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Inbound QoS becoming critical

By Donna Donnawitz
August 1, 2012
The network is changing. This shift can be seen in the way companies provision services, how they collaborate and how the data center functions. A recent Network Computing report explained that in the past, most business services went to the data center then through to the corporate systems. Now services are being delivered directly to the offices, changing the way inbound traffic reaches end users.

Joe Skorupa, a vice president and distinguished analyst for data center convergence at Gartner, told the news source that the shift in inbound linking is primarily fueled by increased spending on videoconferencing, unified communications and other collaboration tools. As a result, more bandwidth is coming into the network from a variety of services, making QoS a necessary tool.

"Inbound QoS is a part of the toolkit you need ... Increasingly, we're seeing traffic from multiple locations terminating in something other than the data center," Skorupa told Network Computing. "The receiving end needs to be able to manage the multiple endpoints that are sending to it. This many-to-many traffic model frankly is pretty new. It's around unified communications and multipoint videoconferencing; it's about new forms of collaboration software."

Bob Laliberte, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, explained that implementing QoS at the inbound level offers businesses with a good option for improving performance because it lets them prioritize which applications get sent through the network. However, accomplishing this effectively is heavily dependent on being able to analyze how the network's bandwidth is being consumed and adjusting application prioritization accordingly. This can be an incredibly complex and time consuming process.

There are a variety of ways to implement QoS, but one of the most effective is to use fiber-to-Ethernet media conversion. In such a setup, companies can use dark fiber and similar connection options to turn their WAN into a MAN, enabling better performance for traffic being sent to offices. Then the media convertor can use QoS to prioritize the traffic being sent over the optical link as part of the conversion process, ensuring performance is optimized when dealing with inbound data entering the LAN. Media conversion provides organizations with a way to upgrade the access network while still maintaining affordable internal copper cabling systems, and does so while enabling QoS and similar advanced functions.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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