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108Chapter 2: QoS Tools and Architectures

Flow-based tools provide a great amount of granularity, because each flow can be treated differently.

The granularity may create scaling problems when the number of flows becomes large.

GOCS Class-Based QoS

Most QoS tools do not need to differentiate between each flow. In the Figure 2-10, for instance, flows to web Server1 were identified. Most network engineers would want to treat those collective web flows the exact same way with their QoS tools. Therefore, most QoS tools tend to operate on the idea of a category, or class, of flows and packets. Consider Figure 2-11, for example, which has thousands of flows, all of which are classified into four types of traffic.

Figure 2-11 GOCS Approach to QoS with Classes

May Apply Different

May Apply Different

May Apply Different

QoS Tools, Using

QoS Tools, Using

QoS Tools, Using

Different Parameters

Different Parameters

Different Parameters

Classify Just Like Other Routers, Based on Lots of Header Fields

IP

Classify Just Like Other Routers, Based on Lots of Header Fields

Hannah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SW1

R1 s0 s0 R2 s1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classify Just Like Other

Routers, Based on Lots of

Header Fields

 

 

 

Server 1

 

 

 

IP

 

 

 

FA0

T1

s0

R3

SW2

201

301

Class-based QoS tools do not have to identify each flow. However, they do need to identify packets based on something in the packet header—such as TCP destination port 80 for web traffic—and consider that traffic to be in one category or class for QoS treatment. Once again,

The Good-Old Common Sense QoS Model 109

the reasons and rationale behind deciding what traffic gets what QoS treatment changes from network to network, but the basic process works the same, but per class rather than per flow:

Identify each packet, determining which class it belongs to.

Apply some QoS action to the packets in each class.

The QoS actions on a single router may be different for each class.

The QoS actions among all routers may be different for each class.

Unlike flow-based QoS tools, class-based QoS tools typically require the engineer to specify exactly what must be seen in the packet header to classify a packet. If this network currently has 4 flows to the web server, or 400, or 4000, if the classification criteria just states “all TCP port 80 traffic,” no additional configuration is required as the network scales. Both flow-based and class-based tools need to examine every packet to classify the packet into the appropriate flow or class. Because class-based tools typically only need a small number of classifications, however, the tool can reasonably be configured to specify the types of traffic that get added to each class.

Class-based QoS tools can use more complex rules to classify packets than do flow-based tools. For instance, a class-based tool can examine subsets of the IP addresses (matching a subnet, for example), the incoming interface, the URL for web traffic, and anything that an IP ACL can match. For flow-based tools, the router always look at five fields, all in the IP header—Source and Destination Address, Source and Destination Port, and the Protocol Type field (which identifies the transport layer protocol). In short, classification options for class-based tools tend to be much more varied and functional, but they require more configuration work to take advantage of the different options.

Flow-based and class-based QoS tools both have a useful place in a QoS strategy for a network. Most QoS tools tend to be based on general classes, as opposed to looking at each individual flow.

Classification and Marking at the Edge

Class-based tools have advantages and disadvantages as well. The engineer can exercise great control over the packets placed into the classes or categories used in a network. Because a small number of categories are used, in most cases fewer than 10, the configuration scales. For instance, you build a network and choose four categories for packets. As the network grows, you can keep using the same four categories, and even with growing numbers of packets and routers, the number of classes can remain the same.

However, the same explicit classification configuration details can be the cause of two particular types of problems. For instance, suppose that you have 500 sites, with at least one router and several switches at each site. At each site, you want to classify packets into the same four categories. You need to use six different IOS QoS tools—which is not an unreasonable choice,

110 Chapter 2: QoS Tools and Architectures

because you might need different types of queuing, shaping in some cases, fragmentation only in some cases, compression in other cases, and so on. Each of the six tool’s classification configuration differs. In some cases, the switches can perform classification and marking at Layer 3, but not in other cases. You also have 5 different engineers, plus 10 operational staff, who have to enable secret passwords to the routers and switches. What are the chances that the classification configurations will be correct, on each router, and stay that way? Even if the configurations remain correct and unchanged, do you really want all routers looking at 10 different things in every packet header, taking CPU cycles, to classify each packet? Well, common sense tells us that there may be a better method.

