Organization

University of Liverpool

Project Description

QoS Implementations in Alberta School Jurisdictions: A Case Study

Project Abstract

The Project Aims:

To assess and evaluate the various methods used by Alberta school jurisdictions to incorporate Quality of Service (QoS) on their networks. Specifically how they will coordinate their methodology with connection to the Alberta SuperNet.

In 2005, most Alberta schools will be connected to the Alberta SuperNet. SuperNet is a fibre optic and wireless based broadband network, which stretches throughout the Province. Bandwidth will never be oversubscribed, and QoS will be guaranteed from end to end. The SuperNet will use DiffServ tagging on an MPLS core network to determine the level of priority of each individual packet. School jurisdictions have many options available to them as to exactly how to implement full QoS using SuperNet.

Given that it is recommended to incorporate QoS on the local network, and that QoS will be guaranteed from end to end over the SuperNet, it follows that school jurisdictions will make some effort to incorporate it. Some jurisdictions have already begun implementing QoS on their local and wide area networks, while many others have not even started the research. Further there are varying levels of expertise throughout the Province, which will make the investigation and implementation of QoS very difficult in some areas, and somewhat easier in others.

The study of QoS in and of itself is much too large to be encompassed within a dissertation project. Rather, I will be concentrating on examining the strategies either in-use or planned in school jurisdictions. These strategies will be detailed with their strengths and weaknesses, and then explained in the final project in such a way that it can be used as jurisdictions plan for SuperNet implementation. Ultimately I hope to make the transition from legacy networks to QoS enabled networks an easier process for those who wish to undertake it.

This investigation will benefit the sponsor in that they can make this available to other jurisdictions. It will benefit my employer as we are wrestling with the same issues on providing QoS. Personally I have much experience in network planning and implementation, but my QoS skills are rudimentary at best. This will provide ample time and energy devoted to research to enhance my skills.


Project Outline :

There are approximately 62 public school boards in the Province of Alberta. Each of these is made up of multiple schools within a defined geographic area. Virtually all of these jurisdictions have an existing wide area network. On these networks there is all manner of traffic from file and print services to Internet browsing, from video conferencing to real-time chat. The difficulty facing jurisdictions is managing that traffic, and given the Alberta SuperNet, ensuring that the proper traffic is given priority.

There are many means of providing QoS, and some school jurisdictions have already made efforts towards implementing it on their networks. This study will begin with a survey of school jurisdictions to determine their readiness for QoS. Then the focus will shift to those jurisdictions which have made some investment of time or energy into investigating QoS; look at their planning, their implementation, and their results. These results will be compared with other methods and then examined for strengths and weaknesses. I hope that some “best practicesâ€�? will emerge from this study that can be published and used elsewhere. Finally, recommendations will be made based on the needs and abilities of individual jurisdictions.

Surveys released for this project:
Questions
Quality of Service in Alberta School Jurisdictions 14
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