Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Are you tired of experiencing frustrating network delays, jittery video calls, and slow downloads? Well, fear not, because in today's blog post, we're going to talk about the exciting world of QoS monitoring using Obkio DSCP features. Apps like VoIP, Unified Communications, and Video Conferencing can be greatly affected by network problems. To avoid performance issues, network engineers can implement QoS.
With Obkio's Qos Monitoring features, you can monitor and optimize your network's performance like never before! So, get ready to unleash the full potential of your network and join us as we dive into the exciting world of QoS monitoring with Obkio DSCP features.
Quality of Service (QoS) refers to the ability of a network to prioritize certain types of traffic and ensure that they receive the necessary resources and bandwidth to operate smoothly. In other words, QoS is the set of technologies and techniques that enable network administrators to control and manage the flow of data across their network, ensuring that critical applications, such as VoIP or video conferencing, are given higher priority and allocated the necessary network resources to operate without interruption.
QoS is essential for ensuring that mission-critical applications and services perform optimally, even when there is a high volume of traffic on the network. Without QoS, network traffic could become congested, resulting in poor performance and delays, which can negatively impact productivity and user experience.
Nowadays, IP networks are used to transport various types of applications. Some applications such as Voice over IP (VoIP), Video Conferencing (ex: GotoMeeting, Zoom, Webex), Unified Communications (ex: Skype for Business) and Collaboration (ex: Microsoft Teams) are a lot more sensitive to network performance and quality.
This is why network engineers need to implement QoS (Quality of Service) to prioritize some traffic on the network in order to reduce latency, jitter and packet loss.
QoS can accomplish several things, including:
- Prioritizing network traffic: QoS can assign different levels of priority to network traffic based on the type of traffic, its source or destination, or other criteria. This allows critical traffic, such as VoIP or video conferencing, to receive the necessary resources and bandwidth to operate smoothly and without interruption.
- Bandwidth allocation: QoS can allocate a specific amount of bandwidth to a particular application or service, ensuring that it always has the necessary resources to operate optimally.
- Traffic shaping: QoS can shape or control the rate at which traffic flows across the network. This can be useful in situations where network bandwidth is limited, and administrators want to ensure that critical traffic receives priority over less important traffic.
- Congestion management: QoS can help manage network congestion by controlling the flow of data across the network, preventing congestion from occurring in the first place.
In case of network congestion, QoS features ensure that performance sensitive applications are always running without degradation and that only the less critical applications (such as web browsing) are impacted. It'll also help you monitor network performance for apps like Microsoft Teams.
Are you tired of dealing with slow network performance and frustrating application delays? Well, fear not, because with QoS monitoring, you can keep your network running like a well-oiled machine!
QoS monitoring refers to the process of monitoring and measuring the Quality of Service (QoS) of a network. QoS monitoring tools help network administrators track the performance of their network in real-time, enabling them to identify and resolve network performance issues quickly.
QoS monitoring tools can measure several network performance metrics, including bandwidth usage, latency, packet loss, jitter, and application performance. These metrics can help network administrators identify network bottlenecks, congestion points, and performance issues that can affect the QoS of critical applications.
With QoS monitoring, administrators can set performance thresholds for different network metrics and receive alerts when these thresholds are breached. This enables administrators to proactively identify and resolve performance issues before they become critical, ensuring that network traffic flows smoothly and that mission-critical applications perform optimally.
Ready to become a network superhero with Obkio's QoS monitoring tools? Sign up for a free trial today and take your network performance to the next level. Don't settle for less than the best when it comes to QoS monitoring. Join the Obkio community and keep your network running smoothly, no matter where you are in the world!
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Are you tired of slow network speeds and frustrating delays? Well, it's time to take charge with QoS monitoring! Think of it like having a personal trainer for your network - helping you identify and fix performance issues to keep things running smoothly. With QoS monitoring, you'll be able to say goodbye to the headache of network congestion and hello to improved user experiences and reduced downtime.
There are several reasons why you need QoS monitoring:
- To ensure optimal network performance: QoS monitoring enables you to identify and resolve performance issues before they become critical, ensuring that your network is running optimally and that mission-critical applications and services are performing without interruption.
