Does Size Matter for Your WAN Bandwidth or Is Quality of Service (QoS) More Important?

The short answer is “yes”, size matters in terms of WAN bandwidth. However, if you don’t know how to use it properly, your bandwidth that is, you might be missing out on some big advantages.

The growing bandwidth needs for enterprise applications has no doubt ignited a hunger for larger bandwidth pipes. The irony however is, there are many applications that have the bandwidth appetite of a kid for candy, there is no limit on how much they want. This of course completely ruins the primary objective, which is, providing the best end-user experience for the most important applications in the network. 

To accomplish this correctly, the network admin needs to have the ability to analyze and groom the traffic in the network with pinpoint accuracy. Once there is visibility into the traffic, then grooming your network traffic with a QoS (Quality of Service) capable firewall is crucial. In advanced QoS appliances, you will find the ability to limit the bandwidth consumption of a certain application and specifying its maximum bandwidth.

Some of the key elements for successful QoS implementation are:

  • The ability to identify traffic in an accurate manner, ideally including a built in list of layer 7 applications
  • The ability to control QoS in both inbound and outbound directions
  • The capability of implementing QoS on both the LAN and the WAN side of the firewall
  • The ability to assign high and normal priority to flow classes so that when there is unused bandwidth, the extra capacity can dynamically be allocated to lower priority flows. You don’t want to limit any type of traffic permanently if you have more capacity at any given time.
  • Seamless integration of the QoS functions into your multi-WAN environment (in case you have a broadband bonding router with QoS)

Cahit Akin, CEO, Mushroom Networks, Inc.

Mushroom Networks is the provider of SD-WAN (Software Defined WAN) and NFV solutions capable of Broadband Bonding that enables self-healing WAN networks that route around network problems such as latency, jitter and packet loss.


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