Back in April, we issued the WebRTC WAN challenge. The premise behind this was that within a NextGen WebRTC-based conferencing solution, the audio portion of a collaboration session should take priority over video if there is WAN congestion. Here are the results.
Three vendors responded: Saisei, Talari, CloudGenix. Long story short, all three vendors solved the problem. Each was able to identify the voice and video traffic within a session by traffic flow characteristics and throttle the video traffic while the voice traffic flowed smoothly.
- One approach was to use the source UDP ports and identify traffic by packet size and rate to identify voice and video traffic.
- The other approach was to prioritize small packets (typically voice) over large packets (typically video) and use their packet encapsulation methodology to keep packets in sequence.
Cisco’s Spark and Unify’s Circuit were used as WebRTC based collaboration platforms, and each solution demonstrated how under load, the voice stream went uninterrupted as the video quality declined. This exercise validates that as video consumes a greater portion of the WAN, network architectures must evolve too. Moving forward, the success of WAN solutions will be in-part based on the ability to dynamically identify traffic by flow characteristics, not by DSCP value, IP address or TCP/UDP port as in traditional QoS schemes.
Look for a bunch of related upcoming research to hit Gartner.com in the coming weeks/months, particularly around SD-WAN.
Andrew & Sorell
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