Traffic Contract

Traffic Contract

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A traffic contract, in the context of networking, refers to the agreement or set of rules that govern the transmission and handling of network traffic between different entities, such as network devices, applications, or network service providers. It defines the parameters, policies, and quality of service (QoS) requirements for traffic flow.

Here are some key aspects of a traffic contract:

  1. Traffic Parameters: A traffic contract specifies the characteristics and requirements of the traffic, including the traffic volume, bandwidth, latency, packet loss, and other relevant parameters. These parameters help determine how the traffic should be handled and allocated within the network.
  2. Quality of Service (QoS): A traffic contract defines the QoS requirements for the traffic. This includes specifying the desired levels of delay, jitter, throughput, and reliability that need to be maintained for the traffic to meet its intended purpose. QoS mechanisms are then employed within the network to ensure that the traffic receives the necessary treatment based on the specified requirements.
  3. Service Level Agreement (SLA): In many cases, a traffic contract is part of a broader service level agreement between network service providers and customers. The SLA outlines the agreed-upon QoS parameters and guarantees that the service provider commits to meeting.
  4. Traffic Conditioning: To ensure that traffic adheres to the specified contract, traffic conditioning mechanisms, such as traffic shaping and policing, may be employed. These mechanisms control the traffic flow, enforce traffic parameters, and prevent excessive or disruptive traffic from affecting the overall network performance.
  5. Traffic Prioritization: Within a network, different types of traffic may have varying priorities based on their importance or criticality. A traffic contract can define the prioritization rules, specifying which traffic should receive preferential treatment during congestion or resource allocation.

By defining and adhering to traffic contracts, network administrators and service providers can effectively manage and control the flow of traffic in a network, ensuring that different types of traffic receive the appropriate QoS treatment based on their specific requirements. This helps optimize network performance, prevent congestion, and deliver reliable and consistent services to end-users.

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