Quality of Experience vs Quality of Service

Experience vs Service

If you want to understand the difference between Quality of Experience and Quality of Service, this can easily be explained by the following example.

Imagine you’re on a video call during which you struggle to understand the person speaking or the presentation slides are so pixelated that you can’t quite decipher the words. While the transmission of the video was successful and reached the Service Level Agreement minimum, the overall experience was incredibly poor and insufficient. And that’s the difference between Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS).

QoS looks at the network performance itself, whereas QoE looks at the experience that the network provides each user with and determines if it was sufficient. If you’re on a video call and struggle to follow the conversation, this clearly indicates poor network quality. But did the QoS metrics pick these issues up or did the poor user experience go completely unnoticed?

We’re having a more detailed look at both QoE and QoS and why they matter equally.

Quality of Service

The entity used to measure network performance is called Quality of Service. This term comes from years and years ago when the performance of networking components such as routers or switches were monitored by distributed, probe-centred architectures that used CLI and SNMP protocols.

QoS was used to measure telephony performance and early network performance management, with the focus on network characteristics such as latency, jitter, packet loss, R factor, and MOS (mean opinion score). These continue to be relevant, however, with modern services making things more complex, QoS needs to be renewed and adapted to new technologies, offering more than traditional SNMP and ancient round-trip measurements. To detect the tiny changes that can affect modern network performance, accuracies in the milliseconds and measurements in the minutes are no longer good enough.

With video and real-time bi-directional communications, the way that QoS is measured needs to adapt too. However, QoS fails to measure both the individual user experience and the technology itself. Therefore, it is only useful for measuring technical performance.

Quality of Experience

Quality of Experience allows IT teams to measure and monitor the overall experience customers have, instead of just taking the technical performance into account.

When it comes to QoE, it’s either the satisfaction or the disappointment with the user’s experience that indicates whether the network performance was successful or not. It assesses how the performance affected the end-user. Sometimes the user might not even notice or experience some network issues or imperfections, while other times, they might make a technology impossible to use. So, for example, while a packet loss of 5% will only slightly impact a cloud-based CRM system, a 0.5% packet loss could reduce a data throughput by over 30%.

QoE takes both the information within the data, that is sent over the network, into account, and how effective the data transport across the network actually is. During a VoIP call it will look at echo, the quality of the conversation, the audio level and other small issues that might arise.

For this level of quality control, QoE uses advanced automation and AI features to achieve improved network traffic analysis that captures the key performance indicators while simultaneously minimising data storage.

How to use QoE effectively

In order to use QoE effectively, there are two main factors required: the combination of active and passive network traffic monitoring and automation and real-time analysis.

IT teams need to ensure that traffic into the network is actively monitored and that data a significant amount of data packets can be tested for key performance indicators while every packet is passively monitored to get insight into overall traffic characteristics.

Both the actively and passively analysed data should then go to a platform that can carry out an analysis of this data in order to detect the network behaviour and any troubleshooting. This allows IT teams to solve performance issues affecting QoE.

Integence’s innovative Cloud platform Stratiam provides you with real-time analysis and traffic performance monitoring and gives you complete visibility into your network traffic to manage your end-user experience through AI, machine learning and insights.

Although QoS is an essential component of measuring network performance, so is QoE. By combining them both in one solution, Stratiam allows you to offer your customers outstanding network performance and great user-experience. Speak to one of our specialists today to discover how Stratiam can transform your business.


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