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Managing VoIP as a Business Service

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    Managing VoIP as a Business Service Managing VoIP as a Business Service Document Transcript

    • An IT Briefing produced by Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • Managing VoIP as a Business Service By Chris Crowell © 2005 TechTarget Chris Crowell—As Chief Technology Officer for Aprisma Management Technologies Inc., Mr. Crowell has 20 years of experience leading software BIO development teams. He has worked with Aprisma’s SPECTRUM suite for over 10 years. Under his leadership, SPECTRUM has consistently increased product revenue and market share, earning a multitude of technical awards. This IT Briefing is based on an Aprisma/TechTarget Webcast, “Managing VoIP as a Business Service.” To view this webcast online, please click the link. This TechTarget IT Briefing covers the following topics: • Business Service Management Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 • What leading analyst firms are saying . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 • Aprisma Business Service Intelligence (BSI) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 • Managing VoIP: A Case Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 • Why Partner with Aprisma? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Copyright ©2005. Aprisma Management Technologies Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction, adaptation, or translation without prior written permission is prohibited, except as allowed under the copyright laws. About TechTarget IT Briefings TechTarget IT Briefings provide the pertinent information that senior-level IT executives and managers need to make educated purchasing deci- sions. Originating from our industry-leading Vendor Connection and Expert Webcasts, TechTarget-produced IT Briefings turn webcasts into easy-to-follow technical briefs, similar to a white paper. Design Copyright ©2005 TechTarget. All RightsReserved. For inquiries and additional information, contact: Dottie Luce Manager of Webcasts, TechTarget dluce@techtarget.com
    • Managing VoIP as a Business Service Business Service performance trends. At this level, IT does more advanced fault management, which may include root Management Overview cause analysis, and it can proactively set thresholds. At level three, IT has moved up to managing more What leading analyst firms are saying than just the components of the infrastructure and is Figure 1 illustrates Gartner Inc.’s IT Management managing from a service perspective, by providing Process Maturity Model. The model comprises real-time and historical services availability analysis. Gartner’s five levels of IT operational maturity. Under Some organizations at this level also maintain and the Gartner model, maturity is measured as a factor manage the service level agreement. At level four, the of effectiveness, but more importantly it is a factor ultimate, IT has realized alignment with the business. of how well IT is aligned with business initiatives. According to Gartner, most organizations are at level Gartner maps operational maturity into five levels. At one or level two. Many are striving for level three. Very level zero, IT operations are struggling to add value few have level four in sight. Gartner has discovered to the business, with chaotic management in place. organizations cannot skip levels. They have to At level one, IT has some level of control over inven- progress one level at a time. tory and it is capable of basic fault management, but it is still in reactive mode. At level two, IT has moved Organizations that are at level one or level two on on to having the ability to manage performance and Gartner’s model typically have traditional “silo” IT Figure 1 1 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • management in which network management, storage the end-to-end business service health. In other management and system management, for example, words, to manage a business service you need to each occur within their own “silos” rather than being map the service to the technologies that support the integrated. Roughly five years ago, large companies service. This mapping is the glue that aligns IT to the undertook ambitious IT projects with long timelines business, and businesses need both the tools and the and high costs. There, the objective was often the organizational structure to facilitate that service ori- right one but the benefit was rarely realized. IT entation. Gartner calls the mapping between IT and responded by deploying point products from many business services the IT service dependency map. At different vendors to fill specific needs. At many com- Aprisma, we refer to this concept as Technology panies there are separate groups and separate lines Relationship Mapping. of management reporting up through the CIO. This phenomenon is often called siloed management. Meta Group Inc. has a concept that is similar to Gartner’s IT Management Process Maturity model. Gartner breaks traditional silo IT management into Meta depicts this as a pyramid showing the path five major silos: network, storage, system, application companies must follow to move from being reactive and database (see Figure 2). In many companies, the to proactive or adaptive (see Figure 3). Meta found silo management approach resulted in little or no most organizations to be either at the reactive or process integration of either groups or tools. The managed level, working toward being proactive. In main problem with silo management is that business Meta’s view, at the peak of the pyramid, strategic services expand to silos. For example, a single appli- initiatives and the associated IT changes are easily cation can be dependent on a set of servers, the absorbed with minimal disruption to the business network and storage systems. The successful opera- services. Meta has also found few companies are tion of an application is dependent on all the areas ready to move to that adaptive level, for a variety of operating