You can use the Cisco QoS Policy Manager (QPM) to overcome the configuration correctness and consistency problem. QPM creates the QoS configurations for you, based on your input about QoS policies using a GUI. QPM loads the configurations, and re-verifies the QoS configurations to discover whether changes have been made. It can also reconfigure a router after someone has inadvertently changed the QoS configuration—automatically. Any large QoS implementation begs for the use of QPM.

Through good QoS design, you can solve the problem of having every router in the network examining a lot of fields in every packet header. This design choice reduces the complexity of the configurations as well. Packets can be classified and marked near the ingress points of traffic into the network; the QoS tools in the center of the network can just look for the marked field in the packet header, as shown in Figure 2-12.

Classifying and marking the packets near the edge of the network simplifies the classification logic and configuration at the rest of the routers in the network. For instance, the figure shows the same classes as Figure 2-11, but with classification and marking performed near the ingress edge of the network. Ideally, packets should be marked even before they reach the first router, typically by a LAN switch. If not, packets entering R1’s E0 interface can be classified and marked. R1, R2, and R3 all still need to classify packets, but now the classification details just look for a single well-known field inside the IP header. (Note: The two IP header fields used are the IP Precedence and IP DSCP fields.) This design choice simplifies the QoS configuration and reduces the processing effort for the intermediate routers. (Note: Classification and marking can happen in the switches, IP Phones, and end-user computers—all of which are discussed in detail in Chapter 3.)

Proper planning prevents poor policies when using the “class and mark near the edge” GOCS strategy. For instance, the Figure 2-12 shows four classes, one of which is “all web traffic.” Four classes may work well for this network, but other networks may need to treat web traffic to Server1 differently than web traffic to Server2 or Server3. Before beginning to deploy QoS, the network architects and engineers should agree on what types of traffic need to be in a separate class. Then they must classify and mark at the edge and use simplified classification configurations, based on the marked fields in the IP header, in the interior of the network. With flow-based tools, there is no requirement to plan the different traffic classifications, because flow-based tools categorize based on flow.

The Good-Old Common Sense QoS Model 111

Figure 2-12 GOCS Design: Mark Packets near the Edge of the Network

Mark

X

Y

Z

May Apply Different

QoS Tools, Using

Different Parameters

Mark Packet in One of the “QoS” Marking Fields

Classify Easily Based on

Mark at Ingress

Previously Marked Fields

Mark on Switch if Possible

 

Server 1

IP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IP

Hannah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FA0

SW1

R1

s0

s0

R2

s1

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Marked with QoS=1: Lots of Flows to Server1 Web Server

Marked with QoS=2: Lots of Flows to Server1 FTP Server

Marked with QoS=3: Lots of VoIP Payload Flows

Marked with QoS=4: Lots of VoIP Signaling Traffic

It is possible to plan QoS classes for an enterprise network. However, planning classes for all networks in the Internet is a bit more challenging! For instance, although everyone may agree that VoIP and video may need different treatment than data over the Internet needs, they probably do not agree about differentiation between different types of data traffic. Also a company paying a premium to a service provider may expect better service—translated, better QoS treat- ment—so the classification may be based on the source IP addresses, and may be different for different ISPs.

Therefore, although the political and business challenges of Internet-scale QoS may be difficult, cases will still exist where QoS can be implemented over the Internet. Consider Figure 2-13, which shows two companies, each connected to two different ISPs.

112 Chapter 2: QoS Tools and Architectures

Figure 2-13 QoS Between Different Companies over the Internet

QoS Field Marked For:

QoS Tools Expect:

QoS Tools Expect:

QoS Tools Expect:

1: FTP Traffic

0: FTP Traffic

0: FTP Traffic

0: Web Traffic

2: Web Traffic

2: Web Traffic

2: Web Traffic

1: Voice Signaling

3: VoIP Payload

3: VoIP Signaling

3: VoIP Signaling

2: FTP Traffic

4: VoIP Signaling

5: VoIP Payload

5: VoIP Payload

4: VoIP Payload

McCoy

 

ISP1

 

ISP2

Hatfield

Ordinance, Inc.

