December 13, 2012, 10:23 AM — This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter's approach.
Network congestion has compelled organizations to deploy traffic shaping and quality of service (QoS) appliances just before the WAN router to control outbound traffic. But in today's complex environments, organizations are rethinking how to manage the onslaught of data flowing across the network, and the focus of congestion control has increasingly shifted to traffic flowing inbound from the many data sources.
While outbound QoS has been sufficient for controlling corporate network traffic in the past, two significant trends are driving the need for a shift to inbound QoS:
1) Any-to-any networks and applications: The adoption of mesh network topologies has enabled routing of business application traffic directly from one branch office to another. The types of applications that traverse these paths commonly include VoIP, desktop videoconferencing, and unified communications tools such as Microsoft Lync. When a user in one branch calls a user in another branch office, the VoIP call gets routed point-to-point without requiring traffic to be backhauled to the corporate data center. As a result, this traffic competes with application data coming from the data center as well as from other sites. In this case, outbound traffic at any given location has little if any effect. The only place where all sources of incoming traffic can be effectively controlled is at the receiving location itself.
TECH ARGUMENT: IETF vs. ITU: Internet standards face-off