at satisfactory levels, not just one area. The reasons including not just technological obstacles dependencies between the infrastructure and the but also organizational barriers. business services need to be mapped to determine Figure 2 2 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • Figure 3 Both Meta and Gartner agree the industry is moving infrastructure on those business services—in other toward requiring IT-business alignment for future words, understanding the interdependencies that successes. As part of a study conducted in April exist between the technologies and how those tech- 2004, Meta asked over 300 senior IT executives to nologies relate back to the business services. list the key enablers to moving up its Organizational Maturity pyramid from reactive to adaptive. Meta BSI takes a proactive approach in capturing depen- analysts found that the network infrastructure and its dencies, keeping up with dependency changes and management were essential elements and that the providing operational performance information in initial concern in the area of investments would be business level terms. BSI also crosses technology with the network. The key takeaway message from and vendor silos within IT organizations to facilitate that study was that the successful operation of the the management effort. BSI is powered by intelligent network was the most important step in becoming an analysis capabilities. That intelligence is based on adaptive enterprise. sophisticated correlation capabilities that include model-based, rule-based and policy-based analytics. Aprisma Business Service The next section contains a case study concerning the deployment of VoIP and its management as an Intelligence (BSI) example of BSI in action. Whether one uses Gartner or Meta terminology, the overall trend of moving toward IT-business alignment Managing VoIP: A Case Study is called Business Service Management. Business VoIP is a major initiative for most organizations. Service Assurance falls under the umbrella of Most organizations have either already deployed VoIP Business Service Management. Aprisma’s methodol- or plan to deploy it. Enterprises view VoIP as a vehicle ogy for Business Service Assurance is called Business to controlling capital cost, to reducing operational Service Intelligence (BSI). BSI is based on under- cost, to fully utilizing the existing data infrastructure, standing the relationships and the impact of IT and to introducing applications that will help improve 3 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • employee productivity. Even with all that potential, ing the two offices via dual T-1 lines. In the New York there is some caution with VoIP. It is new technology office is the data center and the connection to the for many companies. The telephone is business Internet. For this enterprise, the objective is to imple- critical. The difference with VoIP and many past IT ment VoIP. But before the initiative can begin, there initiatives is that companies are looking for a means needs to be analysis and assessment to understand if to ensure a successful deployment and, once the current infrastructure can support a successful deployed, they want to ensure its continuous suc- VoIP deployment. The assessment will include inves- cessful operation. tigation into capacity, performance and asset avail- ability—among other things. The first metric we are VoIP is a business service that is delivered over an going to examine is the historical availability of the integrated set of applications, transport technologies, current infrastructure. The new VoIP infrastructure systems and networking hardware. SPECTRUM®, can and will only be deployed in a stable, highly avail- Aprisma’s product suite, provides tools that allow the able environment. user to follow a methodology for first assessing, second instrumenting, and third operationally main- SPECTRUM provides the proactive fault management taining any key business service. Figure 4 lists key solution to monitor for availability outages, analyze questions that must be answered. In order for the for root causes and record outage information. If any new service to be successful, an organization needs devices show a pattern of availability problems and to answer each of these questions in the affirmative. maintenance or replacement would be required, these capital or configuration changes need to occur Figure 5 shows a simplified network infrastructure for before the new VoIP service is deployed. SPECTRUM our VoIP case study company with the main office in device availability reports can show summary avail- New York and a remote office in Los Angeles. ability data, as well as detailed availability data in case SPECTRUM is already being used to discover and there is a problem. If availability seemed to be a map the network topology, and it is being used to problem at a high level, we could drill into a detailed manage the network. In this example we are connect- report that analyzes the root causes and the Figure 4 4 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • Figure 5 symptomatic events. In this particular example, the time measurement tests. Many hardware vendors infrastructure is stable and we can proceed with the have built response-time measurement test capabili- deployment. ties directly into the routers or switches and these tests can be configured remotely. Another important consideration is whether or not the infrastructure has the performance to support Unfortunately, most vendors provide an interface voice traffic. Voice traffic is unique in that packet but it is awkward to use, insufficient and often propri- delays will cause problems in the quality of the voice etary. If multiple devices from multiple vendors or signals to the listener. Delays between packets result agents are deployed, you must have a unique in broken words much like you might experience on a interface for each one of them. By contrast, the cell phone with poor signal strength. It is important SPECTRUM Service Performance Manager repre- to measure key VoIP performance