As part of my CCDE studies, I needed a good resource on QoS. There have basically been two good books on QoS before, the first edition of End to End Qos Network Design and Qos-Enabled Networks: Tools and Foundations. The first edition of this book is good but very dated, it was released back in 2004. Qos-Enabled Networks is a great book but it’s written to not be vendor specific, so you will not get details on platforms or configuration snippets.
In my opinion, earlier books gave a good foundation to understand QoS concepts but there were too few design cases, they were lacking platform information and not enough examples to be able to act as a reference. Since the first edition of this book, a lot has happened, new products and new Places In the Network (PIN) such as Datacenter, Wireless and to some degree MPLS.
The book is written by Tim Szigeti, Christina Hattingh, Robert Barton and Kenneth Briley Jr. Tim is a long time CCIE, technical leader at Cisco. He is the QoS gury responsible for a lot of the Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) and a frequent presenter at Cisco Live. Christina is a former Technical Marketing Engineer (TME) at Cisco now acting as an independant, writing books, teaching and consulting. Robert is a senior Systems Engineer (SE), dual CCIE and CCDE. Kenneth is a CCIE, technical lead at Cisco, focusing on convergence of QoS for wired and wireless networks.
This book was written of some of the best minds in the world on QoS, and it shows.
The book is divided into different parts, the first part consists of an QoS overview and describes Diffserv, Intserv, classification and marking, policing, shaping, congestion management and avoidance, QoS in IPv6 networks and more. The book does a very good job of laying a good foundation for the reader to build on. It has nice graphics to explain queueing, policing, shaping and so on. Every chapter also has a “Further Reading” part if you want to dive deeper into a subject.
The next part of the book is about business and application QoS requirements. What requirements does different applications have? How do you differentiate business critical apps on port 80 from bulk traffic? What are the design principles for QoS? How many classes should be deployed? The book tries to answer these questions, many books fall short on this part.
After that there is a part on Campus QoS. This is where the book really starts to shine. It shows the difference between Multi Layer Switching (MLS) QoS and Modular QoS CLI (MQC), how to apply QoS on 3750, 4500 and 6500. What are the different trust states, where should you trust, where should you mark. It also shows how to apply QoS on Etherchannels and how it behaves on different platforms, information that can be difficult to find and hidden through multiple documents otherwise. It ends with a design case and in my opinion all books should be written like this. This shows the reader how to apply the different concepts and to think of how all pieces fit together.
Then there is a part on wireless QoS, first an overview on how packets are scheduled on the radio, which standards that are relevant, why the earlier standards were not good enough and what has changed. QoS is shown on different platforms and controllers and at the end there is a case study. I don’t work much with wireless but if I did this would be a very good reference since earlier books don’t discuss wireless QoS. I was surprised to learn that there are some discrepancies in wireless QoS compared to 802.1p and DSCP.
Datacenter QoS is in the next part and this is definitely a great addition compared to earlier books. It discusses the different Nexus platforms, what additions are needed in the Datacenter to be able to deliver lossless Ethernet and also ends with a case study.
WAN and branch QoS design comes after that and this is probably what most readers will recognize as QoS. It has examples on the ISR G2 but also on the ASR1k and as usual ends with a case study.
I really like the next part which is on MPLS QoS. This is not easy to find in other books. It explains the difference between short pipe, pipe and uniform mode. It also has examples on QoS on the ASR9k, CRS and also examples on how the customer should configure QoS when connecting to a Service Provider (SP). As usual a case study at the end.
The final part of the book is on QoS in VPNs, such as IPSEC, GET VPN, DMVPN and connecting from a home office. This part is also difficult to find in other books so it’s great that it’s included in here. It also has a case study at the end.
This book is written on some of the best people out there. It has a nice flow to it, it covers all the relevant areas of QoS. It covers different platforms and shows examples on how to configure QoS on these platforms. It can serve as book for learning more or for a certification or simply as a reference for all of your needs on QoS. This book is VERY extensive but it is so for a reason. It’s not long just for the sake of it, it’s all relevant material. Read it end to end or pick the parts you are interested in. If you want to get one book for QoS, get this one! If you are studying for the CCIE, this should be your reference. I can’t recommend this book enough, you’ll see the ratings on Amazon, Safari etc that everyone agrees that this is an awesome book.