- To manage network congestion: QoS monitoring can help you manage network congestion by prioritizing critical traffic and allocating bandwidth to ensure that important applications and services receive the necessary resources to operate smoothly.
- To maintain service level agreements (SLAs): If you have SLAs in place that specify certain levels of network performance, QoS monitoring can help you ensure that you are meeting these agreements by tracking key performance metrics and addressing any performance issues.
- To improve user experience: By monitoring network performance, you can identify and address performance issues that can negatively impact user experience, such as slow downloads, jittery video calls, or delayed web pages.
- To reduce downtime: QoS monitoring can help you proactively identify and resolve network performance issues, reducing the likelihood of network downtime and minimizing the impact of performance issues on your organization.
The QoS features can be configured in different ways depending on the network architecture, the network devices, and the transport technologies.
The most popular way to configure QoS is by using the DSCP code located in the IP header (learn more details on Differentiated Services).
With DSCP, the marking of the packets is done as close to the source as possible (ex: by the IP Phone or by the switch on which a computer is connected), and it is honored by all the network equipment up to the destination (ex: VoIP/ IP PBX or another IP Phone).
Customers with MPLS VPN services offered by service providers usually have the possibility to purchase multiple Classes of Service (CoS) to match their application.
For example, a customer could purchase a Priority CoS for VoIP traffic, Mission Critical CoS for ERP traffic, and Best Effort CoS for normal traffic. In this case, DSCP is used to determine the traffic class so that the appropriate QoS settings can be applied to the packets.
Quality of Service configuration requires time, effort, knowledge, and money, but it's worth the effort because critical applications such as VoIP must work 100% of the time, even if someone is downloading a large file or running an application update.
Now that your QoS monitoring tool is in place, how can you make sure that it's working properly? How can you ensure that the initial setup is still working after an extended period of time (months or even years)?
A good network performance monitoring tool is required!
With DSCP packet marking, a network device must honor the DSCP code and map it to the appropriate CoS. Also, it must make sure it is not rewritten in the process.
If a DSCP code is rewritten by a device, all the remaining devices on the path to the destination will be unable to apply the correct QoS settings.
But wait a minute, when can this happen in real life?
- Someone installs a new switch that rewrites the DSCP code with a defaut QoS configuration.
- Firmware upgrades that screw up parts of the configuration.
- Bugs in a new firmware release.
- Manual configuration changes that modify the QoS settings on a device.
In the majority of the applications, if the DSCP is rewritten (i.e. QoS is now disabled), the application will not notice it and will continue to work just fine. However, when there is a network issue such as congestion, the QoS will not kick in. From experience, this always happens when the CEO is a on call with a big customer or investor!
Many actions can cause the modification of QoS settings and without a permanent network performance monitoring solution, how can you know that eveything is still working properly?
QoS monitoring tools and network monitoring tools work hand-in-hand. That's why, for end-to-end QoS monitoring, you need a tool like Obkio to help.
Obkio Network Performance Monitoring software continuously measures your network performance by sending and monitoring data packets through your network every 500ms using Network Monitoring Agents.
Network Monitoring Agents deployed in your most important network locations like offices, data centers and clouds exchange continuous synthetic traffic to catch network problems as soon as they happen.
QoS Monitoring with Obkio is available on Obkio's Linux, Virtual Appliance and Hardware Appliance Monitoring Agents.
Start network monitoring for free with Obkio’s Free Trial.
Once the Monitoring Agents are deployed, a Network Monitoring Template must be configured to create the network performance monitoring sessions.
Within that template, there is an Advanced Parameters section that allows you to configure the DSCP code used by the Agents for these monitoring sessions. You can learn more in our QoS Monitoring Documentation.
All monitoring packets sent for the session will be marked with the selected DSCP code.
This means that the agent will monitor the network performance for that specific CoS. Many customers create two, three or even four monitoring templates, one for each CoS. When there is congestion on the network, one should expect performance degradation only on the best effort or data CoS, not on the priority or mission critical.
You can configure the DSCP code to be used by the client when sending the network performance packets to the server. By specifying the DSCP code to use, you can measure the end-to-end network performance for a specific class of service (for example, VoIP traffic).
