Capacity and QoS are major considerations in a converged network and effect one another. QoS is needed to prevent applications from using more than a fair share of bandwidth and degrading the performance of other applications. At the WAN interface, QoS is needed to allocate expensive wide area capacity among applications.
Bandwidth and QoS requirements are easy to figure in a multilayered design because the traffic flow is fairly predictable. You can also have end-to-end QoS in a multilayered design. End-to-end QoS is critical when you have real-time applications, such as a voice conversation or video presentation, and you have non-real time applications that can interfere with the real-time applications. For example, if the real-time and non-real time applications arrive at the same layer at the same time, the network must pass the real-time packets first, as well as keep latency and jitter low. QoS end-to-end is the answer.
Consider Call Admission Control (CAC) as an alternative to QoS. CAC limits the amount of traffic allowed onto the network at the ingress point. Because you know that the network will be congested at various times during the day, you can disallow more traffic by using CAC. Also consider using traffic-shaping techniques using a traffic-shaping device. A combination of QoS, CAC, and traffic shaping provides optimal performance for applications on a converged network.
Managing link speed mismatches is the last element of traffic management. The mismatches, called chokepoints or bottlenecks, are a basic design issue whenever a large capacity link generates traffic destined for a low capacity link. To avoid the mismatches, carefully analyze the traffic and the device capabilities, then upgrade the interface (if needed) and apply a combination of CAC and QoS.
For more information on QoS, see the Enterprise QoS Solution Reference Network Design Guide.