nexVortex BLOG

Why understanding QoS is a lot like remembering your manners.

Chuck Harris

Data packets carrying voice traffic (VoIP) demand respect. Open the door and let them go first.

Good manners and using VoIP technology share something important in common. Knowing who should enter before you is good manners, and knowing what network traffic to prioritize can help lead to better voice quality.

Providing sufficient Quality of Service (QoS) across IP networks is becoming an increasingly important aspect of today’s networking for real-time applications like voice and video.  In those applications, packet loss, jitter, and delay can be a killer.

When networks get congested, one of the things they do is drop packets. This is not an issue for non-real-time traffic like email because lost or dropped packets can be re-transmitted but when the data stream is real-time and packets are lost, quality is impacted.

If a network has plenty of bandwidth and has no traffic which bursts above the available bandwidth then there won’t be a problem with packet loss, delay, or jitter.  But that is usually not the case, particularly when links become congested to the point that routers and Ethernet switches start dropping packets because the packets  are coming in or going out faster than what can be handled.  When that happens, streaming applications like video and voice will suffer.

The Statistics: Growth at a breakneck pace

  • Global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next 5 years, and will have increased 127-fold from 2005 to 2021. Overall, IP traffic will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 24 percent from 2016 to 2021.
  • It would take more than 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month in 2021.
  • Every second, a million minutes of video content will cross the network by 2021.
  • Internet video surveillance traffic increased 71 percent in 2016, Internet video surveillance traffic will increase sevenfold between 2016 and 2021
  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) traffic will increase 20-fold between 2016 and 2021 globally, a CAGR of 82 percent.
  • Business IP traffic will grow at a CAGR of 21 percent from 2016 to 2021. Increased adoption of advanced video communications in the enterprise segment will cause business IP traffic to grow by a factor of nearly 3 between 2016 and 2021

Source: Cisco The Zettabyte Era: Trends and Analysis (2017)

A little QoS please

Quality of Service (QoS) refers to the capability of a network to provide better service to selected types of network traffic.  It is easy to see with the growth of bandwidth hogging real-time applications like video, video surveillance, and virtual reality that even with bandwidth capacity growth, there will be choke points in some networks.

We recently posted a blog explaining how nexVortex took an “end-to-end” view of ensuring voice quality when we rolled out our mSIP service. (Read: Delivering Voice Quality – What it Really Takes).

What we covered in that blog and others dealing with voice quality was a deeper look into the investment in infrastructure, software, reporting, monitoring, and troubleshooting tools that it really takes to be able to deliver true Quality of Service.

So where does the analogy of “minding your manners” come about in regard to QoS?

It has to do with the simple a concept of prioritizing voice traffic over other types of traffic to ensure that voice gets let out the door first.

This can be done using techniques such as traffic shaping and queuing.

Traffic shaping

Traffic shaping, is the manipulation and prioritization of network traffic to reduce the impact of heavy users from impacting other users.


Queuing allows the transmission of packets in order of their assigned priority queue. All traffic in a higher priority traffic queue must be completely transmitted before traffic in lower priority queues will be transmitted.

Data priority

Your company’s network has a lot of traffic on it, and that’s growing. Many networks are configured to treat all data equally. VoIP data is very sensitive to latency, packet loss, and jitter.

We’re taught that it’s good manners to sit in our seats on an airplane and let passengers making connections deplane first. They have priority.  It’s a lesson to apply to VoIP traffic. Let it out the door first.

nexVortex is the Cloud Communications Company which is dedicated to delivering quality voice services. Our solutions are unique in the marketplace and are driven by our ability to innovate because we built, own, and operate the service delivery platform.

It is important to know that queuing and traffic shaping are only part of the answer when questioning voice quality. To work with an industry leader and innovator in the delivery of high-quality voice services contact us today.


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