This way, it is possible to make sure that the QoS is configured correctly. When a network degradation event occurs, a good QoS-enabled network path should not have degradation on the high priority class of service compared to the best effort data class of service that should have higher latency, jitter and packet loss rates.
The DSCP propagation will be tested end-to-end
If one agent is not receiving the packet with the good DSCP code, a network issue will be raised with the severity level Information. The issue will be available with all the details in the App (Web or Mobile). With this feature, if a network device rewrites the DSCP code, you get notified immediately.
It is also possible to set the DSCP code during Speed Tests. This way, it can be very easy to test any configured shapers or policers in the QoS configuration.
With SD-WAN being more and more popular in businesses, it is possible to use the DSCP codes to route traffic to a specific WAN link dedicated for monitoring. For example, in a setup with two ISPs, you would have link
WAN 1 and
WAN 2. If the SD-WAN equipment is able to do it (and many are!), you could forward all the packets with
DSCP 1 only to
WAN 1 and the packets with
DSCP 2 only to
WAN 2. In this case, make sure you don't use DSCP codes that are already in use on the network in order to avoid traffic blackholing in the event that a WAN link fails.
This way, you would have standard
DSCP 0 packets that would monitor the real end-user experience (with the SD-WAN algorithms) and
DSCP 1 and
DSCP 2 that would monitor the performance of the specific WAN links.
Once you have set up QoS monitoring with Obkio, it becomes a breeze to install additional agents in various locations such as branch offices, data centers, and other cloud providers. These agents will provide you with valuable insights into your network's performance and help you identify any issues that may arise.
In addition to your own network, you can also take advantage of Obkio's Public Monitoring Agents to monitor the performance of your favourite service providers on the Internet. These public agents are available in various locations around the world and allow you to test and verify the performance of your applications and services from a variety of different perspectives.
With Obkio's easy-to-use monitoring platform and the availability of public monitoring agents, you can stay on top of your network's performance and ensure that your applications and services are running smoothly no matter where they are located.
To ensure that your network is performing at its best, you need to measure the right network metrics. For network administrators, measuring metrics such as latency, packet loss, and bandwidth utilization is like measuring salt, sugar, and flour - it's essential to ensure that your network is delivering a high-quality user experience. So, let's take a closer look at the network metrics you should be measuring for effective QoS monitoring
To effectively monitor QoS, there are several network metrics that you should measure, including:
- Latency: Latency is the time it takes for a packet to travel from its source to its destination. Measuring latency is essential for QoS monitoring because high latency can negatively impact the performance of real-time applications such as video conferencing and online gaming. To measure latency, network administrators can use tools such as ping and traceroute.
- Packet loss: Packet loss is the percentage of packets that are lost during transmission. Measuring packet loss is important because high packet loss can cause delays and reduce the quality of audio and video streams. To measure packet loss, network administrators can use tools such as packet capture software.
- Jitter: Jitter is the variation in latency between packets. Measuring jitter is important because high jitter can cause audio and video streams to become choppy and may also result in dropped packets. To measure jitter, network administrators can use tools such as iperf.
- Bandwidth utilization: Bandwidth utilization is the percentage of available bandwidth that is being used. Measuring bandwidth utilization is important because high bandwidth utilization can cause congestion and negatively impact the performance of critical applications. To measure bandwidth utilization, network administrators can use tools such as SNMP.
- Network congestion: Network congestion is the level of congestion on the network. Measuring network congestion is important because congestion can cause delays and reduce the quality of audio and video streams. To measure network congestion, network administrators can use tools such as packet capture software.
- Network availability: Network availability is the percentage of time that the network is available. Measuring network availability is important because low network availability can result in downtime and negatively impact the productivity of users. To measure network availability, network administrators can use tools such as network monitoring software.
By measuring these network metrics, network administrators can identify performance issues, optimize network performance, and ensure that critical applications and services are performing optimally. They can also set QoS policies to prioritize traffic for critical applications and allocate network resources accordingly. Overall, measuring these network metrics is essential for effective QoS monitoring and ensuring a high-quality user experience on the network.
Keeping an eye on Quality of Service doesn't have to be a snooze-fest. In fact, there are plenty of fun and effective techniques for QoS monitoring that will make you feel like a network superhero. From packet capture to Real User Monitoring, we've got you covered. Let's take a closer look at these exciting techniques!
