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Encyclopedia > Integrated Services

In computer networking, IntServ or integrated services is an architecture, which specifies the elements to guarantee quality of service (QoS) on networks. IntServ can for example be used to allow video and sound to reach the receiver without interruption. A computer network is a system for communication among two or more computers. ... In the fields of packet-switched networks and computer networking, the traffic engineering term Quality of Service (QoS) refers to the probability of the telecommunication network meeting a given traffic contract, or in many cases is used informally to refer the probability of a packet succeeding in passing between two...

IntServ specifies a fine-grained QoS system, which is often contrasted with DiffServ's coarse-grained control system. DiffServ or differentiated services is a method of trying to guarantee quality of service on large networks such as the Internet. ...

The idea of IntServ is that every router in the system implements IntServ, and every application that requires some kind of guarantees has to make an individual reservation. "Flow Specs" describe what the reservation is for, while "RSVP" is the underlying mechanism to signal it across the network. A router is a computer networking device that forwards data packets across an internetwork toward their destinations, through a process known as routing. ...


Flow Specs

There are two parts to a flow spec:

  • What does the traffic look like? Done in the Traffic SPECification or TSPEC part.
  • What guarantees does it need? Done in the service Request SPECification or RSPEC part.

TSPECs include token bucket algorithm parameters. The idea is that there is a token bucket which slowly fills up with tokens, arriving at a constant rate. Every packet which is sent requires a token, and if there are no tokens, then it cannot be sent. Thus, the rate at which tokens arrive dictates the average rate of traffic flow, while the depth of the bucket dictates how 'bursty' the traffic is allowed to be. Although the token bucket algorithm has several uses, it is best understood in the context of network traffic shaping or rate limiting. ... Although the token bucket algorithm has several uses, it is best understood in the context of network traffic shaping or rate limiting. ...

TSPECs typically just specify the token rate and the bucket depth. For example, a video with a refresh rate of 75 frames per second, with each frame taking 10 packets, might specify a token rate of 750Hz, and a bucket depth of only 10. The bucket depth would be sufficient to accommodate the 'burst' associated with sending an entire frame all at once. On the other hand, a conversation would need a lower token rate, but a much higher bucket depth. This is because there are often pauses in conversations, so they can make do with less tokens by not sending the gaps between words and sentences. However, this means the bucket depth needs increasing to compensate for the traffic being burstier.

RSPECs specify what requirements there are for the flow: it can be normal internet 'best effort', in which case no reservation is needed. This setting is likely to be used for webpages, FTP, and similar applications. The 'Controlled Load' setting mirrors the performance of a lightly loaded network: there may be occasional glitches when two people access the same resource by chance, but generally both delay and drop rate are fairly constant at the desired rate. This setting is likely to be used by soft QoS applications. The 'Guaranteed' setting gives an absolutely bounded service, where the delay is promised to never go above a desired amount, and packets never dropped, provided the traffic stays within spec. This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


The Resource ReSerVation Protocol (RSVP) is described in RFC 2205. All machines on the network capable of sending QoS data send a PATH message every 30 seconds, which spreads out through the networks. Those who want to listen to them send a corresponding RESV (short for "Reserve") message which then traces the path backwards to the sender. The RESV message contains the flow specs. In computer networking, IntServ or integrated services is a system that attempts to guarantee quality of service (QoS) on networks. ... A Request for Comments (RFC) document is one of a series of numbered Internet informational documents and standards very widely followed by both commercial software and freeware in the Internet and Unix communities. ...

The routers between the sender and listener have to decide if they can support the reservation being requested, and if they cannot then send a reject message to let the listener know about it. Otherwise, once they accept the reservation they have to carry the traffic.

The routers then store the nature of the flow, and also police it. This is all done in soft state, so if nothing is heard for a certain length of time, then the reader will time out and the reservation will be cancelled. This solves the problem if either the sender or the receiver crash or are shut down incorrectly without first cancelling the reservation. The individual routers may, at their option, police the traffic to check that it conforms to the flow specs.


The problem with IntServ is that many states must be stored in each router. As a result, IntServ works on a small-scale, but as you scale up to a system the size of the Internet, it is difficult to keep track of all of the reservations. As a result, IntServ is not very popular.

External link

  • RFC 2205

  Results from FactBites:
Integrated Services: A Summary for Rural Educators. ERIC Digest. (1681 words)
Service integration is one among many changes advocated by policymakers and policy researchers.
Integration, in short, consists of the case manager's capacity to cross boundaries in arranging services for a client.
As service integration programs are established in rural communities (such as the Family Resource Networks in West Virginia), they must be accompanied by a viable range of necessary services that can, in fact, be coordinated and integrated.
Integrated Services Digital Network - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1965 words)
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a type of circuit switched telephone network system, designed to allow digital (as opposed to analog) transmission of voice and data over ordinary telephone copper wires, resulting in better quality and higher speeds, than available with analog systems.
It is also used as a smart network technology intended to add new services to the public switched telephone network (the PSTN) by giving users direct access to end-to-end circuit-switched digital services.
In France, France Télécom offers ISDN services under their product name Numeris (2 B+D) of which a profesional Duo and home Itoo version is available.
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