4ipnet Wireless Access Point Optimization Part 5
WMM (WI-FI MULTIMEDIA)
If you’ve ever observed VoIP over Wi-Fi working flawlessly even when there were tons of other applications simultaneously using the network, then you’ve seen WMM (WI-FI MULTIMEDIA) in action. WMM provides fundamental QoS (Quality of Service) functionality to wireless networks by increasing the performance of differentiated wireless traffic, such as audio, video, and traditional application data. Based on the needs of each type of data, they are placed in one of four different queues, BE (Best Effort), BK (Background), VI (Video), and VO (Voice).
Recall the earlier description of Wi-Fi medium access using CSMA/CA – clients must wait for a random amount of time before retrying transmission if a busy medium is detected. WMM assigns shorter or longer average back-off periods to each of the four queues, which in essence gives each queue a different priority. The queue with the shorter average random back-off period (e.g. Voice) will forward traffic faster and more easily (with higher priority) than queues with longer average random back-off periods (e.g. Best Effort).
On 4ipnet access points, traffic is automatically prioritized and placed into one of the four queues based on its 802.1p priority tag or DiffServ Code Point (DSCP) value. Along with the traffic remarking function on 4ipnet wireless LAN controllers, network administrators have a complete arsenal of tools at their disposal to guarantee reliable, latency-free operation of mission-critical applications.
It is important to note that WMM and Airtime Fairness both utilize priority assignment but with very different purposes. WMM performs prioritization based on the type of traffic, while Airtime Fairness performs prioritization based on the type of client.
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