The Integrated Services QoS Model

Integrated services (IntServ) defines a different model for QoS than does DiffServ. IntServ defines a signaling process by which an individual flow can request that the network reserve the bandwidth and delay needed for the flow. The original work grew out of the experiences of the IETF in multicasting the audio and video for IETF meetings in the early to mid-1990s.

To provide guarantees per flow, IntServ RFC 1633 describes two components: resource reservation and admission control. Resource reservation signals the network elements about how much bandwidth and delay a particular flow needs. If the signaling completes successfully, the various network components have reserved the needed bandwidth. The collective IntServ nodes (typically routers) reserve the appropriate amount of bandwidth and delay in response to the signaling messages.

IntServ admission control decides when a reservation request should be rejected. If all requests were accepted, eventually too much traffic would perhaps be introduced into the network, and none of the flows would get the requested service.

Figure 2-21 shows the general idea behind the IntServ reservation requests.

Figure 2-21 Integrated Services Reservation Requests

Hannah

s0 R3

Server 1

Request 30 kbps, Low Delay

Reserve 30 kbps, Low Delay

Request 30 kbps, Low Delay

Reserve 30 kbps, Low Delay

Request 30 kbps, Low Delay

Reserve 30 kbps, Low Delay

Request 30 kbps, Low Delay

Reserve 30 kbps, Low Delay

IntServ uses Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP, RFCs 2205 through 2215) for signaling to reserve the bandwidth. With a full IntServ implementation (more on that later), the originator of the flow (Hannah) begins signaling. At each router along the route, the router asks itself, "Can I support this request?" If the answer is yes, it forwards the request to the next router. Each router holds the bandwidth temporarily, waiting on the confirmation to flow back to the originator (Hannah). When each router sees the reserve RSVP command flow back to the originator, each router completes the reservation.

What does it mean for the router to "reserve" something? In effect, the router reserves the correct queuing preferences for the flow, such that the appropriate amount of bandwidth is allocated to the flow by the queuing tool. RSVP can also request a certain (low) amount of delay, but implementing a guarantee for delay is a little more difficult; IOS, for instance, just reserves the queuing preference. In fact, IntServ RFCs actually define the term "guarantee" as a relatively loose goal, and it is up to the actual implementation to decide how rigorous or general to make the guarantees.

RSVP continues signaling for the entire duration of the flow. If the network changes, or links fail and routing convergence occurs, the network may no longer be able to support the reservation. Therefore, RSVP reserves the bandwidth when the flow initializes and continues to ensure that the flow can receive the necessary amount of bandwidth.

IntServ has some obvious disadvantages, and it has several advantages. IntServ actually predates DiffServ; DiffServ, to some degree, was developed to provide an Internet-scale QoS model, because IntServ scales poorly. IntServ expects the hosts to signal for service guarantees, which brings up two issues—whether the hosts can be trusted by the network and whether the hosts actually support RSVP. Alternatively, routers can be configured to reserve bandwidth on behalf of hosts, but the configuration can quickly become an administrative problem because additional configuration would need to be added for each reserved flow. Also IntServ works best when all intermediate networks support IntServ. Take a look at Figure 2-22, for example. Whereas McCoy, Hatfield, and ISP2 support IntServ, ISP1 does not.

Figure 2-22 IntServ Through the Internet, with Partial Support

RSVP Flows

Figure 2-22 IntServ Through the Internet, with Partial Support

RSVP Flows

IntServ Domain IntServ Domain IntServ Domain

IntServ Domain IntServ Domain IntServ Domain

IntServ, with RSVP signaling, can work in this network. However, for ISP1, one of two things must be done to support IntServ:

• ISP1 must pass the RSVP messages through; the ISP1 router just treats the traffic as best effort.

• ISP1 passes the RSVP messages; RSVP flows are mapped to DiffServ classes inside the ISP1 DiffServ domain.

Another problem with IntServ in large networks and in the Internet relates to the fact the RSVP reserves bandwidth per flow. With DiffServ, for instance, all web traffic might be marked with DSCP AF21 and placed into a single class—even if there are hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of flows. With IntServ, each flow causes a separate reservation. In fact, DiffServ created an "Internet-scale" QoS model in part because the earlier IntServ specification did not scale well for the Internet, even if you could get most or all ISPs to implement IntServ and RSVP.

Are there advantages to IntServ? Of course. It can reserve specific amounts of bandwidth for a particular flow, which can be very useful. However, IntServ may never be pervasively deployed in an enterprise, or throughout the Internet. For instance, reserving bandwidth for flows between key video-conferencing stations may be useful. Allowing voice gateways to request reservations for VoIP calls can also help. The DiffServ model can be used to place all VoIP into a class, and give the class better treatment, but IntServ can guarantee the QoS behavior and reject new calls if the network is currently not ready to accept more traffic.

One final function of IntServ that may be on the QoS exams concerns admission control. One effort to help IntServ scale involves offloading the processing work required for the admission control decision. RSVP allows each router to handle admission control locally, as shown in Figure 2-21. Alternatively, a router can ask a server that supports the Common Open Policy Service (COPS) protocols, and let the server make the choice. Figure 2-23 shows an example.

Figure 2-23 IntServ and the Common Open Policy Service (COPS)

Figure 2-23 IntServ and the Common Open Policy Service (COPS)

(T) Request 30 kbps, (2) Request 30 kbps, (5 Request 30 kbps, (&) Request 30 kbps,

Low Delay Low Delay Low Delay Low Delay

(T) Request 30 kbps, (2) Request 30 kbps, (5 Request 30 kbps, (&) Request 30 kbps,

Low Delay Low Delay Low Delay Low Delay

As seen in the figure, R2 requests that the COPS policy decision point (PDP) approve or disapprove of the new reservation. R2 is considered to be a policy enforcement point (PEP), because it enforces the QoS reservation.

The QoS exams cover IntServ-related concepts and features, although DiffServ-related features certainly get much more coverage. The following list summarizes some of the key points about IntServ that you will want to remember for the QoS exams:

• Integrated services defines the need, and suggests mechanisms, to provide bandwidth and delay guarantees to flows that request it. RFC 1633 defines it.

• IntServ contains two components: resource reservation and admission control.

• RSVP, as defined in RFCs 2205 through 2215, provides the IntServ resource reservation function. RFC 2210 specifically discusses RSVP's usage for IntServ.

• With end-to-end RSVP, each intermediate router reserves the needed bandwidth when receiving a reservation request and confirms the request with RSVP reserve messages. If a router in the path does not speak RSVP, it just transparently passes the flow.

• When IntServ has not been implemented end to end, the RSVP messages can be forwarded in the non-IntServ part of the networks. In that case, the non-IntServ networks can either provide best-effort (BE) service, or provide IntServ-DSCP mapping if the intermediate network is a DiffServ domain.

• A router can offload the admission control function to a COPS server.

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