From Pilot to
                                                 Production: Managing
Legal Notice
NetIQ AppManager is covered by United States Patent No(s): 05829001, 05986653, 05999178, 06078324, 06397359,
   For many enterprises, there comes a point when the move toward the next generation of convergence
   and integ...
This paper reviews pain points and best practices for managing the transition of VoIP deployments
       from the pilot or...
Unifying Communications for Business Advantage
   Convergence is a hot buzzword that has been cycling around voice and dat...
The SOA approach is young and evolving, but it’s being embraced by the entire vendor community.
       Many application ve...
Now is the time to review the findings and analyze any network shortfalls. Are upgrades needed to
    network hardware? Do...
Moving Forward: Putting VoIP into Production
       When you move forward into production with VoIP services, you want to ...
IP phone functionality needs continual monitoring to ensure service levels are meeting your needs.
    You should monitor ...
QoE vs. QoS
       QoS may be an important element of technical issues such as SLA compliance, but meeting the user’s
Do-It-Yourself vs. Using a Solution Suite
    When it comes to management and monitoring, you might choose from two fundam...
Report on and review VoIP service
                      levels                                      Assess network readine...
NetIQ Vivinet Diagnostics helps quickly pinpoint any VoIP call quality issues and narrows
   remediation efforts to the ro...
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From Pilot to Production: Managing Your VoIP Service ...

  1. 1. From Pilot to Production: Managing Contents Your VoIP Service Implementation Overview................................. 1 Unifying Communications for Business Advantage............... 3 White Paper Why the Pilot Was Vital: Lessons Learned .................... 4 July 2007 Evaluating the Pilot for Success .................................... 4 Moving Forward: Putting VoIP into Production ............ 6 This paper describes the VoIP network management life cycle, Best Practices for Rolling Out discusses what you need to know to put VoIP into production, VOIP to a Multi-Branch and presents best practices for rolling out VoIP. Company ................................ 8 Do-It-Yourself vs. Using a Solution Suite ......................... 9 Summary .............................. 11
  2. 2. Legal Notice NetIQ AppManager is covered by United States Patent No(s): 05829001, 05986653, 05999178, 06078324, 06397359, 06408335. THIS DOCUMENT AND THE SOFTWARE DESCRIBED IN THIS DOCUMENT ARE FURNISHED UNDER AND ARE SUBJECT TO THE TERMS OF A LICENSE AGREEMENT OR A NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT. EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY SET FORTH IN SUCH LICENSE AGREEMENT OR NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT, NETIQ CORPORATION PROVIDES THIS DOCUMENT AND THE SOFTWARE DESCRIBED IN THIS DOCUMENT "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW DISCLAIMERS OF EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES IN CERTAIN TRANSACTIONS; THEREFORE, THIS STATEMENT MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. This document and the software described in this document may not be lent, sold, or given away without the prior written permission of NetIQ Corporation, except as otherwise permitted by law. Except as expressly set forth in such license agreement or non-disclosure agreement, no part of this document or the software described in this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, or otherwise, without the prior written consent of NetIQ Corporation. Some companies, names, and data in this document are used for illustration purposes and may not represent real companies, individuals, or data. This document could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically made to the information herein. These changes may be incorporated in new editions of this document. NetIQ Corporation may make improvements in or changes to the software described in this document at any time. © 1995-2007 NetIQ Corporation, all rights reserved. U.S. Government Restricted Rights: If the software and documentation are being acquired by or on behalf of the U.S. Government or by a U.S. Government prime contractor or subcontractor (at any tier), in accordance with 48 C.F.R. 227.7202-4 (for Department of Defense (DOD) acquisitions) and 48 C.F.R. 2.101 and 12.212 (for non-DOD acquisitions), the government’s rights in the software and documentation, including its rights to use, modify, reproduce, release, perform, display or disclose the software or documentation, will be subject in all respects to the commercial license rights and restrictions provided in the license agreement. Check Point, FireWall-1, VPN-1, Provider-1, and SiteManager-1 are trademarks or registered trademarks of Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. ActiveAgent, ActiveAnalytics, ActiveAudit, ActiveReporting, ADcheck, AppAnalyzer, AppManager, the cube logo design, Directory and Resource Administrator, Directory Security Administrator, Domain Migration Administrator, Exchange Administrator, File Security Administrator, IntelliPolicy, Knowing is Everything, Knowledge