Quality of service (QoS) is the description or measurement of the overall performance of a service, such as a telephony or computer network or a cloud computing service, particularly the performance seen by the users of the network. To quantitatively measure quality of service, several related aspects of the network service are often considered, such as packet loss, bit rate, throughput, transmission delay, availability, jitter, etc.
In the field of computer networking and other packet-switched telecommunication networks, quality of service refers to traffic prioritization and resource reservation control mechanisms rather than the achieved service quality. Quality of service is the ability to provide different priority to different applications, users, or data flows, or to guarantee a certain level of performance to a data flow.
Quality of service is particularly important for the transport of traffic with special requirements. In particular, developers have introduced Voice over IP technology to allow computer networks to become as useful as telephone networks for audio conversations, as well as supporting new applications with even stricter network performance requirements.