Is anyone actually USING IP QoS?

Alex P. Rudnev alex at
Wed May 19 07:48:32 UTC 1999


Let me one more word. Very short. And I promise to be quiet anymore.

When I order bandwidth, I got BANDWIDTH. Just what I asked.

When I install RSVP and QoS software tricks, what will I have? Nothing 
predictable - it can work, it can not work, it can work for months and 
then destroy itself. The density of bugs increase every months (true for 
CISCO, true for MS, I think it's true for other vendors).

Result? How can sales people use something mistical? They prefer to get 
solid and simple way - order bandwidth.

On Tue, 18 May 1999, Steve Riley (MCS) wrote:

> Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 13:02:28 -0700
> From: Steve Riley (MCS) <steriley at>
> To: nanog at
> Subject: RE: Is anyone actually USING IP QoS?
> Hmm. It was interesting to read the various replies both on the list and
> personal. A number of people pointed out, rightly, that I'm thinking of the
> USA. That's true. They further gave examples of the exhorbitant costs that
> people elsewhere in the world pay for connections. While I certainly
> understand the desire to use some form of QoS to squeeze every bit of
> capacity from expensive skinny pipes, I believe that it is wrong to try to
> use a technological solution (usually poorly understood and implemented) to
> solve what is primarily a political problem. There is absolutely no
> technological reason why international rates are so much higher than
> domestic US rates.
> Regarding the idea of "free bandwidth," that's not what I said. I said that
> bandwidth is "essentially free." Of course there will always be a cost for
> bandwidth. But consider for a moment what's happened to disk storage. In
> 1990 I purchased my first PC. I paid $550 for an 80 MB hard drive -- that's
> $6.875 per megabyte. Today you can purchase a 25 GB hard drive for $450 --
> that's $0.018 per megabyte. That's a 31,250% increase in capacity
> accompanied by a 99.73% reduction in price per megabyte. So you see, on a
> per megabyte basis, storage is "essentially free." The same thing has
> happened to CPU and memory. It will happen to bandwidth, too, and in many
> cases already has.
> For a time I worked in information technology architecture. One of the
> tennents of that field is that it's always cheaper to trade capacity for
> staff. You can overbuild now, while planning for growth, and save money over
> the alternative of continually tweaking and making minor improvements and
> upgrades which requires expensive time and personnel. QoS is an acceptable
> idea which in certain specific situations might be suitable for solving an
> existing problem. But since QoS is expensive to manage it simply is not
> viable in the long term. We in the networking and telecommunications
> industries need to redirect our energy away from bandages and instead toward
> making abundant bandwidth readily available to everyone.
> _________________________________________________________
> Steve Riley
> Microsoft Telecommunications Practice in Denver, Colorado
>     email: mailto:steriley at
>     call: +1 303 521-4129 (cellular)
>     page: +1 888 440-6249 or mailto:4406249 at
> Applying computer technology is simply finding the right wrench to pound in
> the correct screw.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Vadim Antonov [mailto:avg at]
> Sent: Monday, May 17, 1999 4:29 PM
> To: nanog at; Steve Riley (MCS)
> Subject: RE: Is anyone actually USING IP QoS?
> Steve Riley (MCS) <steriley at> wrote:
> >Nice to see that I'm not the only one believing in the foolishness of QoS
> >hype.
> Er... me, agreeing with someone from Microsoft?  Yeech!  (just kidding :)
> >Allow me to point you to an interesting paper called "Rise of the Stupid
> >Network."
> Unfortunately that paper oversimplifies the whole congestion control
> issue by completely ignoring the fact that data traffic has a
> heavy-tailed distribution.  Which pretty much means that no matter
> how much capacity is there, as long as there's oversubscription
> there will be at least transient traffic jams.
> Which means that the issue of what to do with different types
> of traffic when there's a congestion cannot be just pooh-poohed.
> The big problem with G.711 and its progeny is the lack of effective
> cooperative congestion control which would guarantee network stability
> (like TCP does).  Fortunately, the bulk of network traffic is
> "canned" content, which can (and should) be transmitted with TCP.
> --vadim

Aleksei Roudnev, Network Operations Center, Relcom, Moscow
(+7 095) 194-19-95 (Network Operations Center Hot Line),(+7 095) 230-41-41, N 13729 (pager)
(+7 095) 196-72-12 (Support), (+7 095) 194-33-28 (Fax)

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