An anonymous reader writes "A new router, designed by one of the creators of ARPANET, manages flows of packets instead of only managing individual packets. The router recognizes packets that are following the first and sends them along faster than if it had to route them as individuals. When overloaded, the router can make better choices of which packets to drop. 'Indeed, during most of my career as a network engineer, I never guessed that the queuing and discarding of packets in routers would create serious problems. More recently, though, as my Anagran colleagues and I scrutinized routers during peak workloads, we spotted two serious problems. First, routers discard packets somewhat randomly, causing some transmissions to stall. Second, the packets that are queued because of momentary overloads experience substantial and nonuniform delays, significantly reducing throughput (TCP throughput is inversely proportional to delay). These two effects hinder traffic for all applications, and some transmissions can take 10 times as long as others to complete.'"
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