A first look at multipath-tcp.org : subflows

In theory, a Multipath TCP connection can gather an unlimited number of subflows. In practice, implementations limit the number of concurrent subflows. The Linux implementation used on the monitored server can support up to 32 different subflows. We analyse here the number of subflows that are established for each Multipath TCP connection. Since our server never establishes subflows, this number is an indication of the capabilities of the clients that interact with it.

The figure below provides the distribution of the number of subflows per Multipath TCP connection. We show the distribution for the number of successfully established subflows, i.e., subflows that complete the handshake, as well as for all attempted ones. As can be seen, several connection attempts either fail completely or establish less subflows than intended. In total, we observe 5098 successful connections with 8701 subflows. The majority of the observed connections (57%) only establish one subflow. Around 27% of them use two subflows. Only 10 connections use more than 8 subflows, which are omitted from the figure.