Tsunami UDP Protocol – Installation, Setup and Limitations

Tsunami UDP Protocol – Installation, Setup and Limitations

Tsunami is one of several currently available UDP-based transfer protocols that were developed for high speed transfer over network paths that have a high bandwidth-delay product. Tsunami performs a file transfer by sectioning the file into numbered blocks of usually 32kB size. Communication between the client and server applications flows over a low bandwidth TCP connection. The bulk data is transferred over UDP.

Most of the protocol intelligence is worked into the client code - the server simply sends out all blocks, and resends blocks that the client requests. The client specifies nearly all parameters of the transfer, such as the requested file name, target data rate, block size, target port, congestion behaviour, etc, and controls which blocks are requested from the server and when these requests are sent.


Tsunami UDP installation is pretty straight forward, the current version of the source code can be found from their website. We can CVS checkout the current version with following command

cvs -z3 -d:pserver:anonymous@tsunami-udp.cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/tsunami-udp co -P tsunami-udp
sudo apt-get install git gcc
sudo apt-get install automake autoconf
cd tsunami-udp
sudo make install

An EC2 Instance with good or 10Gbit Ethernet network would be preferable to achieve higher transfer speed. TCP 22 and TCP/ UDP 46224 needs to be opened between server and client for communication and data transfer. On Server side start up the process with command tsunamid –port 46224 * # (Serves all files from current directory for copy) On client side start the transfer <code style=”white-space: normal; color:#4512AE;”

tsunami connect [server] get * # (copies all files served to current directory)</code> Below are a few screen shots udp-setup Maximum speed achieved 649.1Mbps tsunami-udp-setup CloudWatch Network utilization comparison between Tsunami UDP and SCP

  • Tsunami UDP transfers only files and doesn’t do directories/ subdirectories, we need to tar them all up as one single tar file (additional storage capacity needs to be taken into consideration).
  • Multi-threading is not supported.
  • Multi session not supported. Client supports only one connection to the server at a time. No parallel file transfer.
  • No resume or retry for file transfer.
  • Does not support Native encryption.

Tsunami UDP provides a free, easy way of quickly move large amounts of data in and out of AWS or between regions. Transfer speeds are very high about 80 to 90 MB/s when compared to standard SCP/ FTP at 6 to 7 MB/s.

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