When latency matters: measurements and lessons learned

Marco Iorio, Fulvio Risso, Claudio Casetti


Several emerging classes of interactive applications are demanding for extremely low-latency to be fully unleashed, with edge computing generally regarded as a key enabler thanks to reduced delays. This paper presents the outcome of a large-scale end-to-end measurement campaign focusing on task-offloading scenarios, showing that moving the computation closer to the end-users, alone, may turn out not to be enough. Indeed, the complexity associated with modern networks, both at the access and in the core, the behavior of the protocols at different levels of the stack, as well as the orchestration platforms used in data-centers hide a set of pitfalls potentially reverting the benefits introduced by low propagation delays. In short, we highlight how ensuring good QoS to latency-sensitive applications is definitely a multi-dimensional problem, requiring to cope with a great deal of customization and cooperation to get the best from the underlying network.

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