Synthetic monitoring is a technique for QoS monitoring that involves generating simulated network traffic to test the performance of critical applications and services. It enables administrators to proactively identify and address performance issues and optimize network performance. Obkio's NPM tool is a synthetic monitoring tool, so the steps we explained above use this exact technique.
Synthetic monitoring tools runs synthetic these tests at regular intervals, typically from multiple locations or endpoints, to generate simulated network traffic and measure the performance of the application or service being tested. This enables network administrators to identify performance issues such as slow response times, errors, or other issues that could negatively impact the QoS of the application or service.
Advantages of Synthetic Monitoring:
- It enables administrators to proactively identify and address performance issues before they impact users. This is particularly important for critical applications and services where even a small performance issue can have a significant impact on user experience and productivity.
- It also provide insights into the behavior of the application or service under different network conditions, enabling administrators to optimize network performance and improve the overall QoS of the application or service.
Disadvantage of Synthetic Monitoring:
- One potential disadvantage of synthetic monitoring is that it may not capture all real-world scenarios or user interactions, and therefore may not fully reflect actual user experience.
Packet capture is a technique for QoS monitoring that involves recording and analyzing network traffic at the packet level. It provides a high level of detail and granularity, enabling administrators to identify performance issues and network congestion points quickly.
Packet capture tools can measure performance metrics such as latency, packet loss, and jitter and provide insights into the behavior of specific applications and services on the network. However, one potential disadvantage is that it can generate large amounts of data, which can be challenging to manage and analyze.
Overall, packet capture is a powerful tool for QoS monitoring, enabling administrators to optimize network performance and ensure that critical applications and services are performing optimally.
Advantages of Packet Capture:
- It provides a high level of granularity and detail
- It can provide detailed insights into the behavior of specific applications and services on the network
Disadvantages of Packet Capture:
- It can generate large amounts of data, which can be challenging to manage and analyze
- Because it captures real user traffic, it may go against privacy regulations in some cases
Flow analysis is a technique for QoS monitoring that involves analyzing network traffic flows to identify performance issues and network congestion points. Network flows are collections of packets that share a set of common attributes, such as source and destination IP addresses, protocols, and port numbers.
Flow analysis tools capture and analyze network flows to measure network performance metrics such as bandwidth utilization, packet loss, and latency. By analyzing flow data, network administrators can identify which applications and services are consuming network resources and causing congestion, as well as pinpoint the source and destination of network traffic.
Unlike packet capture, which records every packet that travels across a network segment, flow analysis tools summarize traffic data into a series of network flow records, which can be easily managed and analyzed.
Advantages of Flow Analysis:
- It can provide a high level of detail without generating large amounts of data
- It can summarize traffic data into a series of network flow records, which can be easily managed and analyzed
Disadvantages of Flow Analysis:
- It may not capture all network traffic, particularly traffic that uses non-standard protocols or ports
Therefore, it's important to use a combination of techniques, including flow analysis and other techniques such as packet capture and synthetic monitoring, to get a comprehensive view of network performance and ensure that critical applications and services are performing optimally.
SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) monitoring is a technique for QoS monitoring that involves collecting data from network devices such as routers, switches, and servers using SNMP. SNMP is a protocol used to manage and monitor network devices and provides information such as device status, performance metrics, and other operational data.
SNMP monitoring tools use SNMP to collect data from network devices and generate reports on network performance metrics such as bandwidth utilization, packet loss, and latency. SNMP monitoring can also provide information on device health, such as CPU usage, memory usage, and temperature readings. Some NPM tools, like Obkio, also include SNMP monitoring features, so they can be used for more end-to-end performance monitoring.
Advantages of SNMP Monitoring:
- It can provide a high-level view of network performance across multiple devices. This enables administrators to quickly identify any issues and take corrective action before they impact network performance and QoS.
- It can ve used to track trends in network performance over time, enabling administrators to identify performance issues before they become critical.
Disadvantages of SNMP Monitoring:
- It may not capture all performance data, particularly data related to specific applications or services.
Therefore, it is important to use a combination of techniques, including SNMP monitoring and other techniques such as packet capture, flow analysis, and synthetic monitoring, to get a comprehensive view of network performance and ensure that critical applications and services are performing optimally.
