Voice Quality Monitoring – Do you need it? Vote to choose if NetFlow Analyzer should have this module

Virtual workplace and telecommuting (in very simple terms, this means working from home) are 2 key words enterprises have been hearing a lot about recently. According to a study underwritten by Intel, 84% of decision makers expect demand for telework to increase in the next 3 years. The business advantages of bringing these key words into practice is stated as: being employee friendly, cutting down on facilities and workplaces, advancing the ‘Go Green’ policy and most importantly reduced operational costs.

To bring these words into practice, the requirement is an implementation of Unified Communications services at the workplace of which VoIP is the most commonly used. Almost all organizations, ranging from those implementing telecommuting to those whose work involves a high volume of client / user interaction or inter branch communications depends primarily on VoIP. So uptime and performance of VoIP calls actually spells m.o.n.e.y.

We at NetFlow Analyzer have been thinking about a major new feature – bringing in voice quality monitoring as an add-on module to NetFlow Analyzer. To help us make the decision, who else to ask other than our users and readers. That is what this post is mainly about. We request you to answer the real short survey (seriously – just 6 questions) and help us decide. A few clicks and your decision may turn out to be ours too. The survey link is: https://creator.zoho.com/nfasupport/vqmonitoring/

For those who have questions on why you may need this and what this module will do, read on.

Why do you need Voice Quality monitoring ?

Look at the stats taken from a report in the Network World. Though this data was published long back, I believe the numbers still hold good or may even have increased with VoIP usage increasing exponentially in the recent years.

  • With no IP telephony management tools, companies spent $1,262 per unit per year to operate the system.
  • Those using tools from the IP PBX vendor spent $405 per unit per year to operate the system.
  • Those who use specialty IP telephony management tools spent only $113 per unit per year in operational costs

The difference is a savings of more than $1000 USD per unit !! A penny saved is a penny earned…that rule works in any monitory system and not just “pennies”. If this does not convince you, here are a few things our voice quality monitoring system will be:

  • A multi vendor voice quality monitoring system which integrates with your bandwidth and traffic analysis software.
  • Ability to see reports on total calls, completed calls, failed calls along with real-time update on active calls.
  • View the QoS parameters like delay, jitter, packet loss, R Factor and MoS for each VoIP call and also all the SIP, Skinny and H.323 requests that took place from the start to end of the call.
  • Details of capture time, protocol used, status, code, source and destination port and destination information for each SIP/ Skinny/ H.323 and RTCP packets exchanged.
  • Report from the “Endpoint” using RTCP packets thus giving you the most accurate reports reflecting end user experience.
  • Solution that can grow as your usage increases – monitor a 50 unit to even a 1000 unit VoIP network or even from 50 to 1000 concurrent VoIP calls.
  • Extensive reports with automation, alarms and notifications including SNMP traps for threshold violations and much more.

Now! Those of you who may have seen the Cisco IPSLA based VoIP reports in NetFlow Analyzer may ask how is this new module going to be different from that. The answer is:

How is Voice Quality monitoring different from Cisco IPSLA based VoIP reports?

Cisco IPSLA based VoIP sends a simulated voice packet across a link and then measures the jitter, latency, packet loss, round trip time and MoS for that packet. The result is based on the performance of the simulated voice packets and is best suitable to analyze how well your link will perform when VoIP data is transmitted and for SLA calculations. This also requires Cisco devices which supports IPSLA on both ends.The stats from IPSLA VoIP may not necessarily reflect the actual call quality from an end user perspective.

Voice Quality monitoring analyzes the actual voice calls via packet sniffing or Call Detail Records (CDR) and reports on the parameters mentioned before for actual calls. It can work with any IP telephony equipment or CDR data and does not require specific hardware.

In short, IPSLA based VoIP lets you measure the capability of a link to carry voice traffic whereas voice quality monitoring analyzes the performance of actual voice calls. Hope that explains.

Again, a reminder on why this post is here – the survey. Please fill the survey and help us decide – should NetFlow Analyzer have a voice quality monitoring module? We will consider what you say and then make the “call”.


Don Thomas Jacob

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The original article/video can be found at Voice Quality Monitoring – Do you need it? Vote to choose if NetFlow Analyzer should have this module

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