Hewlett-Packard Co introduced its Web Quality of Service technology last week in an attempt to make the internet more reliable and predictable. WebQoS was launched as part of HP’s latest push to get more business from internet service providers, which included new bundles of software and hardware, an ISP alliance program, and a joint agreement with Netscape Communications Corp (CI No 3,506). But HP says it will soon be offering the software to users as well for internal intranets. It calculates that customer loyalty to a web site lasts only about 30 seconds, and if a page isn’t loaded by then, the back button will be hit and the user will try the next entry in the search engine instead. WebQoS is an attempt to give ISPs and web sites the chance of offering guaranteed levels of service on the web. All customers can’t be equal, in HP’s view, if a predictable service is to be maintained. The QoS software offers the facility to give preference to individual users who might be regulars at a site, or particular applications, such as purchasing applications, or transactions, for completing an order. These activities could be assigned more computing power or bandwidth. The technology enables load balancing between more popular and less popular applications on a site, and can manage peak loads by selectively excluding users until there is capacity, so that performance levels within a site don’t fall below policy levels. PSINet is one of the early customers, and HP says used the technology itself for the World Cup web site, where it help manage a peak load of up to 76 million hits in one day. WebQoS includes a set of API’s which can be used to add the technology to a web site. The software will be integrated with HP’s OpenView systems management software and service level agreement tools in the future.