RingCentral for Desktop, outgoing voicepackets are not being marked for QoS

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The desktop software available in Canada for Telus Business Connect, has not been adding DSCP markings for QoS since we started using it a couple years ago, and still isn't in it's current version 9.3.5.28675. I've mentioned this to support before, and I get the answer that I need to modify our routers at all of our locations to mark all outgoing packets aimed towards the IP ranges for RingCentral. I can do this, but it seems to me that the better solution would be to add the feature to the software, rather than asking all of your clients to modify all of their routers. Please add this feature to your next software release version. If you cannot, or are unwilling to do so, please explain why.
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ALEX REDFORD

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Posted 7 months ago

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Brandon, Champion

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There is no QoS on the internet so I am not sure the advice from support was accurate.

DSCP will be lost as soon as it leaves your firewall/router.  The best you can do is prioritize and/or reserve bandwidth for voice on the LAN side before sending it out the WAN as best effort.

I agree it would be nice if the desktop app would mark packets, but that would mainly help only for inter-switch QoS like in a large campus environment with slow links.  Since it does not, you would need to prioritize voice via an application aware router/firewall.  Meraki does this easily, for example.



SD-WAN solutions like Velocloud and BigLeaf do as well.



What kind of network gear are you working with?
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ALEX REDFORD

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We run a combination of Cisco and Meraki routers. Maybe you worded your response wrong, but DSCP tagging is not "lost" at any point in the chain. It is a part of the IPv4 packet structure as ToS, and as such will be part of any, and all IPv4 packets until they reach their final destination, unless removed or modified on purpose somewhere along the way. However, just because a packet is marked "Expedited Forwarding", doesn't mean all network equipment along it's path is going to act on that information.

This is all besides the point though. We use Cisco and Polycom deskphones for the most part, these add the proper DSCP tags to their outgoing packets, and work great. The software phone offered by RingCentral does not mark outgoing packets, and has voice quality issues. If I tell our router to add the appropriate DSCP marking to all outgoing packets destined for the RingCentral IP ranges, problem is solved.

Support knows about this, and thinks the appropriate solution is just that, for all their clients to add DSCP 46 to any outgoing packet aimed towards RingCentral. Personally, I think it would be easier for them to modify a tiny bit of code within their software, rather than asking all of their clients to modify all of their networking equipment with code that shouldn't be necessary, and then have to update that code when the RingCentral IP ranges have new additions / modifications. 

I am aware of the workaround / solutions to this problem, I think there is a better way to deal with it at this point though.

Support recommended I post this question here, as this site is supposedly monitored by their developers and engineers, so I might get a response from them. Their software includes LGPL licenses, so it's possible the networking part of the software code isn't even theirs. Either way though, this could be a simple fix on their end.
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Brandon, Champion

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I *really* doubt DSCP is making it to RingCentral from all/any of your locations.  What is probably solving the quality issue is prioritizing the voice as it leaves your WAN.

Do/did you experience poor quality in both directions?  You could look at a packet capture and you will see return traffic from RingCentral servers will not have DSCP.

Maybe some semantics here, but my opinion is that QoS over the internet is not a thing (although yes, maybe sometimes rarely technically possible). 

With desk phones this is easily handled with a voice VLAN and prioritizing the whole VPAN at the edge.  With soft phones it does require marking form the client to have the ability to prioritize the traffic (or to use a method like the Meraki screenshot I shared)
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ALEX REDFORD

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You're derailing the topic at hand a bit. I'm not all that interested in debating the anatomy of an IPv4 packet, or how / where QoS works, and doesn't work. 

I simply requested a feature that would make things easier / better, be added to a future version of their software. Unless you can actually do that, or explain why they can't, I'm sorry to say, this isn't really helping. 

Just to humor you, as I already mentioned, the ToS field is part of *all* IPv4 packets. If you wan't to try to get rid of it, you now have a broken packet, which will just get discarded.

Here is a screenshot of a couple incoming packets from RingCentral, still containing their prioritized DSCP markings, and a couple outgoing packets from a users softphone, with no prioritization markings at all. Unless modified somewhere along the route, on purpose, *all* IPv4 packets will retain their ToS markings from start to finish.



This is not an invitation to further debate the semantics of how / what / why things work, or don't. If you want to learn more about packets, QoS, and whatever else, there are plenty of resources available.
Unless you can actually help with my original request, adding a beneficial feature to the software, I thank you for your time.
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Brandon, Champion

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To be clear, I am agreeing with your feature request.  Sorry if it came off wrong.

I do need to point out that the packet capture you shared is LAN side though.  When I do WAN side packet captures on my WAN interface all RingCentral source voice is CS1.

Outbound to RingCentral is CS3 for SIP and CS6 for RTP though, making me now wonder if the desktop app is in fact marking packets or my Meraki rule is adding the CS3 and CS6.  I'll need to play more with this when I have time.

Thanks for bringing this up and peaking my interest :)
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Mike, Official Rep

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Just letting you all know that I've reached out to our engineers on this thread.  I understand there are some limitations and obstacles they are dealing with, but they have advised me that "‘RC is currently working towards a solution to enable oursoftphone to set the appropriate DSCP markings on the outgoing packets".  

We'll do our best to update this thread when we get more info. 

Mike