[Bridge] [PATCH net-next] bridge: multicast to unicast

Felix Fietkau nbd at nbd.name
Tue Jan 10 17:23:29 UTC 2017

On 2017-01-10 18:17, Dave Taht wrote:
> In the case of wifi I have 3 issues with this line of thought.
> multicast in wifi has generally supposed to be unreliable. This makes
> it reliable. reliability comes at a cost -
> multicast is typically set at a fixed low rate today. unicast is
> retried at different rates until it succeeds - for every station
> listening. If one station is already at the lowest rate, the total
> cost of the transmit increases, rather than decreases.
> unicast gets block acks until it succeeds. Again, more delay.
> I think there is something like 31 soft-retries in the ath9k driver....
If I remember correctly, hardware retries are counted here as well.

> what happens to diffserv markings here? for unicast CS1 goes into the
> BE queue, CS6, the VO queue. Do we go from one flat queue for all of
> multicast to punching it through one of the hardware queues based on
> the diffserv mark now with this patch?
> I would like it if there was a way to preserve the unreliability
> (which multiple mesh protocols depend on), send stuff with QoSNoack,
> etc - or dynamically choose (based on the rates of the stations)
> between conventional multicast and unicast.
> Or - better, IMHO, keep sending multicast as is but pick the best of
> the rates available to all the listening stations for it.
The advantage of the multicast-to-unicast conversion goes beyond simply
selecting a better rate - aggregation matters a lot as well, and that is
simply incompatible with normal multicast.

Some multicast streams use lots of small-ish packets, the airtime impact
of those is vastly reduced, even if the transmission has to be
duplicated for a few stations.

- Felix

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