What Does QoS Have to Do with Hosted VoIP?
If you’ve decided to make the big switch from legacy phone systems to Hosted VoIP, you may have also heard of the term Quality of Service (QoS).
In the simplest terms, QoS refers to the voice quality that your provider can deliver, evidenced by the clarity of voice calls that you make and receive. Achieving this will require your service provider to prioritize specific traffic throughout your network, such as voice and video transmissions, over general internet browsing or file transfers.
A common assumption these days is that cloud-based platforms deliver consistent quality between any two points connecting to it. This however, isn’t necessarily true. Because the Internet is designed to handle multiple forms of data, any information sent over the Internet will have equal priority over everything else; with its quality dependent on local conditions at all time. Given this, QoS is largely considered as one of the more important indicators of successful VoIP deployments as it can help prioritize specific kinds of data for your company.
QoS Enforcement in the Modern Office
The relevance of QoS is especially significant given how modern offices have evolved—particularly with the rise of mobile technology and the rising adoption of BYOD (bring your own device) programs in the workplace.
For all its perceived advantages, personal devices being used in the office tend to be problematic for networks given that they inevitably share network capacity with official work-issued devices. Because of this, a lot of personal devices tend to compete with an already limited network capacity.
If this illustrates anything, it shows that new business practices, while able to positively affect mobility and communication, can negatively affect an office’s network capacity. Furthermore, when you don’t have a system in place to prioritize mission-critical applications essential to your operations, business will suffer.
Needless to say, it’s necessary for any business to maintain reliable and continuous voice transmissions without disturbances, especially in situations where bandwidth is limited. With proper implementation, Quality of Service can help ensure that maximum call quality is delivered.
There are, however, several ways to implement QoS. Choosing the right implementation should take into consideration the kind of network environment your business operates in.
- Physical Network Separation
To ensure network quality, one approach is to physically separate voice and data networks. This will require a dedicated WAN connection used exclusively for voice, and separate WAN connections to accommodate data traffic.
- Policy-Based Routing
Networks can also be separated into logical divisions or VLANS—virtual area networks as a way to separate voice from low priority traffic. This traffic balancing can distribute bandwidth dynamically based on volume or be apportioned by manual assignment.
- Class of Service
Routers and gateways are configured following Layer 3 DSCP values, configured by your service provider. Network traffic carrying specific tags will then be prioritized.
Implementing QoS can seem like a technically complicated and daunting prospect. However, given the demands of today’s workplace, it’s necessary. The best way to go about it is by reaching out to a trusted provider who can learn and understand your network requirements. Not only will this ensure that you have someone reliable to take care of QoS ingress and egress, you can also rest assured that you are given a system that works best for your needs.
Remember, properly implemented Quality of Service can reduce congestion, latency, and packet loss—all of which negatively impact call quality.
If you would like your company to enjoy reliable Hosted VoIP service, get in touch with Jive today.