The concept of network quality of service is not new but a move by a major carrier to implement it is, according to analysts. SBC is offering the service with Sitara Networks, which makes a network traffic management server that is installed on-site between a company's WAN egress router and the LAN switch, said Michael Harris, an analyst at Gartner.
The program works by SBC evaluating a customer's network traffic for several weeks and helping the company prioritise data with ratings of "critical," "important" or "best effort". These settings are held on a Sitara server and regulate traffic, sending reports every 15 minutes to a Web site available to the customer. Adjustments are then made with SBC engineers as needed.
Using the program, companies can for example, reserve bandwidth every Monday morning for a Web-based video streaming presentation by their chief executive, giving lower priority to other wide area network traffic, such as e-mail or file transfers.
Gartner's Harris said the SBC service "is innovative, and it may offer interesting ways to manage traffic".