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In the world of network computing, QoS stands for quality of service, and it refers to a broad collection of technologies and strategies offered to a customer to manage network resources.

The goal of QoS is to provide customers with guarantees regarding a network’s fitness to deliver predictable results. Network performance indicators within the scope of QoS often include availability, bandwidth, latency and error rate. Bandwidth-intensive applications may stretch network capabilities and resources, but they also make business processes more efficient. When the expense of mechanisms to provide QoS is justified, network customers and providers can enter into a service level agreement (SLA) that guarantees the ability of a network to perform at a given level based on mutually agreed measures, usually by prioritizing network traffic.

QoS can be aimed at a network interface, a specific server or router, or in terms of specific applications. A network monitoring system must generally be installed as part of QoS to ensure that networks are performing at the desired level.