QUIC is Quick

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QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connections) is a new UDP based network protocol developed by Google and used in their Chrome browser to speed up applications, especially video.

QUIC supports multiplexed UDP connections to provide security equivalent to TLS, along with reduced connection and transport latencies, and bandwidth estimation to avoid congestion. QUIC’s goals are to improve performance of connection-oriented web applications that are currently using TCP and avoiding congestion.quic

QUIC employ’s bandwidth estimation in each direction into congestion avoidance, and then will pace packet transmissions evenly to reduce packet loss. It will also use packet-level error correction codes to reduce the need to retransmit lost packet data. QUIC aligns cryptographic block boundaries with packet boundaries, so that packet loss impact is further contained. DTLS, which WebRTC uses, was not designed to minimize latency.

Google has seen 5% improvement on web page loading times, 1 second faster on a web search, and 30% fewer rebuffers (video pauses) on YouTube.

Many enterprise firewalls block UDP traffic, so QUIC can fall back to TCP when required. This is another reason, among many, on why enterprise networks are slower than consumer home networks

While many people take networking for granted and believe just throwing more bandwidth will improve performance, this is not the case. The laws of physics and network latency, come into play. As more of networking traffic becomes video based, 80% today and 95% by 2020, QUIC and other new network improvements are important.

The gaming, virtual reality, and adult entertainment industries have adopted QUIC. I expect more of the cloud based communication and collaboration vendors to do so also. The IETF committee to standardize it is underway. For more information see here.

Sorell Slaymaker