Real User Monitoring (RUM) is a technique for QoS monitoring that involves capturing and analyzing data on how end-users interact with applications and services. This data can include information such as response times, page load times, and error rates. RUM provides insights into the performance of applications and services from the perspective of end-users, allowing administrators to identify issues that may be impacting the user experience.
Advantages of RUM Monitoring:
- It provides insights into the user experience that other techniques such as SNMP monitoring or flow analysis may not capture.
- It can dentify performance issues that impact the end-user experience, such as slow page load times or frequent error messages.
Disadvantages of RUM Monitoring:
- It may not capture data on all user interactions, particularly interactions that occur outside of the monitored application or service.
- It can also be impacted by factors such as network latency or device performance, which can make it difficult to identify the root cause of performance issues.
Therefore, it is important to use a combination of techniques, including RUM and other techniques such as packet capture, flow analysis, and synthetic monitoring, to get a comprehensive view of network performance and ensure that critical applications and services are performing optimally.
Agent-based monitoring is a technique for QoS monitoring that involves installing software agents on servers, network devices, or endpoints to collect data on performance metrics such as CPU usage, memory usage, and network bandwidth utilization. These agents typically run in the background and collect data on a continuous basis, providing administrators with real-time insights into network performance and QoS.
Agent-based monitoring tools can collect a wide range of data, including metrics related to specific applications or services. This can be particularly valuable for identifying performance issues that are specific to individual applications or services.
Obkio's NPM tool is actually also an Agent-Based monitoring tool, which makes it easy to monitor network performance for distributed or decentralized networks.
Advantages of Agent-Based Monitoring:
- It provides a granular view of network performance at the device level. This can be particularly useful for identifying performance issues that are impacting individual devices or endpoints.
- It can also provide data on device health, such as disk usage, process status, and other system metrics.
Disadvantages of Agent-Based Monitoring:
- It may impact device performance if the monitoring agents are resource intensive, therefore, it is important to carefully configure agent-based monitoring tools to minimize the impact on device performance. Or, to choose a solution, like Obkio, who's Agents are lightweight and don't affect performance or resource usage.
Ready to dive into the world of QoS monitoring tools? From Obkio to Cisco Network Assistant, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you're a seasoned network administrator or a curious newcomer, there's something for everyone. Let's explore some of the most popular tools on the market today!
There are many QoS monitoring tools available, each with its own unique features and capabilities. Here are some of the best:
- Obkio: Obkio is a cloud-based network performance monitoring tool that offers features such as packet loss, latency, and jitter monitoring, as well as synthetic transaction monitoring and flow analysis. It also offers DSCP-based QoS monitoring, which allows administrators to easily prioritize traffic and ensure that critical applications are receiving the appropriate level of service.
- SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor: SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor is a comprehensive network monitoring tool that offers features such as device performance monitoring, bandwidth analysis, and flow analysis. It also offers QoS monitoring capabilities, allowing administrators to monitor and manage QoS policies across their network.
- PRTG Network Monitor: PRTG Network Monitor is a network monitoring tool that offers features such as device monitoring, bandwidth analysis, and flow analysis. It also offers QoS monitoring capabilities, allowing administrators to monitor and manage QoS policies across their network.
- ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer: ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer is a flow analysis tool that offers features such as traffic analysis, bandwidth monitoring, and QoS monitoring. It also offers DSCP-based QoS monitoring, allowing administrators to prioritize traffic based on its importance to the organization.
- Cisco Network Assistant: Cisco Network Assistant is a network management tool that offers features such as device monitoring, configuration management, and flow analysis. It also offers QoS monitoring capabilities, allowing administrators to monitor and manage QoS policies across their Cisco network.
These are just a few examples of QoS monitoring tools available on the market. When choosing a QoS monitoring tool, it's important to consider factors such as the size and complexity of your network, the types of traffic and applications you need to monitor, and your budget and resource constraints.
Well folks, we've reached the end of our journey through the exciting world of QoS monitoring. From understanding what QoS is and why it's important, to exploring various techniques and tools for monitoring network performance, we hope you've gained some valuable insights.
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So go forth, fellow network administrators, and never settle for less than the best when it comes to QoS monitoring!