How Are You Monitoring Network Performance for Your Unified Communications?
by May 25, 2011

Filed under: Network Performance Management, Performance Management Tech

unified communications monitoring in actionThe cost reduction and infrastructure consolidation benefits of unified communications and collaboration are so compelling that many organizations are rolling out these services without a solution to manage the user experience. Unified communications monitoring may not be the top priority for businesses.

Unified communications aims to converge telephony, messaging, mobile communications, video conferencing and presence-enabled applications onto a common, IP-based network. But chances are that network is already burdened with a host of services, from email to SaaS applications to internet media streams to online storage to virtual desktops.

The more traffic is loaded onto the network—and the greater the distance between the users and the services consumed—the higher the risk of poor network performance and application failure. Unified communication applications, like many of today’s complex, network-dependent applications, falter and crash abruptly as soon as network performance degrades below a specific threshold. Even minor performance issues often result in degraded VoIP call quality, faltering video conferences, or complete service failure.

Companies that hope to simply drop in unified communications services and expect they’ll work with no significant hiccups are taking a major business risk. To assure service delivery, unified communications systems demand stable and dependable network performance. This means not just sufficient bandwidth, but also minimal latency, packet loss and jitter.

Traditional, SNMP-based network management tools aren’t capable of monitoring the experience of remote users accessing IP-based services, which are entirely dependent on real-time network performance. Netflow analysis tools can help bridge the performance management gap, but they generally require significant bandwidth and are expensive to deploy and manage. Few organizations have the cash to deliver netflow analysis to and at the remote sites where the capability is most needed.

Network engineers and CTOs are well aware that in many cases their tools lack the “intelligence” needed to manage service levels across an ever-growing range of IP-based applications, including unified communications. Problem resolution becomes a time-consuming crapshoot, and capacity planning is simply a question of “how much bandwidth can we afford?”

To understand what’s happening with unified communications at remote sites, you need integrated network performance management capabilities that enable you to continuously monitor service levels end-to-end across any network infrastructure running IP-based services—even those hosted by third parties. You need to be able to:

  • Quickly and accurately assess a network’s readiness for a new or expanded unified communications deployment
  • Continuously monitor the performance of on-premise, hosted SIP or fully hosted unified communications services over any network
  • Cost-effectively measure and report on specific SLAs to meet and ensure the performance needs of your users

AppNeta’s cloud-based network performance management solutions deliver the kind of unified communications monitoring that brings actionable insight into the network performance metrics that are vital to the success of your unified communications deployments.