Currently, Multipath TCP (MPTCP) – a modifica- tion to standard TCP that enables the concurrent use of several network paths in a single TCP connection – is being standardized by IETF. This paper provides a comprehensive evaluation of the use of MPTCP to reduce latency and thus improve the quality of experience or QoE for cloud-based applications. In particular, the paper considers the possible reductions in latency that could be obtained by using MPTCP and multiple network paths between a cloud service and a mobile end user. To obtain an appreciation of the expected latency performance for different types of cloud traffic, three applications are studied, Netflix, Google Maps, and Google Docs, representing typical applications generating high-, mid-, and low-intensity traffic. The results suggest that MPTCP could provide significant latency reductions for cloud applications, especially for applications such as Netflix and Google Maps. Moreover, the results suggest that MPTCP offers a reduced latency despite a few percent packet loss, and in spite of limited differences in the round-trip times of the network paths in an MPTCP connection. Still, larger differences in the round-trip times seem to significantly increase the application latency, especially for Netflix, Google Maps, and similar applications. Thus, to become an even better alternative to these applications, this paper suggests that the MPTCP packet scheduling policy should be changed: Apart from the round-trip times of the network paths in a connection, it should also consider the difference in round-trip time between the network paths.
IEEE Press, 2015. 64-69 p.