Cloudflare last week began the early access for Traffic Acceleration, available for developers using Cloudflare Mobile SDK.
Cloudflare Mobile SDK supports iOS and Android and uses novel transport algorithms built into the SDK to accelerate apps beyond the performance they would see with TCP, reducing latency, driving down network timeouts, and improving the user experience.
According to Cloudflare, TCP is the dominant transport protocol for most applications and it’s over 40 years old. Cloudflare Mobile SDK aims to replace the transport protocol implemented on top of UDP, which the SDK can then speak with the Cloudflare edge.
Cloudflare says that a transportation company enabled acceleration in their iOS app. Their users immediately saw a 7% decrease in network response time and a 13.8% drop in network timeouts. This directly translates to an increase in conversions: purchases per user increased 3% with Acceleration enabled.
3 advantages of replacing TCP with a custom UDP transport protocol
- Performance tuning, bug fixes, and incremental updates to the protocol itself can be done without any downtime or coordination with the kernel. This is not the case with TCP.
- Middle-boxes’ (eg. corporate proxies, etc) assumptions on how TCP works have made improving TCP very difficult. UDP based protocols don’t suffer from the same middle-box ossification.
- Having tight control and coordination between the send-side Cloudflare edge and receive-side Mobile SDK makes optimizing individual connections possible, even over very dissimilar mobile networks.