How Much do you Know About VoIP Monitoring Over Every Type of Network?
November 27, 2012
By Susan J. Campbell
, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Imagine if you will going on a round of speed dates – kind of like a less glamorous version of The Bachelor, where instead of giving out roses you wait to hear your name being called out by a Starbucks barista. You then sit down at a cozy corner café to encounter a range of diverse and unique partners who are all potentially promising, but the way in which you individually interact with each can greatly vary.
Similarly, vendors often tout the advantages associated with VoIP technology – such as its cost and quality benefits when converging the data network with the voice network – and while these benefits are often proven when VoIP deployment is complete, some forget or fail to understand just how VoIP behaves differently over different network types.
Regardless, without a robust VoIP monitoring solution in place, it can be difficult to make the connection between the network type and the quality issues (no pun intended).
In light of this, a recent TechTarget report examined VoIP Quality of Service (QoS) and how this technology performs differently depending on the environment in which it is deployed. VoIP monitoring will generally demonstrate that VoIP over LAN is the easiest often including the intercom or station-to-station calling. It will work if you have the necessary gear in-house, but if you instead rely on hosted services, you may need to route the local intercom traffic across the WAN.
Performance can become an issue when a link is not working properly or if QoS is lacking or not prioritized properly in your environment. The deployment of VLANs can also affect overall performance; however, when traffic leaves the LAN is where the excitement can really gain momentum, demanding the application of VoIP monitoring.
Imagine again that you are on the highway going full speed ahead to a very important, secret location. While traffic is an uncontrollable factor in the equation, imagine if you could help free up the roads to more easily and safely navigate to your final destination.
Similarly, when voice traffic leaves the LAN, it’s important to understand its next destination, as well as the factors that could slow it down. Traffic is handled in real-time when the multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) network is in place, but if the current WAN within your enterprise is not an MPLS, you may be at the mercy of broadband, thus having to compete for your fair share among other users. Latency can also easily increase, which can also leave voice traffic impacted. At the same time, user complaints are likely to increase while mean opinion scores (MOS) take a dive.
Even with VoIP monitoring, you can’t fully guarantee a quality connection if you don’t have the right combination of network and solutions in place. For instance, if yours is a non-MPLS network, G729a can be put in place and then revert to G.711 if the call can be completed over a lower bandwidth. If you have a virtual private network (VPN) in place to support telecommuters and it is made up of a mesh connection to the data center or hosted provider, more bandwidth may be needed.
The same VPN requires specific resources, including a clear understanding of the gear and bandwidth available to telecommuters. QoS can be put in place for outbound traffic over the broadband connection, while SIP trunks are a great option if the gear is certified or tested against your provider’s requirements. The latter can generally deliver a consistent experience.
Regardless of the type of network in place, the point to remember here is that VoIP monitoring should be used to ensure the connection delivers the QoS your customers have come to expect and that communicates the value of your brand. By investing in a first-rate QoS assurance solution provider, this will never be a problem.
Get a head start! To explore some robust VoIP QoS monitoring solutions, click here.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo