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News Archive (2009)

For current news, check out the LatestNews section

FreeBSD 8.0 Released

Release 8.0 of the FreeBSD operating system was released on 24 November, 2009. Notable performance-related improvements in the networking area include:

  • a multi-threaded implementation of the netisr subsystem.
  • Linux-compatible TCP_CONGESTION socket option for selecting between pluggable congestion algorithms on a per-socket basis.
    • Main.SimonLeinen - 30 Nov 2009

Pluggable TCP (and SCTP!) congestion control under discussion at OpenSolaris

On the networking discussion forum for OpenSolaris, a project proposal for a project on "Solaris Network Performance Projects" is currently under discussion:

One of these projects is "pluggable congestion control". It foresees implementation of the HighSpeed, CUBIC, Westwood+,and Vegas congestion control algorithms, as well as ipadm subcommands and Linux-compatible socket options to get and set congestion control parameters. If successful, this will add OpenSolaris - and possibly at some point Solaris - to the group os OSes that support modern and configurable TCP congestion control (Linux, newer versions of Windows, newer versions of FreeBSD).

Updated 16 Dec 2009: An initial draft design document for this feature has been announced on the OpenSolaris networking-discuss forum.

– Main.SimonLeinen - 17 Nov 2009

In a message to the NANOG mailing list, Kevin Oberman points to ESnet Network Performance Knowledge Base. It has TCP tuning tips, hints on choosing and configuring file transfer tools, and information about many other areas. There's obviously some overlap with the information here. One great advantage of the ESnet site is that the information is quite concise and presented in a very pragmatic way. The site focuses on one problem, namely helping users transfer large amounts of data over wide-area networks (see the FileTransfer topic here).

– Main.SimonLeinen - 09 Nov 2009

pert-discuss mailing list revival

Throughout the history of the PERT in the extended European research networking community, there has been a mailing list for discussions. This list is open for those who are interested in contributing to the PERT effort. With the transition from GN2 to the GN3 project, the home of the list (similar to other resources) has changed to a domain. In the process of this, archived messages since October 2004 have been made publicly available under eduPERT]. The archive contains interesting discussions about specific and general performance issues. The list has been dormant for about a year, but we will try to revive it as the [ activities in GN3 are gaining speed.

– Main.SimonLeinen - 29 Oct 2009

Mobile-optimized search page

This wiki uses a "custom search engine" provided by Google to implement its "Search" function. According to newsitems, Google now provide, for each such custom search engine, a search page that is optimized for "high-end" mobile devices with web browsers. So if you have an iPhone/iPod touch, Palm Pre, Android-powered device or similar, try the following link:

Optimizing Internet applications so that they work well with this kind of devices is an interesting general PERT problem, of course!

– Main.SimonLeinen - 28 Oct 2009

New domain names, new ToDo topic

The eduPERT activities in the GN3 project are spinning up. As a first step, many of the eduPERT-related domain names were moved from to the namespace. This includes this PERT Knowledge Base, which now officially lives under Please update your pointers!

Then, I have added a ToDo topic, with some ideas on how the Knowledge Base could be improved. Please feel free to add to this list. But what would be really great is if people used the list as inspiration for contributions to the PERT Knowledge Base. Remember, this is supposed to be a community effort.

– Main.SimonLeinen - 21 Jul 2009

PERT/eduPERT talk at TNC 2009

I gave a talk about PERTs and the eduPERT at the Terena Networking Conference (TNC) 2009 in Málaga, Spain, last Thursday. Audio/video recording as well as presentation slides are available from the conference site. Here are the title and abstract:

eduPERT - helping European researchers bridge the "Wizard Gap"

PERTs (Performance Enhancement and Response Team) have been proposed to help network users achieve better end-to-end performance over today's fast research networks. Over the past few years, the PERT concept has been tested both within the GN2 project and within European NRENs with some success. This talk will explain "eduPERT", the current federated PERT model for the GÉANT community, talk about some interesting performance problems handled by PERTs, and about lessons learned and future work for advancing the PERT idea.

– Main.SimonLeinen - 14 Jun 2009

AWS (Amazon Web Services) Import/Export service

Amazon just announced a service (in beta) which allows you to send and retrieve your data from/to their cloud infrastructure through physical shipping of portable disk drives:

The article has some interesting rules-of-thumb explaining when using this option is preferable to up/downloading your data through the network, depending on connection speed and data volume.

eduPERT sites (including this one) transitioned to

The GN2 (GÉANT2) project ended in April 2009. The eduPERT activity continues as part of the GN3 project. To reflect this change, various domain names were changed from to (not , so we won't have to do this again four years from now - clever, huh?). In particular,

Please update pointers from other sites, your bookmarks, and address books. At least for the Web sites, the old addresses will still work and/or redirect to the new names, but it's best to start using the new version-independent names as soon as possible in order to avoid confusion.

One exception is the {{ (mailto:{{}} mailing list, which will have to be transitioned more carefully in the near future.

– Main.SimonLeinen - 10 Jun 2009

-- Main.SimonLeinen - 18 Dec 2010 (archived)

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