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A. Web Performance Product Lists and Reviews > IP Traffic Management Products

IP Traffic Management Products

One problem with IP is that all packets are treated the same regardless of the latency and throughput requirements of higher-level protocols. This can be solved with one of the recent IP traffic-management products (also known as “traffic shaping” products), quality of service (QOS) boxes, or bandwidth-management products. Some of these products are actually hardware boxes, while others are new software for network hardware.

These products classify and tag IP packets as belonging to different priority levels. When packets are queued up at a router, the traffic shaping product will rearrange the queue depending on priorities. In addition, measurements are taken of network health and of which classes are using what fraction of the bandwidth. Packets from streams that have exceeded a bandwidth allocation may be thrown away. Note that quality of service is relative here: some packets are treated as more important than others, but no guarantee is made about overall latency or throughput. Contrast this with ATM, which does provide hard latency and throughput specifications for different classes of service. ATM can do this, because as a connectionful layer 2 protocol....


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