Choke packet definition
A choke packet is a signal sent back to the data flow source to alleviate potential congestion in the network.
Upon getting a choke packet, the receiving end reacts by throttling back its data transmission to prevent further overloading the network or the congested node. This feedback mechanism ensures efficient data flow and prevents network resources from being overwhelmed.
Usage of choke packets
- Congestion avoidance. Before a network node becomes fully congested, it can proactively send choke packets to reduce traffic flow and prevent the onset of congestion.
- Fairness. In a network with multiple flows, choke packets notify aggressive or high-bandwidth flows to reduce their rate and ensure that all flows get a fair share of network resources.
- Dynamic feedback. Unlike static threshold-based mechanisms, which take action only after a specific trigger, systems using choke packets provide dynamic feedback based on the current state of the network, allowing for more responsive and adaptive traffic management.
- Preventing global synchronization. One of the issues with older congestion control mechanisms was the phenomenon of global synchronization, where all flows would reduce their rates simultaneously, leading to inefficient use of network resources. Choke packets sent at randomized intervals mitigate this phenomenon.
- Enhancing quality of service (QoS). By managing congestion proactively, choke packets maintain the quality of service in the network — high-priority traffic gets the necessary bandwidth and latency requirements.
- Protecting network infrastructure. Excessive congestion can lead to high memory and CPU utilization for routers, switches, and other network devices. Choke packets help them ensure longer uptime and more stable network performance.