As organizations continue to digitize their businesses, all critical functions including voice, video, data and business applications rely on the performance of the underlying network. While organizations work to increase their WAN bandwidth, the business demand often outpaces the ability to upgrade bandwidth, creating congestion in the network. Congestion is managed using Quality of Service (QoS) features on the network, enabling the ability to identify and classify traffic marking the IP packets and imposing priority, queuing, shaping, rate limiting and more. While several of the features are standardized, like IP Type of Service (TOS) marking and Differentiated Services Code Points (DSCP), the vendor implementations and configurations are often very complex and implemented on a device by device basis.
Most IT organizations start with a well-defined QoS policy, then due to application specific performance issues and troubleshooting user issues, they have often made many changes over time resulting in the lack of a uniform policy at the network layer with inconsistent device configurations. This often leads organizations to limit changes to their overall QoS model, only having the bandwidth on their team to make a few changes to the network policy in a year. This slowdown is not acceptable to real-time business demands that need network priorities tuned as they roll out new applications and services.