Four Requirements for Excellence in Video Conferencing
by August 8, 2011

Filed under: Network Performance Management, Performance Management Tech

unified communications in actionThe reach and popularity of video conferencing, telepresence and visual collaboration services is exploding, enabling business to happen 24×7 around the world. But, if you’re a consumer or provider of these increasingly business-critical applications, you know they depend entirely on one thing: network performance.

IP-based videoconferencing requires high-performance WAN links. This class of applications operates within a narrow Quality of Service (QoS) window. If network bandwidth, latency, packet loss and/or jitter move outside that limited range, performance is disrupted – and conferences dropped or disrupted.

How can organizations deliver the excellent network service quality that video conferencing – along with so many other crucial applications, like cloud services, VoIP, IP storage and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) – require? What does it take to ensure that network performance and QoS stays within that limited range, across an organization’s entire distributed network infrastructure and despite fluctuations in demand?

Many years of experience with customers, including service providers and some of the world’s largest enterprises, show that these are the four key capabilities required:

  1. The ability to continuously monitor all the key network performance metrics (bandwidth, latency, packet loss and jitter) relative to service levels from any location. This is the only way to understand what your users of video conferencing and other IP-based applications are actually experiencing, in real-time.
  1. The ability to monitor network performance all along the service delivery path – even over networks you don’t own. This capability enables you to pinpoint the exact location and cause of performance degradation. It also eliminates the confusion and finger-pointing that can typify network problem resolution. Also, like other IP-based services, the performance of video conferencing services is greatly impacted by the distance packets must travel. So the ability to monitor the entire path enables you to compare performance across multiple providers.
  1. Visibility into all the IP-based applications that are running on the network at any time, and what IP addresses are associated with them. This lets you see how many video conferences (and other bandwidth-intensive IP-based application instances; e.g., streaming audio, BitTorrent sessions, Skype calls) are consuming available bandwidth.
  1. Remote site packet capture and analysis. Relative to video conferencing performance, these capabilities help analyze network problems, monitor WAN bandwidth utilization, gather and report network statistics, and more. Of course, packet capture is also useful for detecting network intrusion attempts, detecting network misuse, filtering suspect network content, etc.

How can your organization quickly and affordably acquire these advanced diagnostic capabilities? Consider the complex network performance management challenges of a business like BCS Global, a leading worldwide provider of managed video conferencing, telepresence and visual collaboration services. This provider must ensure service quality 24×7 across its globally distributed customer base.

BCS Global recently named AppNeta as its network monitoring and WAN performance partner for video conferencing services delivered to thousands of managed endpoints. They made this choice because only AppNeta’s award-winning PathView Cloud suite of performance management services offers all four levels of insight needed to ensure optimal network performance. As an AppNeta partner, BCS Global will leverage PathView Cloud to ensure optimal performance of video conferencing services — offering its customers unmatched insight and time-to-value, while also making sure they get maximum value from their video conferencing investments.