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QoS Design Principles and Best Practices

Chapter Description

In this sample chapter from Designing for Cisco Network Service Architectures (ARCH) Foundation Learning Guide: CCDP ARCH 300-320, 4th Edition, the authors cover some best practice QoS design principles and QoS strategy models that are used to implement the numerous QoS tools we have at our disposal. Remember that usually, more than one solution fits the given QoS requirements, so simplifying the models leveraged can significantly accelerate and ensure proper QoS deployment.

Dropping Design Principles

As covered in Chapter 15, congestion avoidance mechanisms are used to selectively drop packets when a predefined limit is reached. As a review, by dropping packets early, congestion avoidance helps prevent bottlenecks downstream the network. Congestion avoidance mechanisms include RED and WRED. If WRED is designed per recommendations where every traffic class has its own queue, WRED should be used for only some types of queues (not necessarily all of them).

It is recommended that WRED not be used for the strict-priority queue, scavenger traffic queue, and control traffic queue. Traffic for the strict-priority queue and control traffic queue are highly sensitive to dropping. Scavenger traffic is often provisioned with a small amount of bandwidth, typically below 1 percent, and for this type of queue, WRED is not needed. Considering that the WRED feature is performed in software, enabling WRED for scavenger traffic class will consume additional CPU resources with no significant gain.

For AF-marked queues with DSCP-based WRED, typically traffic marked with AFx3 is more aggressively dropped than AFx2, which is in turn more aggressively dropped than AFx1.

All traffic types that are not explicitly defined in other queues fall into default (DF) traffic class. For this traffic class, it is recommended to enable WRED. WRED should be enabled in the default queue because, as explained in Chapter 15, it increases throughput by reducing the TCP synchronization effect. In the case of the default queue where all different traffic types are equally marked with a DSCP value of zero, there is no mechanism to fairly weight less aggressive applications when WRED is not enabled.

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