Send in your ideas. Deadline June 1, 2024
Theme fund: NGI Zero Core
Start: 2023-06
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Network infrastructure

Improving the deployability of Multipath TCP

Improve MPTCP support in the Linux kernel

Multipath TCP (MPTCP) is a standardised technology extending TCP and invented in Europe. TCP is one of the key protocols of the TCP/IP protocol stack, designed in the 1970s when hosts were attached to the network through a single cable. Today's hosts have several network interfaces, but TCP only uses one of them for a given connection. Multipath TCP solves this problem by enabling TCP connections to exchange packets over different network interfaces. With the current version of MPTCP in the Linux kernel, most of the features listed in the RFC8684 are implemented. Basic use-cases are supported but still it doesn't mean the solution is covering all needs and is easy enough to use. In short, MPTCP works well in some controlled environments but not as good in too heterogeneous ones like it is common to see on the Internet. Also its configuration is sometimes seen as difficult and/or confusing for the moment. Some work is then still needed to cover more use-cases plus to improve the usability and performances in order to have Multipath TCP adopted by a broader audience.

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This project was funded through the NGI0 Core Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 101092990.