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Which is better... router based QoS or propietary Windows QoS (Windows 2000/2003 Server)?

In terms of administration, ease of use, and general cost to benefit, which is better to use, a router or windows QoS?  We're in an enterprise environment in which our mail server is hording most of our bandwidth.  This needs to be corrected.  Thanks.
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QuiteSupersonic
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QuiteSupersonic
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Aaron StreetInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
well depends what hardwear you are taliking about.

A big Core cisco switch. will be able to run traffic shaping not only on IP address and basic ip proticals. but also on application layer traffic right down to through the OS layers.
IT's very powerfull and far better than anything in the OS.

however a home router that may only cost £80 may have QOS support but it will be very limited!

Also the OS QOS will only work at the NIC on the server, not accross the network. unless you have switches/routers that understand the tagging of the frames. So if you just have "dumb" switches (not QOS aware). then even if you have QOS turned on at the OS level. it will do little to help in the wider area of a conjested LAN.

Really you need to have QOS on the switches/routers. most layer 3 switches will have some QOS function. and they can be relitivy cheap. espicaly if you are only wanting to filter on basic ip ranges/proticals.

So in summery you will need some switch/Router QOS. Howmuch you would need to decide how much you want to spend?
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Aaron StreetInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
What switchs/routers do you currently have on your network? as you will probable find you can already do this with what you have. and setting it up, although will require you to have a read up on the subject will not take you long.

Once again espicaly if you jsut want to limit the traffic from the one server, and not do any thing to complex.
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QuiteSupersonicAuthor Commented:
Currently we have a Cisco 506e which has no QoS.
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Aaron StreetInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
To explain more.

QOS works by tagging packets. (or traffic shaping can work by the device running it inspecting the packets for ipaddress info or protocal)

it then deals with the traffic based on a set of rules you have set up.

so imagen you have a series of 3 switchs. if QOS is set up on the link between the first and second one. then it will traffic shape at this link only. it will not affect any of the traffic between the second and third switch. So if this is your point of conjestion. then the QOS will have no effect.

The OS QOS will only traffic shape at the NIC on teh server. so for instance if you had Exchange and a SQL server installed on teh same server. you could protises one of them above the other on the NIC.

You can also tag the frames so that other QOS aware devices can deal with the traffic based on that tag. however as i said if your conjestion is at the router. Then running QOS on the OS wont have any affect. However if the router has QOS enabled, and is set up, then it can use the tagging from the OS QOS to do the shaping. You don't have to have qos running at all switches inbetween. just on the routed port.


Does that make any sence. Sorry i'm not alway the best at explaining.

Aaron
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QuiteSupersonicAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the explanations, you're really helping.  Here's the exact scenario.  We have two users in New York who dial in through VPN.  The VPN line is also the line on which our mail is sent.  WHenever large amounts of e-mails are sent to our many distribution lists, the VPN users in NYC really suffer with extremely low transfer rates.  So the two types of traffic i'm concerned with load balance are SMTP and PPTP.  Inter LAN traffic is fine and flows very quick.  
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Aaron StreetInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
In which case you wil need to implement QOS on the router rather tahn the Server.

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QuiteSupersonicAuthor Commented:
Got any recommendations for a QoS capable router that would support an 80 person network?  THanks.
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Aaron StreetInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
Now to be really unhelpfull im afraid.

I only run QOS on switches rather than routers. so i cant really help. Although i use cisco switchs and they all work fine.

We also have 200+ switchs and 1500 users on site so i cant honestly tell you what one to look for.
Sorry
Aaron
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