In modern packet-switched networks, including the Internet, the source host segments long, application-layer messages (for example, an image or a music file) into smaller packets and sends the packets into the network. The receiver then reassembles the packets back into the original message. We refer to this process as message segmentation. Figure 1.27 illustrates the end-to-end transport of a message with and without message segmentation. Consider a message that is 8 · 106 bits long that is to be sent from source to destination in Figure 1.27. Suppose each link in the figure is 2 Mbps. Ignore propagation,queuing, and processing delays.
a. Consider sending the message from source to destination without message segmentation. How long does it take to move the message from the source host to the first packet switch? Keeping in mind that each switch uses store-and-forward packet switching, what is the total time to move the message from source host to destination host?
b. Now suppose that the message is segmented into 800 packets, with each packet being 10,000 bits long. How long does it take to move the first packet from source host to the first switch? When the first packet is being sent from the first switch to the second switch, the second packet is being sent from the source host to the first switch. At what time will the second packet be fully received at the first switch?
c. How long does it take to move the file from source host to destination host when message segmentation is used? Compare this result with your answer in part (a) and comment.
d. In addition to reducing delay, what are reasons to use message segmentation?
e. Discuss the drawbacks of message segmentation.
d) i. Without message segmentation, if bit errors are not tolerated, if there is a single bit error, the whole message has to be retransmitted (rather than a single packet). ii. Without message segmentation, huge packets (containing HD videos, for example) are sent into the network. Routers have to accommodate these huge packets. Smaller packets have to queue behind enormous packets and suffer unfair delays.
e) i. Packets have to be put in sequence at the destination. ii. Message segmentation results in many smaller packets. Since header size is usually the same for all packets regardless of their size, with message segmentation the total amount of header bytes is more.