North American Network Operators Group

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RE: The Qos PipeDream [Was: RE: Two Tiered Internet]

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Fri Dec 16 15:20:29 2005

On Fri, 16 Dec 2005, Christopher L. Morrow wrote:
> Maybe part of the discussion problem here is the overbroad use of 'QOS in
> the network!' ? Perhaps saying, which I think people have, that QOS

Probably.  Users, executives and reporters are rarely careful talking
about the technical details.  They are usually more interested solving
a problem.  Engineers sometimes get caught up in arguing about the
pro's and con's of a particular widget and sometimes miss other ways to
solve the real problem.

Suppose you wanted your web content to load faster on a user's computer,
how would you do it?  Could you hire a content distribution network like
Akamia to improve the quality of service for your content?  Is the
Internet a zero-sum game, so if Akamia makes one web site faster does
that mean all other web sites must get slower?  Instead of paying a CDN,
what if an ISP told content providers you could host your content on our
server farms close to the end-user connections.  If the content provider
doesn't pay the ISP to host the content on their network, the content is
delivered over the Internet from wherever in the world the content
provider data center is located.

There are lots of ways to improve the quality of service for some content
versus other content.  Should ISPs be prohibited from giving a CDN
operator space or bandwidth for its servers because they don't have space
for every CDN that wants space?  Should ISPs be prohibited from operating
their own CDN?  Doesn't a CDN create an unlevel playing field between
content providers that pay to use it over content providers that don't pay
for the CDN?

If you want to define QoS as a strawman, you can.  But it doesn't solve
the problem.