Re: [tsvwg] Network congestion, dynamic lossless compression?

Jonathan Morton <chromatix99@gmail.com> Sat, 03 August 2019 18:34 UTC

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From: Jonathan Morton <chromatix99@gmail.com>
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Date: Sat, 3 Aug 2019 19:34:00 +0100
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To: "David G. Pickett" <dgpickett=40aol.com@dmarc.ietf.org>
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Subject: Re: [tsvwg] Network congestion, dynamic lossless compression?
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> On 3 Aug, 2019, at 6:13 pm, David G. Pickett <dgpickett=40aol.com@dmarc.ietf.org> wrote:
> 
> Lossless compression could be applied without any effect on the transmitted data.

The chief problem with that idea is that most data transmitted these days is already compressed and/or encrypted, making it impossible to further compress transparently.  Even Web traffic, which used to be relatively compressible back when PPP options and in-modem compression were more relevant, is now encrypted more often than not (HTTPS replaces HTTP), and the encryption system itself applies compression to reduce exploitable entropy in the plaintext.

In the end, anyone can do better than your suggestion by "just" building a bigger pipe.  But that isn't a solution by itself, because demand grows to meet and exceed supply.  ("The bureaucracy is expanding, to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.")  To actually improve quality of service in the long run means finding ways to reduce latency and packet loss, not to improve capacity.

 - Jonathan Morton