metrics such as sents a common interface that greatly reduces the jitter, packet loss and latency as a step in understand- complexity of first determining what tests are sup- ing the network’s ability to support VoIP. Jitter, packet ported, and also it greatly reduces the administrative loss and latency tests can be set up and measured burden of configuring those tests. between the two main points in the network using SPECTRUM. The Service Performance Manager will automatically discover what devices and agents support response- Figure 6 shows the path of a jitter test that can be time measurement tests, and also discover on a initiated using the SPECTRUM Service Performance per-agent basis what tests can be initiated. In this Manager. This test will help us measure the ability to example we are looking for response-time measure- deliver a series of packets and measure the latency ment agents that support the jitter test. Once we between them. The SPECTRUM Service Performance have located an appropriate agent, we would use the Manager application is designed to work with application to configure a recurring test measuring deployed agents and devices that support response- general latency over the desired path shown in Figure 7. 5 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • Figure 6 Figure 7 6 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • SPECTRUM can also be configured to log response- way to ensure quality voice delivery is to make the time test data. We can use that as input to produce a voice traffic the highest priority. So we saturate the trend graph that will provide insight into the opera- WAN link. As a result of adding additional traffic, tional performance of the infrastructure over a period the voice may or may not be affected but any of the of time. With those graphs we can make more applications running over that link could be. informed decisions. These trends also provide a baseline for later comparison after making necessary In this example we are connecting the remote sales infrastructure changes to deploy VoIP. In this case we office in Los Angeles. At times the voice communica- are directing the result of the aforementioned jitter tion is business critical, so we need to ensure the test to the day log, and we are going to graph the proper capacity. Figure 9 depicts the bandwidth utili- trend over a three-month period (see Figure 8). This zation and plots the current WAN utilization versus a graph shows the jitter latency response-time test flat, three-month trend line. Again the blue line shows the and current latency versus a three-month trend. The trend and the red line shows the current weekly data. blue line in the graph is the trend and the red is the Note the trend is less than 40% utilization on the current weekly data. trunk T-1. Even in a fail-over state we are below satu- ration (100% utilization), and we should have only a The ITU standards organization recommends that jit- minor performance degradation in case of a failure. ter latency be under 150 milliseconds in order to have Though there is no current objection with the rollout, a quality voice signal. In Figure 8 the latency trend this area could cause concern down the road. We falls far below the 150 millisecond recommendation, may have to revisit this. which allows us to continue with the assessment. With the roll out of VoIP, we will be adding all sorts of Another performance metric we may look at is WAN equipment that requires port connectivity. The new utilization. The voice traffic will increase the load on equipment includes call managers, call gateways and the wide area lines. When voice is deployed, a typical many IP phones. One important consideration in the Figure 8 7 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • Figure 9 assessment phase is to understand if there is any to determine if the port is in fact usable for the VoIP new capital requirement. A prominent problem in service. today’s enterprises is understanding utilization of assets and reclaiming unused assets. That is espe- It may also be necessary to determine the current cially true at the port level. Even if the enterprise is firmware versions, the key devices in the infrastruc- fortunate enough to know which device assets are in ture. Older versions of firmware may or may not be use or are idle, rarely do enterprises know the utiliza- compatible with the requirements of voice traffic. In tion all the way down to the port level. many cases, older versions of firmware are not com- patible with voice traffic. So if the firmware version By running a report to identify the available ports in is below the required level, an assessment must be the infrastructure, a decision can be made to either done to determine if a firmware version upgrade reclaim and reuse the existing ports or buy new must be scheduled or if it is necessary to purchase equipment. In Figure 10 we want to run a report that new equipment because the firmware is not capable displays port availability. It not only shows the ports of supporting the voice traffic. that are administratively dormant, but also intelli- gently determines which ports are operationally With this SPECTRUM report (see Figure 11), you can dormant. Even if a port has a wire attached, it doesn’t run it against the entire infrastructure but the reports mean that it is in active use. With this report, we can also be scoped to include only a subset of analyze the traffic patterns over a period of time. This devices—by vendor, product type or any user-defined report can be scoped to include all the ports in the arbitrary group. This report can also be run to search entire network or its subsets. Here, we run it against for only versions of firmware that are known not to all the ports in all the equipment. You have the option support the new applications. By doing that, you get a to run it by vendor, by product type or any user- short list of devices that will absolutely require an defined arbitrary group. The report also identifies the upgrade or replacement. That allows the operations name, type