Interesting insights on different approaches and considerations for handling network congestion and jitter for real time multicast over IP traffic.

The problem?

Do you really need large buffers in switches to get “optimal performance?” While there are instances where large buffers are required, or a good idea, using them for some workflows can add latency and reduce performance. With certain environments, especially multicast, it would appear as though large buffers are in fact being used to mask shortcomings with switch ASICs, or systems.

How much buffer is needed?

Real-time multicast traffic should be forwarded immediately without buffering for long periods of time. This is to avoid causing additional latency and higher jitter. Switches should have enough buffer to absorb bursts of traffic. Using a dynamically shared buffer architecture allows flexible use of buffer during burst and congestion for optimal results.

Chris Lapp via Cisco Systems SP360

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