Enterprises and large multi location companies have turned to wide area networks, like Multi Protocol Label Switching, to consolidate their voice, video and data traffic. The results are large networks, centralized applications, converged services and conflicting traffic.
Multi Protocol Label Switching networks offer features like Class of Service and Quality of Service that allow an organization to set priorities – real time over traditional traffic – and control the amount of voice interference – jitter and latency – to assure quality voice communication. Even with this technology, it’s important for organizations to practice Rate or Traffic Shaping to maximize the performance of their circuits and network.
- Increases usable bandwidth
- Safeguards networks and applications from traffic spikes
- Regulates abusive users
- Establishes queuing relationships between multiple users and applications
The cost of bandwidth keeps dropping but companies should still seek the highest return on their investment. Traffic Shaping gives a company the ability to marshal their bandwidth; to reduce the amount of congestion and packet loss, which can create even more congestion.
The internet has become a gateway to multiple forms of entertainment and information. Employees have become accustomed to listening to news, music and entertainment on their company computers, over their company’s internet connection. YouTube videos become viral from people receiving and sending links of clips via email and instant messaging. What happens to your network performance when this form of internet and network usage competes with business traffic?
Network administrators can establish classes of traffic and give business traffic a priority over non-critical or best effort traffic. Routers and other networking equipment can be configured in such a way that it can recognize different types of traffic and assign priorities. Voice, video and essential business traffic is always given precedence over all other traffic.
The alternative to traffic shaping is having employees potentially wreak havoc on your network by accessing services like Pandora, Sirius and YouTube. The funny thing is, those are the people who will complain the most about slowness on your network.