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How to set
network quality
of service (QoS)
parameters

Author: Gary Hilson

When it comes to keeping your network quality of service (QoS) high, the little things add up to impact applications performance high, which is particularly important with productivity tools that rely on cloud and edge computing. QoS parameters that contribute to the overall health of your network, including speed, prioritization, and stability, have become more critical as applications move closer to the user, thanks to 5G networking and edge computing.

Working with a trusted service provider can help simplify access to technology, such as software-defined networking (SDN), performance-driven infrastructure, and secure application-aware network policies. Ensuring that your network quality of service (QoS) can exceed the pace of your business requirements can help provide an optimal user experience.

What is Network Quality of Service?

QoS describes and measures overall network performance—most notably, its ability to achieve maximum bandwidth and how it handles other performance elements such as latency, error rate, and uptime. Various mechanisms and technologies are used to adjust overall network traffic so that high-performance and applications are prioritized, including those that are resource-intensive such as videoconferencing and Voice over IP (VoIP).

Network quality of service: Apply four key QoS parameters

Establishing QoS parameters has always been essential to optimizing network quality of service. What's changed is the nature of enterprise networks.

Data and applications are increasingly pushed out to the edge due to the rise in remote work, cloud computing, as well as the deployment of 5G networking to enable new use cases in different industries and environments. Each has requirements when it comes to minimum network speeds and performance metrics.

Understanding how QoS parameters impact user experience and application performance can help you meet the expectations of your business stakeholders.

  • Bandwidth: Most applications have a minimum network speed (bandwidth) to perform effectively. Accordingly, configuring QoS parameters helps to eliminate bottlenecks, ensuring sufficient bandwidth to meet user application expectations.
  • Latency: Congested networks increase packet delay and result in packets waiting in a queue before transmission. Latency, the time it takes for a packet to get to its destination, affects application performance. Delays heavily impact interactions that occur in real-time, such as video conferencing or online purchases. Traffic prioritization and application-aware routing can improve latency and the transmission of critical packets.
  • Jitter: Jitter occurs when packets arrive late and out of sequence, resulting in the user experiencing distortion. These irregularities result from congestion caused by poor network quality of service. Networks that have SLAs and established QoS parameters can help improve user experience with less jitter.
  • Packet loss: Some packet loss is to be expected. Having QoS parameters in place lets you define critical packets, setting packet priority without compromising data traffic for mission-critical applications. Test packet delivery from your network with Looking Glass

Prioritize apps, data, and users

To apply QoS parameters effectively, identify application traffic types, bandwidth requirements, and sensitivity to latency or packet loss. With these requirements known, you can now prioritize specific application services using QoS management and queuing tools, classify traffic and direct flow as desired. Set QoS parameters using user experience, network quality, and application requirements to help eliminate bottlenecks of high-priority applications and their data.

Technologies like SDN improve network quality of service because the architecture supports various routing algorithms rather than the typical "open shortest path first" approach. Simple self-service tools increase scalability, ease of use, QoS, and security policy management, reducing the time required to manage your network.

Banks are an excellent example of an environment where user experience is critical and affected by network quality of service. In this case, view each banking branch as an edge computing “node.” Each node, or banking branch, supports various stakeholder applications, including business and consumer customers. In this setting, SDN with Internet Dedicated Services and wireless backup provides an always-on, dedicated connection with QoS to prioritize critical applications, robust service-level agreements, and optimized speeds.

Discover how Verizon's Internet Dedicated Services can help you drive better business performance backed by stringent availability, latency, packet loss, and jitter service level agreements.