In Brief: Investigating Skype performance
by October 2, 2018

Filed under: Industry Insights, Performance Monitoring

IN PRACTICE | This article is part of a series of posts sharing examples of how AppNeta users have leveraged the service to solve performance problems.

Problem

A civil engineering firm uses Skype for Business heavily in their day-to-day operations, for both internal and external calls. Since migrating to the cloud last year, it has been their primary VoIP application. During an important call in early 2018, the firm’s CEO had a very poor experience with Skype, leading him to ask their Technology Manager to identify the root cause of the performance problem he experienced.

Additionally, the engineering firm was looking for a way to proactively monitor their voice network while simultaneously providing insight into the “where” and “why” of the Skype quality issues, enabling them to provide actionable data to Microsoft and their ISP.

Impact

The firm’s primary driver for considering  AppNeta was the poor call quality experienced by the CEO. However, AppNeta was also able to identify several latency spikes across a number of other systems that would likely impact other cloud application experience if not resolved, in addition to providing visibility into their primary UC application, Skype for Business.

Skype Usage

AppNeta was also able to identify general periods of inhibited call quality for the firm’s IT team, identified through dips in MOS value and related spikes in packet loss.

AppNeta was also able to identify general periods of inhibited call quality for the firm’s IT team, identified through dips in MOS value and related spikes in packet loss.

Solution

The main problem that the firm was trying to solve was identifying the root cause of their Skype quality issues. Through diagnostics, AppNeta was able to help solve the issue, providing greater insight into the WAN than they had ever had before.

The firm’s IT team was able to identify that their application traffic’s QoS markings were being changed from Expedited Forwarding (DSCP 46) to Best Effort (DSCP 0) at some point along the path when traversing the WAN. Microsoft recommends deploying Skype for Business with QoS enabled on the LAN, WAN and wireless networks. The next step for the firm’s IT team is to work with their WAN provider to implement QoS for Skype for Business.

The firm’s IT team was able to identify that their application traffic’s QoS markings were being changed from Expedited Forwarding (DSCP 46) to Best Effort (DSCP 0) at some point along the path, when traversing the WAN.

Skype is a part of a large landscape of UCaaS apps heavily affected by network issues and is just one of many applications that AppNeta can monitor. Especially as it pertains to UCaaS solutions, these types of high-profile connectivity issues can impact everyone from the CEO to the intern. Organizations depend on fast, always-on access to business-critical apps, and AppNeta provides real-time, actionable insight into issues that affect end users to enable speedy resolution.