Chapter 9

Quality of Service on the Internet

Although the Internet has been traditionally a best-effort network, the ability to provide a certain level of QoS for certain packet flows is essential for some applications. For example, while the user of a file transfer application may accept a longer transfer delay when the network is congested, a multimedia user may find trying to maintain a conversation with a long round-trip delay irritating. Such users would probably request a higher QoS for their multimedia flows than for the rest of their flows.

However, QoS is not only about requesting a better treatment for certain flows; users also want to know if the network will be able to provide them with the requested QoS. If there is a long delay or a high packet loss rate, some users may prefer to exchange instant messages instead of having a VoIP (Voice over IP) conversation.

There are two models that provide QoS on the Internet: the Integrated Services model and the Differentiated Services (DiffServ) model. We cover the former in Section 9.1 and the latter in Section 9.2.

9.1 Integrated Services

The Integrated Services architecture (specified in RFC 1633 [89]) was designed to provide end-to-end QoS. Endpoints request a certain level of QoS for their packet flows and, if the network grants it, their routers treat those flows accordingly. There are two different services available in this architecture: the controlled load service and the guaranteed service.

The controlled load service ...

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