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SErvice QUality across Independently managed Networks

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Putting a premium on quality of service

Managing the ever-increasing network of computers comprising the worldwide Internet is a formidable task. New architectures and protocols must be developed to meet the additional demands. Premium IP is a prime example of European innovation in this area.

Digital Economy

The rapid growth of the Internet has placed significant demands on the technology and infrastructure that support it. Connection speed is of utmost importance to Internet users, particularly as heavy content, like audio and video files, become more common. Security is also an increasingly important issue as financial transactions are now carried out over the Internet. An Information Society Technologies (IST) project sought to address these Quality of Service issues with a new approach. The result is Premium IP, a new Internet Protocol (IP) based on Expedited Forwarding Per Hop Behavior (EFPHB) theory. The basic functions related to IP traffic: admission control, classification, policing and scheduling are all performed on specific network nodes. Distances are minimised by performing actions, such as policing, as close to the source as possible. This reduces the amount of time required for such actions as well as the amount of network traffic, both of which promote better network performance. The Premium IP architecture has been tested during trials with three other IST projects. It is currently configured for high-speed academic networks, such as GEANT and NREN, but can be modified for use with other, more common types of networks. Premium IP is based on internationally accepted standards and is therefore internationally compatible. An important feature of Premium IP is its ability to upgrade to dynamic signalling. This will allow it to adapt to increased numbers of users and increased traffic in the future. Premium IP therefore represents a long-term, scalable solution. This is important since the number of Internet users is forecast to continue to grow strongly as third world countries get online.

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