Key point: Vivinet Assessor helps you understand whether or not your network can support VoIP traffic. Installing Assessor is straightforward and simple. Assessor is installed on one machine and freely distributable Performance Endpoints are installed on various other machines throughout the network. Assessor then discovers and reports on the current network devices. It checks to make sure all devices are compatible and/or have the appropriate service patches, capabilities, etc. Over a specified time frame ranging from one hour to seven days, Assessor emulates complex VoIP traffic. It collects network metrics and bandwidth requirements needed to support VoIP.
Benefits: Network inventory – This feature is a huge time saver since this is done automatically. An individual doesn’t have to walk around to each device and manually determine if it is appropriate for VoIP. Call quality – This is measured by both time and location. That way you can tell, for example, that calls between your Raleigh and San Jose offices are crystal clear yet between San Jose and Houston, the quality is suffering. In addition, you may find that call quality drops in the morning hours when usage is likely to be heaviest. Since Assessor considers other traffic on the network, as well, the prediction is comprehensive and accurate. CODECs – Different CODECs can be used with VoIP. Each one provides pluses and minuses, so Vivinet Assessor can help you decide which to use. QoS – Assessor lets you know how effective your QoS efforts will be. This addresses your need to maintain high call quality. Reports – Clearly defined metrics are presented with quality and availability benchmarks for easy comparison and are simple enough for non-technical readers to understand. For example, you are presented with a MOS (mean opinion score) that is based on the industry standard E-model specified in the ITU recommendation G.107 . Typically, a score over 4.03 provides acceptable quality. This metric provides you with a “go/no go” recommendation.
Key point: Adding voice to already complicated networks is asking for trouble if proper planning and testing isn’t done. There are a lot of questions and uncertainties when a network has changes made to it. It is important to understand the impact of your actions and how it will affect not only VoIP, but also other networked applications. It’s best to answer these questions in the lab first.
Key point: Chariot tests VoIP-enabled network equipment and troubleshoots and tunes network performance in preparation for VoIP (in a lab environment) . Chariot is a testing tool used in a lab environment to test various setups, configurations and network designs. Chariot allows you to understand the impact your changes will have on the network (in a controlled environment) before you make them on your production network. Since adding VoIP can impact other applications and play havoc on network performance, it is important to test changes. Chariot allows you to test VoIP-enabled network equipment to understand how it will perform. You can also evaluate the effectiveness of QoS efforts and test your network capacity.
Benefits: Evaluate potential resolutions – Chariot allows you to evaluate the various options you may have to resolve problems. The integration between the products is demonstrated here. As Assessor determines if your network can handle VoIP, it identifies problems. What it doesn’t do is provide you with resolutions. Using Chariot’s VoIP Test Module, you can evaluate potential changes. Validate – You can use Chariot to ensure that your network and equipment changes will work. Understand performance impact – Since VoIP is so demanding, it is possible that other network elements will be impacted by VoIP’s introduction. Chariot will allow you to understand what that impact will be and how you can accommodate for it. Prioritization – One method to address the performance impact is to use prioritization techniques. Chariot allows you to test those techniques in a lab environment and adjust appropriately.
Key point: Quickly diagnosing problems is key to successful VoIP efforts Determining what is causing a call quality or availability problem is not easy to diagnose and/or resolve. It normally takes someone with the right mix of skills that understands the VoIP environment and has the technical know-how to make the appropriate fixes. Troubleshooters need to be skilled with numerous monitoring and diagnostic tools, which you may or may not have, much less know how to use properly. Troubleshooting takes time and money. When problems occur, and they will occur, you need to be able quickly address them so as not to threaten the success of your VoIP deployment.
Key point: Vivinet Diagnostics pinpoints call quality problems in minutes Vivinet Diagnostics simplifies resolution. Simply provide two phone numbers or IP addresses and Vivinet Diagnostics does the rest. It will analyze the network path between the phones, all the while gathering information to diagnose the problem. Once all the information has been collected, Vivinet Diagnostics will provide you with a prioritized list of issues to address.
Benefits: Time spent – Time is valuable and Vivinet Diagnostics reduces troubleshooting to mere minutes. Being able to send a prioritized list of potential problems to a tech resource cuts down their time diagnosing and moves them straight to solving the issue. Reduces skills – Makes it easier to find personnel that can provide troubleshooting. Troubleshooting without Vivinet Diagnostics often requires multiple tools. Chances that, one, you have those tools, and two, have someone that knows how to use them all correctly are slim. Minimizes tools – This is one simple software solution as opposed to multiple hardware boxes. Pre- and post-deployment – Vivinet Diagnostics can be used before and after VoIP goes live. Since all of the products integrate, Diagnostics can be used at any time. Minimal configuration – Wizard-like user interface. All that has to be entered are two phone numbers or IP addresses and you’re off and running.
Key point: Management is key to delivering acceptable availability and quality Once VoIP is deployed, the job is far from done. It is absolutely necessary to keep on top of the VoIP environment to maximize uptime, reliability and quality. What are the metrics that you’re looking to maintain? Beyond that, if you are “reacting” to problems as they occur, chances are that you’re violating your service levels. Five nines of service means 5 minutes of downtime over the course of a year. Reacting to problems is too late and too slow. You need to proactively manage.
Key point: Vivinet Manager d elivers comprehensive real-time voice and video monitoring and management Vivinet Manager is a comprehensive management system for Cisco AVVID environments. NetIQ has chosen to focus specifically on AVVID first and, in time, will address other systems such as Avaya, Nortel and Alcatel (not necessarily in that order). The user has the option of using a Vivinet Manager specific-console (either web or application-based) or integrating into your current management system. Supported systems include Micromuse Netcool/OMNIbus, HP OpenView and Tivoli Enterprise. With dozens of pre-configured Knowledge Scripts, you can automate your operations and monitoring policies. These are available out-of-the-box and are simple to put into action. Problem management is automated and when combined with sophisticated alerting capabilities, you’ll often receive a message telling you that a specific problem was addressed and fixed before you even knew there was an issue. In addition, the reporting capabilities allow you to measure call quality, usage trends and overall performance. This can be used to perform capacity planning for future expansion of your VoIP deployment.
Benefits: Simplifies management – Vivinet Manager provides you with a “single pane of glass” to manage your entire voice and video environment. If you choose to use the built-in console or use our connectors to other management systems, you will have to look at only one screen. Maximize uptime – using 24x7 proactive management increases the system uptime Lowers support costs – pre-configured Knowledge Scripts automate common maintenance reducing the need to have a tech support resource handle routine maintenance. Rapidly identify critical problems – Vivinet Manager’s constant monitoring capabilities rapidly identifies critical problems and often resolves them before you even know they have occurred. Manage from anywhere – Alerts can be sent via e-mail, pager, SNMP trap, etc. Choose the method most appropriate for you. Stay on top – With one integrated solution managing your entire voice and video environment, you can ensure that your monitoring and management maintain your quality and availability.
NetIQ Corporation 1100 Perimeter Park Drive Suite 104 Morrisville, NC 27560-9119 (919) 469-0997 http://www.netiq.com/voip/ VoIP Implementation & Management
Steps in Implementing VoIP Assess network readiness for voice, audio, video Real-time monitoring of call quality, server health, & network performance Test and tune networks and equipment Isolate faults and determine the cause of problems Assess - Test - Monitor - Diagnose