_dctcp_info dctcp;
struct tcp_bbr_info bbr;
#endif /* _UAPI_INET_DIAG_H_ */
@@ -640,6 +640,21 @@ config TCP_CONG_CDG
D.A. Hayes and G. Armitage. "Revisiting TCP congestion control using
delay gradients." In Networking 2011. Preprint:

tristate "BBR TCP"
default n

BBR (Bottleneck Bandwidth and RTT) TCP congestion control aims to
maximize network utilization and minimize queues. It builds an explicit
model of the the bottleneck delivery rate and path round-trip
propagation delay. It tolerates packet loss and delay unrelated to
congestion. It can operate over LAN, WAN, cellular, wifi, or cable
modem links. It can coexist with flows that use loss-based congestion
control, and can operate with shallow buffers, deep buffers,
bufferbloat, policers, or AQM schemes that do not provide a delay
signal. It requires the fq ("Fair Queue") pacing packet scheduler.

prompt "Default TCP congestion control"
@@ -674,6 +689,9 @@ choice
bool "CDG" if TCP_CONG_CDG=y

bool "BBR" if TCP_CONG_BBR=y

bool "Reno"
@@ -41,6 +41,7 @@ obj-$(CONFIG_INET_DIAG) += inet_diag.o
obj-$(CONFIG_INET_TCP_DIAG) += tcp_diag.o
obj-$(CONFIG_INET_UDP_DIAG) += udp_diag.o
obj-$(CONFIG_NET_TCPPROBE) += tcp_probe.o
obj-$(CONFIG_TCP_CONG_BBR) += tcp_bbr.o
obj-$(CONFIG_TCP_CONG_BIC) += tcp_bic.o
obj-$(CONFIG_TCP_CONG_CDG) += tcp_cdg.o
obj-$(CONFIG_TCP_CONG_CUBIC) += tcp_cubic.o
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