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Cisco QoS Exam Certification Guide: MQC, QPM, and AutoQoS

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This chapter focuses on Modular QoS CLI, QoS Policy Manager, and AutoQoS with an eye toward passing the Cisco QoS Exam.

QoS Exam Topics

This chapter covers the following exam topics specific to the QoS exam:

  • Given a network requiring QoS, explain how to implement a QoS policy using MQC

  • Explain how AutoQoS is used to implement QoS policy

Most of the topics covered in Chapters 1, "QoS Overview," and 2, "QoS Tools and Architectures," can apply to a network that uses equipment from most any manufacturer. Sure, there were some specifics about Cisco IOS QoS tools and about Cisco IP Phones, but all the concepts about QoS architectures and traffic characteristics of voice, video, and data apply to any network, regardless of manufacturer.

This chapter is specific about discussing several tools available only for Cisco products. Most of the more modern QoS tools from Cisco use configuration commands that conform to a convention called the Modular QoS CLI (MQC), which significantly reduces the complexity of QoS configuration as compared to QoS tools that don't use MQC commands. Frankly, before MQC, QoS configuration was one of the more challenging things to configure in Cisco IOS Software. With MQC, most of the complexity has been removed.

Although easier configuration of a router or switch using MQC is indeed wonderful, MQC enables a couple of other important Cisco QoS tools. Cisco offers a management application called QoS Policy Manager (QPM), which provides a web browser interface to network engineers, allowing them to easily define QoS policies for a network, all with intuitive pointing and clicking. QPM can baseline the network's QoS performance, configure the routers and switches based on the policy, measure the ensuing performance, and monitor the configurations to make sure no one changes the QoS configuration.

Compared to the old days, MQC makes it easier to configure each device, and QPM makes it easier to configure and monitor QoS for an entire network.

In addition, Cisco offers a tool called AutoQoS in Cisco IOS Release 12.3 mainline router and Cisco IOS Release 12.1EA 2950 switch. (Go to http://www.cisco.com/go/fn to use the Cisco Feature Navigator to find more specific information about AutoQoS support on different platforms.) AutoQoS allows a network engineer to configure a single device with just a few generic commands, and the device automatically configures all the appropriate QoS tools. So, even without QPM, a network engineer can configure QoS with confidence. Also, the automatically generated configuration can be changed, if the default settings are not quite what the engineer wants.

MQC, QPM, and AutoQoS provide some fantastic advantages. In this chapter, you'll read about all three. After that, Chapters 4 through 9 take a closer look at six categories of QoS tools available in Cisco routers.

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