Avoid the VoIP Elephant: Make Sure You and Your VoIP Network are Ready by
Team AppNeta September 16, 2011
VoIP, Video and Unified Communications are highly cost-effective network services. While your wallet may be breathing a sigh of relief, your network is about to get the wind knocked out of it by the weight of VoIP and video conferencing services. Network performance is dependent on existing applications and user activity so network engineers implementing VoIP must take this into account.
In the past, enterprise companies dedicated a separate VoIP network or connection specifically for VoIP. If the phones don’t work, your business stops. For many organizations, adding to the existing network demand and performance challenges is unrealistic.
Throwing VoIP onto a network without pre-assessing is like jumping into a pool without checking for water (ouch!). Without a full comprehensive inspection of your surroundings, the results will be painful.
As VoIP moves toward a standard application regardless of business size, network engineers are forced to piggy back VoIP onto the existing infrastructure. And for any network engineer who wants to maintain the performance of existing applications AND ensure the performance of the new VoIP services, a pre-deployment network assessment is critical
An Effective VoIP Assessment will:
• Measure the call load capability of the network
• Identify the faults and shortcomings of the network
• Provide a holistic view of the network’s ability to handle data and voice traffic
• Lower the project’s cost estimates
• Verify service level agreements (SLAs)
• Eliminate the network as a gating factor in the VoIP project
A functioning network does not always equal a prepared network. Issues in the infrastructure may not be visible until the weight of a VoIP implementation crushes it.
But where are the problems that are going to obstruct VoIP performance?
Three key benefits to conducting Advanced Network Assessments:
1. Test how well the network will perform without deploying a single device. VoIP pre-deployment assessment should look at the current state of the converged network, evaluate its ability to support VoIP and identify the dysfunctions that are restricting performance and the requirements to meet call load need.
2. Look at the life-cycle of your network in relation to VoIP. Generate call loads over days or weeks to take into account on and off peak network services. See in real-time how scheduled back-ups, data uploads and periodic events will affect voice quality.
3. Simplicity. Take it one site at a time. If the company decides to bring on a new location, your assessment process should not start from scratch.
Pre-deployment assessments should be done prior to purchasing or deploying any VoIP equipment or making any upgrades. Get yourself a complete analysis of the end-to end data network, recording important measurements such as bandwidth, utilization, throughput, loss, jitter, latency and MOS. A proper assessment will identify and isolate faults on the network that currently inhibit application performance.
PathView Cloud will ensure a successful VoIP deployment and ongoing performance. PathView Cloud generates a series of packet bursts that are placed on the network in a proprietary manner and collect the information required for a full analysis of the involved network segment from end-to-end