QoS and Their Impact on Your Network Performance Analyzed
VoIP, remote monitoring, as well as networked video surveillance, are a few applications that have gained immense popularity in recent years. These applications have different bandwidth requirements and are widely used in residences, offices, and industrial facilities. Owing to their high dependability, the users of these applications cannot afford delays. Most legacy IP networks are designed for First-in-First-Out standards, which means some devices may face delays, thereby causing some disruption to schedules. This is where the Quality of Service (QoS) makes a difference. This article explores QoS in detail and offers you insights in their increasing role in business networks.
What is Quality of Service (QoS)?
QoS refers to the use of technologies or mechanisms, which are employed to manage traffic and meet bandwidth requirements of critical business applications. This concept enables business organizations to prioritize their network traffic according to high-performance applications.
QoS is employed in high traffic networks featuring applications that demand a high bandwidth including video on demand (VOD), video conferencing, Voice over IP (VoIP), and streaming media. This concept enables digital organizations to optimize the performance of their bandwidth-intensive applications and build performance-driven networks.
The QoS concept also enables these organizations to gain insights on factors like bandwidth (throughput), jitter (variance in latency), latency (delay), and error rate, and re-engineer their networks to ensure streamlined network traffic and minimize transmission delays. This in turn helps these organizations achieve the expected service quality as well as serve customers by delivering memorable user experiences.
Important Factors Addressed by QoS
Before going into the details of working of a QoS, it is important to understand the different parameters or factors addressed by the concept. The following pointers will help you understand it better.
Bandwidth: It is the maximum rate of data transfer of a network or the Internet connection. Knowing this gives an idea regarding how much data will be sent over the Internet connection at some point of time. For instance, the gigabit Ethernet connection will transmit 125 megabytes per second or 1000 Mbps. It is often confused with throughput, which is the amount of data delivered to the desired location in a given time. This delivery will depend on factors like network speed, latency, packet loss, and so on. A QoS concept helps the router decide on the bandwidth.
Latency: It is technically referred to as ping rate or delay. This is the lag experienced by a viewer or user when waiting for some web page or data to load. In simple words, it is the time taken for the information to reach you.
Jitter: It is a time delay experienced while sending the data packets over a network. Jitter is usually caused due to congestion experienced in the network or due to changes in its transmission route. In simple words, jitter can be referred to as the difference that you observe between a disastrous call and a successful VoIP call. QoS helps organizations minimize jitters.
Loss: This refers to the data loss, which is a direct result of a loss of the packet. This phenomenon occurs due to congestion in the network. A QoS concept empowers organizations to take a decision on the type of packet that may drop in case of such events.
Error Rate: As the name indicates, this refers to the degree of errors that are encountered when data is transmitted over a network connection. The high error rate will lead to a less stable connection or data rate.
How QoS Works?
QoS tools are designed to prioritize traffic based on network segments, applications, and users. Every organization follows a typical traffic classification policy to ensure adequate availability and consistency of bandwidth for their all applications. Generally, the traffic is classified by the IP or Port, or by the user or an application. The application or user classification enables effective identification as well as classification of the data.
Bandwidth management and queuing are two mechanisms that help manage bandwidths effectively in a network. These mechanisms can be easily managed by specific QoS tools. The bandwidth management feature allows network engineers to measure and manage the flow of traffic on the network and avoid the conditions of overworking and congestion. Scheduling algorithms and traffic shaping are two techniques used in this context. Traffic shaping is a type of rate-limiting technique, which helps increase usable bandwidth as well as optimize network performance. The technique of scheduling algorithms focuses on bandwidth assignment for particular traffic flows.
The mechanism of queuing enables storage of traffic flows until the network processes it effectively. Nowadays, Quality of Services tools are equipped with priority queuing (PQ), which helps minimize latency for traffic and network performance. This feature assures bandwidth availability to highly important applications.
Owing to their role in performance and bandwidth optimization, today, it is quite easy to find devices such as routers, LAN switches, routers with QoS features, fiber media converters and Ethernet extenders
Benefits of Implementing QoS in Your Network
Quality of Service (QoS) assures improved bandwidth and consistent data flow across your network. However, it serves more than that. The following are a few major benefits of implementing the feature in your network.
Boosts Resource Optimization: QoS allows network administrators to manage their Internet resources by effectively managing traffic and bandwidth. Earlier bandwidth expansion required investments in links, which ultimately increased operational costs. By using QoS devices, network administrators can easily save on these link investments, while effectively utilizing the available bandwidth for network performance.
Boosts Application Prioritization: As said before, QoS enables businesses to prioritize their mission-critical applications over less important applications. This enables them to boost their network performance and uptime.
Improved User Experience: Today, most businesses rely on Internet services for information exchange and service delivery. The QoS assures the high performance of critical applications. So by implementing them, businesses can be assured of high productivity among of their employees, as they can finish their tasks in time.
Efficient Traffic Management: In a network, the traffic may be delivered point-to-point, end-to-end, or node-to-node. QoS enables organizations to assure smooth and consistent delivery between these points.
Prevention of Data Loss and Latency: Latency or delays of a few microseconds or seconds may be experienced between a sender and a receiver. Although these delays may sound trivial, they may negatively impact user experiences. The delays usually occur due to various storage devices such as bridges and switches, and routers, which take time to analyze the information shared with them. QoS allows organizations to speed up the network request by prioritizing the information to be transmitted through the device.
Data loss occurs when data packets are lost in transit between two desired points. This can be caused due to many reasons ranging from congestions to loose connections to poor signals. QoS enables the organization to minimize data loss through bandwidth management and take care of the issues of traffic congestion. Similarly, latency reduction can be easily reduced by implementing devices featuring QoS.
QoS has emerged as one of the most popular tools for business organizations that want to optimize their network performance and improve user experiences. As of today, most organizations utilize high-bandwidth solutions like videoconferencing and VoIP for business communication. Any lag or latency in these services may disrupt business operations and cause delays. However, QoS helps businesses prioritize their bandwidth, traffic, and resources to guarantee high performance. VERSITRON provides QoS on LAN switches, media converters
, and other devices. Visit www.versitron.com
to learn more about QoS on LAN switches and other devices and how these devices can extend your network across business organizations.
R.W. Tull is the President of Versitron Inc. He works closely with clients to review layout diagrams and drawings in order to ensure that the best fiber optic solution is achieved for a particular project.