and speed of the port, making it very easy or engineering teams to focus on the necessary upgrade plans. If a firmware upgrade is required, 8 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • Figure 10 Figure 11 9 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • SPECTRUM’s configuration management capabilities during the assessment phase. With VoIP, the call can be used to initiate those firmware upgrades. managers now become a critical piece of the infra- structure. If there is trouble or a delay in connecting Beyond those base sets of tests, we also want to to the call managers, that will affect the ability to measure and monitor key metrics specific to VoIP. make calls. The SPECTRUM Service Performance Quality of Service (QoS) is important to voice traffic. Manager is used to execute connection tests to these SPECTRUM provides the ability to discover QoS poli- critical applications. cies in traffic classes configured throughout the network (see Figure 12). Depending on the imple- For our implementation, DHCP and DNS services are mentation, VoIP may or may not be provisioned with also critical to the VoIP service and any performance more than one policy, but it is deployed with multiple associated with those applications will affect call policies so that for each policy we can monitor setup. So, in addition to the existing jitter packet loss detailed statistics on the operations specific to the and latency testing, new DNS and DHCP response- policy. The IT operations team must understand the time tests can be created using the SPECTRUM QoS policy to ensure the smooth and effective perfor- Service Performance Manager. These test the ability mance of IT-based applications like voice. for a request to be initiated through DNS and DHCP servers and their ability to respond to lookup or an After completion of the assessment analysis, we are address request in a timely fashion. We also need to ready to move ahead with deployment (see Figure 13). update the previously configured jitter test to include The VoIP infrastructure includes but is not limited to testing of a path to the newly deployed call gateway, IP phones connected to all the edge switches, redun- as well as to any edge switches providing connectivity dant call managers to the data center switches, and through the IP phones. These tests will enable both call gateways to the phone network. With the addition proactive, real-time notification of degradation of per- of new infrastructure components, we want to formance, as well as provide historical data for future expand the set of response-time tests we had set up trend comparisons. Figure 12 10 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • Figure 13 The SPECTRUM system and application monitoring seconds. At this point, we need to determine if that is agent can be installed to monitor the prospective acceptable jitter for the VoIP service. Recalling that operations of the data center servers as well the 150 milliseconds is the maximum recommended applications running on those servers. The threshold, we see that we are still below that level. SPECTRUM iAgent also provides the capability for Even with the new service deployed, we have proper outbound response-time testing from the data center performance criteria. servers to initiate other response-time tests. Finally, we can set up thresholds and track call statistics as Next, we will compare WAN bandwidth utilization to provided by the call managers. In this case, we are the pre-VoIP baseline. In Figure 16, the grey line tracking the average number of calls per second and shows the peaks of the previous trend. We can see capturing that information for graphing purposes. here the new peaks are above 50% utilization. In that With these graphs, we can understand and trend the case, if we had a failure of one of the T-1s at peak call volume (see Figure 14). time, that would definitely impact performance. We would have a saturated WAN link and that would After implementing the VoIP infrastructure and cause us to lose data. We would have to resend data instrumenting it, acceptance testing can be per- packets and any disruption in packet delivery will formed to see how the new environment is perform- cause an impact on the quality of the voice signal ing. This testing will include comparing the new itself. baselines to the pre-VoIP deployed baselines. The first step is to compare the all-important jitter results With the VoIP service fully deployed, we have created of the newly deployed VoIP infrastructure to those of all the test points we need to prepare for the day-to- the pre-VoIP infrastructure. day management. Of course we will need to be able to manage the components in the key performance In Figure 15, the grey lines represent the peaks of the metrics that we just set up, but we want to do this in before-VoIP baseline. The added VoIP service has terms of the service. The definition of that service is increased jitter latency by approximately 30 milli- provided through all those monitoring points used 11 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • Figure 14 Figure 15 12 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • Figure 16 during the instrumentation phase, including availabil- impact to understand the priority of the problem. ity, response time and performance. We map the This is shown here. Because of the WAN link failure, relationships between the components, the inter- both the finance department, and the remote sales mediate services like DNS and DHCP, and the VoIP office are highly impacted while the engineering service back to the customers or the business group has felt critical impact. owners. We make that observable through the management interface. The SPECTRUM service If it were budget time, there would be critical impact dashboard provides a service perspective to senior on the finance department, or at the end of a quarter management business owners and/or customers. there would be critical impact on the sales depart- These high-level consumers need a different perspec- ment. You could configure