Scripts, Mission Critical Software for E-Business, MP3check, NetConnect, NetIQ, the NetIQ logo, NetIQ Change Administrator, NetIQ Change Guardian, NetIQ Compliance Suite, NetIQ Group Policy Administrator, NetIQ Group Policy Guardian, NetIQ Group Policy Suite, the NetIQ Partner Network design, NetIQ Patch Manager, NetIQ Risk and Compliance Center, NetIQ Secure Configuration Manager, NetIQ Security Administration Suite, NetIQ Security Analyzer, NetIQ Security Manager, NetIQ Vulnerability Manager, PSAudit, PSDetect, PSPasswordManager, PSSecure, Server Consolidator, VigilEnt, Vivinet, Work Smarter, and XMP are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetIQ Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other company and product names mentioned are used only for identification purposes and may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
  3. 3. Overview For many enterprises, there comes a point when the move toward the next generation of convergence and integration stalls. You made the decision to do a VoIP pilot program. You invested the effort in doing all the right prep work. Now you’re ready to move from the pilot phase to production—or are you? In far too many cases, businesses never quite make the leap out of the pilot phase into production services with IP Telephony (IPT). There are a number of legitimate reasons for a project to stall. Some enterprises fear that quality of voice communications might not be what they had hoped for, leading them to re-evaluate if, when, and how they will deploy VoIP into their business environment. A shift into analysis paralysis, or deferring action while “we think about it further,” can delay an implementation for months. But why let the VoIP implementation project stall after the pilot or concept testing is completed? For many organizations, two facets of the VoIP implementation get downplayed or overlooked entirely: management and monitoring. Voice communication is a mission-critical service in the enterprise. It’s as crucial as the data services. You know from the network readiness assessment and pilot testing that your IP networking infrastructure can support VoIP services, but are you ready to embrace the necessary management to support IP-based voice services? Several key metrics impact the smoothness of the transition from traditional telephone services to IPT: • Call quality—Call quality embraces far more than voice quality. It’s easy to get caught up in technical concerns over bandwidth, delay, and jitter, but call quality goes beyond that. If you think of Quality of Service (QoS) as the technical side of VoIP services, consider the Quality of Experience (QoE), or the user experience, as the human side. On the QoE side of the equation, you monitor factors such as how quickly dial tone is delivered, call setup and teardown times, ease of use, and of course, the quality of the voice conversation. • Cutover downtime impact—The cutover itself will have some impact. Methodical planning and use of a phased approach can minimize the disruption to daily business operations. • Internal communications—How you share information about the transition will have a huge impact on how smoothly it goes. If users know what is coming and understand the phases of the rollout, they are generally more receptive and supportive than if they get an email that simply says “On Friday we’ll be converting to a new phone system.” Training and open discussion of the change help eliminate general complaints about the phone system being down. And the system doesn’t need to leave users out of service. Good planning can ensure a smooth, painless transition. • Security when connecting to external resources—Because the proof-of-concept or pilot testing is often done inside the enterprise, connections to outside networks, such as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) or Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) peering with an extranet business partner, may be overlooked in the early phases of planning. If they weren’t considered in the pilot phase, they have to be address before moving into production. • Service monitoring—For many businesses, the readiness assessment and pilot testing overlook the need to monitor. Voice services are critical to the life of an enterprise. Including monitoring plans is a vital component of the VoIP migration project plan from pilot to cutover into live production. 1
  4. 4. This paper reviews pain points and best practices for managing the transition of VoIP deployments from the pilot or proof-of-concept phase into production and culminates in how NetIQ’s VoIP solution supports the complete VoIP service life cycle. Figure 1: The basic service management life cycle. This paper takes a general view of the network management life cycle as Figure 1 shows. The life cycle encompasses four basic phases: • Assessment—In this phase, you identify business requirements and conduct the readiness assessment to establish baseline capabilities of the network and determine whether the network can support the integration of VoIP, and perhaps video, with the IP data infrastructure. • Pre-Deployment—At this stage, you create service maps of all network services and develop service assurance levels and service level agreements (SLAs). It is here that the