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Open source app puts the squeeze on network traffic

Apr 30, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

A group called the Traffic Squeezer project released an open source application that accelerates WAN network traffic. The Traffic Squeezer software uses lossless compression and other procedures to accelerate traffic on Linux-based network devices, and it's said a port to an embedded hardware version is… planned.

(Click for larger view of Traffic Squeezer compression statistics screen)

Released under GNU GPL (General Public License) in pre-alpha form, Traffic Squeezer has now moved on to alpha stage. The software is designed to accelerate traffic between two peers through which an L2 frame payload is compressed.

Traffic Squeezer compresses network traffic using selectable lossless compression algorithms including RLE, LZ77, and LZO. These algorithms have been exposed with APIs that enable them to be called whenever there is a network payload that needs to be compressed. The program also removes duplicate data traveling over the network, “and instead sends a template reference of the duplicate traffic,” says the project. In addition, Traffic Squeezer is said to cache open objects, and then only transmits changes made to the object.

Traffic Squeezer main screen (left) and packets statistics screen
(Click on either to enlarge)

The alpha and beta versions of Traffic Squeezer will move optimization techniques from the user space into the kernel space (see diagram below). The software will be offered in two versions: one that works like a Layer-2 bridge, and another that supports Layer-3 IP-based network routing, letting it “interwork in an IP-based routed network,” says the project. A user-space application will be supplied to offer runtime statistics and configuration features, with both a command-line and web-based GUI interfaces.

Traffic Squeezer architecture (Alpha/Beta) versions
(Click to enlarge)

Future plans call for enabling Traffic Squeezer to work from hardware (see diagram below). This is expected to be made possible with the pluggable driver interface that is being incorporated in the Traffic Squeezer Framework. A hardware version built into a networking device could remove the need for purchasing a dedicated third-party hardware accelerator card, the project claims.

Future hardware-enabled version of Traffic Squeezer
(Click to enlarge)


A pre-alpha version of Traffic Squeezer is available now for free download. The project is seeking volunteers and sponsors for the project. More information may be found here.

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