different times when it tive than the operational team. All stakeholders need had different levels of impact at different organiza- to understand service dependencies and impact, but tions. By clicking on the current outage tab in the from different perspectives. The service dashboard dashboard, you can see that a degraded WAN link is provides an at-a-glance interface for seeing the ser- impacting all the services at the remote office. In his vices, the relationships to other services, and the view, the dashboard shows the business manager current condition. that a troubleshooter has been assigned and is expected to fix the problem by 3PM. This knowledge Now that we have created an operational solution to arms senior management and the business owners manage the deployed service, let us look at it at a with information to prevent them from making failure scenario. The failure scenario involves the loss phone calls for status that take away from time spent of one of the redundant T-1 links, creating a partial fixing the problems. WAN failure. We see an indication of this in the SPECTRUM dashboard. In Figure 17 the SPECTRUM From an operations point of view, the operators dashboard shows a WAN-linked degradation that has who are monitoring the infrastructure (including impacted all services at the remote office. For senior the services) see a single alarm versus many alarms management, it is essential to see the customer in the operational console. SPECTRUM has done a 13 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • Figure 17 Figure 18 14 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • correlation that shows which services are impacted ing, retail, entertainment, service providers or the and the symptoms (see Figure 18). The operator can federal government space, SPECTRUM has been able easily focus on the root cause of the problem to get to reduce the time to find and fix problems while also the services back up and running, rather than wasting verifying and validating service quality. time looking at or working on symptomatic events that are not the root cause of the problem. Breaking down the functionality of SPECTRUM software, it is designed to help you manage what For services like VoIP, the determination of the matters. At a time when CIOs are looking to reduce availability is about the quality of service from the the number of vendors they need to work with, we perspective of the user experience. If the QoS is not can help reduce the number of tools required to at an acceptable level, there will be reliability prob- accomplish management and operations tasks. We lems or performance problems. A more thorough automatically discover and understand the relation- analysis needs to be conducted to drill down into the ships between IT infrastructure elements, the root cause of any outages, and we need to determine services they support, and the customers they serve. ways to improve the service to reach those acceptable Aprisma is unique in that we can proactively predict levels. problems rather than report on a problem after it has already happened. When things do go wrong, we pin- Why Partner with Aprisma? point the cause of those problems and provide you with an understanding of customers and services Aprisma Management Technologies’ SPECTRUM that are affected by the issue. If you are accelerating software manages the health and the performance of the service restoration, we provide you with action- networks and the business services that rely on them. able advice on how to fix the problem and we help We are fortunate to have over 1,000 customers in 40 you put in place new thresholds and monitoring countries. Aprisma's intellectual property portfolio is points to predict or prevent the problem from hap- very broad, having resulted from an R&D investment pening again in the future. of nearly $500 million over the last 15 years. We promise all of our clients that we will deliver our solu- We invite all prospective customers to come visit the tion on time and on budget. That means that within Aprisma offices in New Hampshire. We are a differ- about 30 days, you will be up and running with the ent company in that we believe there is nothing more software. In approximately 90 days, you will see tan- important than our customers. Our objective and gible, measurable impact both operationally and goal is to provide you with the information you need from a financial perspective. Our return on invest- to do your job better and spend less time doing it. ment has been documented independently. Whether This is a partnership, and it is our commitment that our customers are in financial services, manufactur- we will earn the right to your business every day. 15 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By:
    • About TechTarget We deliver the information IT pros need to be successful. TechTarget publishes targeted media that address your need for information and resources. Our network of industry-specific Web sites give enterprise IT professionals access to experts and peers, original content and link to relevant information from across the Internet. Our conferences give you access to vendor-neutral, expert commentary and advice on the issues and challenges you face daily. Practical technical advice and expert insights are distributed via more than 100 specialized e-mail newsletters, and our webcasts allow IT pros to ask questions of technical experts in real time. What makes us unique TechTarget is squarely focused on the enterprise IT space. Our team of editors and network of industry experts provide the richest, most relevant content to IT professionals. We leverage the immediacy of the Web, the networking and face-to-face opportunities of confer- ences, the expert interaction of Webcasts and Web radio, the laser-targeting of e-mail newsletters and the richness and depth of our print media to create compelling and actionable information for enterprise IT professionals. For more information, visit www.techtarget.com. Aprisma_0001_12/2004 16 IT Briefing: Managing VoIP as a Business Service Sponsored By: