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Based on an analysis of the statistical nature of IP traffic and the way this impacts the performance of voice, video, and data services, we question the appropriateness of commonly proposed quality-of-service mechanisms. This paper presents the main points of this analysis. We also discuss pricing issues and argue that many proposed schemes are overly concerned with congestion control to the detriment of the primary pricing function of return on investment. Finally, we propose an alternative flow-aware networking architecture based on a novel router design called cross-protect. In this architecture, performance requirements are satisfied without explicit service differentiation, creating a particularly simple platform for the converged network.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2004