Monday, September 26, 2011
Bandwidth can be optimized with QoS capabilities
Many businesses use quality of service technologies to monitor their network infrastructure and ensure it meets service level demands on a consistent basis. This practice is becoming increasingly important as more companies outsource IT resources, depend on complex virtual infrastructure and use the cloud to deliver applications and resources to end users.
However, QoS has the potential to do more than just monitor the network. According to a recent TechTarget report, the differentiated services code point technology used to enable QoS monitoring can also be used as a simple network management tool.
The news source explained DSCP is used to determine QoS service classes, so specific types of data packets can be monitored at any time. This is accomplished by giving the DSCP 6 bits in the IP header. The role of DSCP in the IP header means 64 values can be assigned to each bit, meaning 64 different classes of QoS monitoring can be assigned to monitor different types of content being sent through the network. Typically, the report said, companies only need four classes for QoS monitoring.
The extra header values can be used to classify data in another way, according to the news source. Instead of giving packets a label for monitoring purposes, companies can label data with a prioritization header. This tells the network how it should handle each data packet compared to others. For example, if one user is accessing a personal social media page at work, the DSCP will give that data a low priority. However, the data packets for an employee streaming VoIP content for a corporate conference call would be given first access to available bandwidth. This process ensures that the network is optimized to support the performance needs of business-related tasks. This is becoming more important as video, application delivery and other data formats used on a regular basis take up higher quantities of bandwidth.
Optimizing the network through QoS management is becoming critical among businesses in a variety of industries. According to a recent Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, bandwidth needs are rising at such a rate that businesses cannot expect to keep up with infrastructure upgrades. Instead, network optimization is essential to support advanced technologies without adversely impacting performance. There are a variety of ways to optimize the network, but WAN optimization is emerging as a key practice because many businesses are consolidating their IT infrastructure.