Networking Investigate

Class-of-Service in IP Backbones: Informing the Network Neutrality Debate

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Executive Summary

The benefit of Class-of-Service (CoS) is an important topic in the "Network Neutrality" debate. Proponents of network neutrality suggest that over-provisioning is a viable alternative to CoS. The authors quantify the extra capacity requirement for an over-provisioned classless (i.e., best-effort) network compared to a CoS network providing the same delay or loss performance for premium traffic. They first develop a link model that quantifies this Required Extra Capacity (REC). For bursty and realistic traffic distributions, they find the REC using ns-2 simulation comparisons of the CoS and classless link cases. They use these link models to quantify the REC for realistic network topologies.

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