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Bolt: Sub-RTT Congestion Control for Ultra Low-Latency

Serhat Arslan
NSDI (2023)


Bolt is a congestion-control algorithm designed to providesingle-digit microsecond tail network-queuing at near-linerate utilization. Motivated by the need for ultra-low latencyto support applications such as NVMe, as line rates reach200G and beyond, most transfers fit within a single BDP en-tailing that transfer times predominantly become a functionof queuing and propagation delays. Bolt is an attempt topush congestion-control to its theoretical limits by harness-ing the power of programmable dataplanes such as Tofinoand Trident3+ chips. Bolt is founded on three key ideas, (i)Sub-RTT reaction (SRR): reacting to congestion faster thanRTT control-loop delay, (ii) Proactive Ramp-up (PRU): bytracking future flow-completions, and (iii) Supply matching(SM): leveraging Network Calculus concepts to maximizeutilization. Our current results achieve a 75% reduction inqueuing-delays over Swift with upto 3x improvement incompletion times for short transfers.