 

 

Gunsmiths

 

 

 

 

-ISP1 Trusts McCoy

ISP2 Trusts ISP1,

-Hatfield Distrusts McCoy,

-Reclassify Marked Fields

No Need to Remap

Therefore Distrusting ISP1

at Ingress:

 

 

 

and ISP2:

 

QoS 1 = QoS 0

 

 

 

-Untrusted Link. Reclassify by

QoS 2 = QoS 2

 

 

 

Examining Packet Headers:

QoS 3 = QoS 5

 

 

 

 

 

Qos 4 = QoS 3

 

 

 

Port 80 = QoS 0

 

 

 

 

 

Match all VoIP Signaling = QoS 1

 

 

 

 

Match Ports 20, 21 = QoS 2

 

 

 

 

Match UDP Port Range for

 

 

 

 

VoIP = QoS 4

 

Two key QoS issues exist in this case. First, the parties must agree to the different classifications of packets. In this example, all four networks agree to the need for four classes. (Agreement will not always occur!) For instance, McCoy Enterprises may want a different class for customer web traffic versus supplier web traffic. Even if all companies want these same general categories, it is difficult to effectively match the correct traffic for all companies connected to the Internet, because every company has different customers and suppliers. Therefore, QoS across the Internet may well end up using general categories—categories such as voice, video, voice/video signaling, important data, and not-so-important data.

Even with general categories agreed upon, not every network chooses to mark the IP packets with the same value to denote the same class. Figure 2-13 shows just such a case, where ISP1 and ISP2 agree to the values to use when marking packets, but McCoy Ordinance and Hatfield Gunsmiths, two long-time competitors, do not agree on what marked values to use.

Three commonsense QoS design choices help overcome common Internet QoS issues:

If neighboring autonomous systems do not agree about what traffic should be in each class, each autonomous system should reclassify ingress traffic based on more complex matching of packets based on the large variety of packet header fields.

If neighboring autonomous systems do agree about the classes, but not the marked values, each autonomous system should reclassify ingress traffic based on simple matching of packets based on the previously marked fields in the IP header, as shown in Figure 2-13.

The Good-Old Common Sense QoS Model 113

If an autonomous system does not trust its neighbor regarding QoS, neighboring autonomous systems should also reclassify traffic at ingress, based on detailed matching of packets.

The GOCS QoS model introduces some basic concepts for QoS. The following two sections cover in detail the two formal QoS architectural models, DiffServ and IntServ. Table 2-10 summarizes the key points from the GOCS model.

Table 2-10 Summary of GOCS Features

Feature

Comments

 

 

Flow

A flow is a unidirectional set of packets, sent from one source IP address and

 

port, to one destination IP address and port, using the same transport layer

 

protocol.

 

 

Flow-based QoS

Flow-based tools automatically recognize flows without explicit classification

tools

configuration. Each flow can be treated differently, providing a great amount

 

of granularity for QoS.

 

 

Class-based QoS

Class-based tools treat packets differently based on the category or class to

tools

which they belong. The number of classes chosen in a typical network is small

 

(typically fewer than 10). Network engineers choose which types of packets

 

are placed into each class, so class-based QoS tools require explicit

 

configuration of classification parameters.

 

 

QoS tools that are

Some QoS tools operate on all traffic entering or exiting an interface. Other

neither flow or class

tools may work on a predetermined type of traffic. For example, compressed

based

RTP only operates on packets with RTP headers. Therefore, some tools do not

 

need to consider flows or explicitly defined classes.

 

 

QoS class

For a single enterprise network, a considered, thorough analysis of the network

planning—enterprise

can yield a relatively small set of useful QoS packet categories. Agreement to

 

these categories should occur before beginning the classification and marking

 

strategy of marking near the edge.

 

 

Classification and

Packets should be classified and marked near the edge of the network, as

marking

packets enter the network. By doing so, classification configuration on the

 

remaining routers in the packets’ path is simplified, reducing processing

 

overhead, complexity, the risk of misconfiguration.

 

 

QoS class

For the Internet, anything more than a handful of general class conventions is

planning—Internet

unlikely to be agreed upon by a large number of ISPs and customers. Cisco

 

suggests a short list with five categories: VoIP payload, video payload, voice/

 

video signaling, important data, and not-so-important important data.

 

 

Internet reclassifica-

Between different autonomous systems, reclassification and re-marking may

tion and re-marking

need to occur. If the autonomous systems distrust each other, packets must be

 

matched based on the contents of the various fields in their headers. If the

 

autonomous systems trust each other, and agree on what packets belong to

 

each of the traffic classes, all that may be required is to reclassify and re-mark

 

based on the marked field inside the IP header.