Cloudflare, an internet performance and security provider, announced that early access to Traffic Acceleration was being added to its Cloudflare Mobile SDK. The traffic acceleration technology aims to address network throughput for mobile apps thereby increasing performance beyond what would be seen with TCP.
Cloudflare announced the Mobile SDK earlier this year as a solution to help developers understand their application’s network usage and identify slowdowns caused by frequent network calls. An app’s experience is often highly dependent on network connectivity and the company states that "Integrating the Mobile SDK allows developers to measure and improve the speed of their app’s network interactions."
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), an Internet networking protocol for exchanging data is the most most common trasnport protocol used by applications. Traffic Acceleration replaces TCP with a custom User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which the SDK uses to speak with the Cloudflare edge. According to Cloudflare, this approach offers three advantages:
- 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.
The Mobile SDK supports both iOS and Android. Interested developers can apply for early access by emailing Cloudflare.