[Icecast] Use of TCP_CORK instead of TCP_NODELAY

Klaas Jan Wierenga k.j.wierenga at home.nl
Wed Dec 28 06:35:42 PST 2005


Hi Henri and others,

Very interesting post about TCP_CORK. I would be very interested in having
it applied in the next version of Icecast.

I'm using Icecast in a somewhat narrowcasting setup with large numbers of
sources (> 100) and between 5 and 50 listeners per source. All streaming is
done at low bitrates (16 - 24 kbit/sec) and listeners use embedded devices
connected by 56k modems. It is therefore very important to have efficient
use of available bandwidth.

For low-bitrate streams the problem originates in the fact that the stream
source often produces many small packets (they should be using TCP_CORK
too!), which were passed on unchanged by icecast to each client (again as
small write() calls on each socket). This problem had been reduced a lot in
Icecast 2.3.0 as can be read from the release notes of 2.3.0:

Fixes for 2.3.0
...
* avoid small writes to reduce TCP overhead.

This core of this fix is in the complete_read function from format_mp3.c,
which is used in mp3_get_no_meta() and mp3_get_filter_meta().

/* This does the actual reading, making sure the read data is packaged in
 * blocks of 1400 bytes (near the common MTU size). This is because many
 * incoming streams come in small packets which could waste a lot of
 * bandwidth with many listeners due to headers and such like.
 */
static int complete_read (source_t *source)

As far as I can see this fix has been applied only for the mp3 format. I
guess the problem still remains for other formats, correct me if I am wrong.

However, if I understand correctly your TCP_CORK solution would apply to all
formats since it is applied on the client socket (irrespective of the
format). I would be very interested in having this patch and seeing it
applied to Icecast.

Cheers,
KJ

p.s. For an in depth analysis of TCP_CORK read Christiopher Baus' excelent
article: http://www.baus.net/on-tcp_cork

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: icecast-bounces at xiph.org [mailto:icecast-bounces at xiph.org]Namens Henri
Zikken
Verzonden: zondag 25 december 2005 15:05
Aan: icecast at xiph.org
Onderwerp: [Icecast] Use of TCP_CORK instead of TCP_NODELAY


We're abusing icecast in a true narrowcasting setup (personalized stream per
mountpoint). The streams itself are created in a piece of proprietory
(spelling?, i'm dutch) software, icecast merely relays them.

However, the intended endpoint is an embedded device. This device has
trouble with tcp/ip packets not matching the max. packet size (MSS or MSS
minus header). After eleborate testing, we found that using the sockopt
'TCP_CORK' instead of 'TCP_NODELAY' produces far better results on the field
on reconnects etc/. Also, with streaming media, TCP_CORK is more efficient
than TCP_NODELAY.

To patch icecast to use tcp_cork is a piece of cake, it involves no more
than 10 lines of code. My question would be if the maintainers would
consider bringing this into the main tree. It could be implemented as flag
for configure, of, (even better) as some setting in the config file.

I have already implemented this as configure flag. If this is considered
something usefull, i will submit the patch i created.

Regards,

Henri Zikken

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