monitoring policies and management methods are defined as well. • Ongoing Monitoring—In daily operations, you monitor service, prioritize changes, and respond to any service impairments. For ease of operations, automate as much of this as possible to speed problem diagnosis and resolution. • Reporting and Planning—Ongoing, continual monitoring and measurement in operations produces reports on service levels for analysis, as well as information about outages and problems. This business intelligence provides input for service improvement plans to sustain the mission-critical service. These plans then feed directly into the assessment phase, allowing you to understand any impact they will have when implemented in production. By taking a methodical approach to every phase of the life cycle, you help ensure comprehensive management and monitoring of the VoIP service network as well as ease the deployment and multi- branch rollout of any growth or new VoIP environments. 2 White Paper
  5. 5. Unifying Communications for Business Advantage Convergence is a hot buzzword that has been cycling around voice and data networking technologies for 10 years or more. Unified communications is just another slant on convergence or integration. It’s important for a variety of reasons. One of the foremost drivers of integrating voice and data is cost consolidation. The expense of maintaining dual networks, carrying voice traffic on one and data on another, is simply unnecessary. These two networks operate on the same cable plant or wiring scheme used through an office location. Internally, within the enterprise, it should only require half the physical wiring. The cost consolidation of outward networking is another factor. A connection from the PBX to the PSTN costs a significant amount of money. So does a connection from the data network to the Internet. It’s reasonable to expect that consolidating those two, onto a single circuit to a unified communications provider, should drive down cost. And it should drive down billing complexity as well. Those are two aspects of infrastructure convergence, but there are others. For large enterprise businesses, the issue of managing separate voice and data networks also encompasses soft costs. For many organizations, two separate technical groups provide service management, monitoring, and support. Unifying onto a single IP-based architecture also allows for the consolidation of staff in terms of cost and technical resources. A Cost Consolidation Warning • An overly aggressive manager might approach the integration of voice and data services with the wild-eyed idea that there is a linear reduction in staff when voice and data converge. Practical experience has shown that this often isn’t the case. Because the IT staff supporting the data network will be learning VoIP as something new, and the telephony support staff will be learning IP-networking technologies, it’s wise to not get too aggressive in considering staff reduction. • Most organizations experience a gain in resources, but from a different angle. As the converged service delivery team evolves, the skill sets broaden and overlap. This can allow for some thoughtful reduction, but more often provides knowledgeable resources that can begin to engage in new projects. Unified communications has broadened the concept of convergence well beyond simply integrating voice and data onto a single infrastructure. Today, companies are exploring Software Oriented Architectures (SOAs). From an SOA view, data and voice evolve to become services on the network that can be called from any network resource. In the past, telephones and PCs called voice and data services. SOA moves beyond these resources to the applications running within the network. The integration of services moving voice to VoIP on the IP network sets the stage for the next evolutionary cycle of integration and convergence. SOA presents a vision of voice services coupled with enterprise applications. The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system might be tightly coupled with outbound voice calling services. The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system might integrate a supply chain management module with data integration to extranet vendor partners. Even the human resource systems might provide simpler mechanisms for requesting and deploying new phone numbers, LAN connections, and workstations for newly hired employees. 3
  6. 6. The SOA approach is young and evolving, but it’s being embraced by the entire vendor community. Many application vendors are now using their ability to integrate software with voice and data services as a differentiator. If you accept that convergence as a concept has evolved to become what is now called Unified Communications, the next cycle of evolution is likely to be the shift to SOA. Why the Pilot Was Vital: Lessons Learned The proof-of-concept or pilot testing provides valuable insight into the network’s capabilities. The process of readiness assessment and pilot testing provides crucial business intelligence about the state of your network and its ability to deliver VoIP services. Through these efforts, you come to better understand your business call flows and volumes. The patterns for inbound and outbound calls may be very different, but you’ve identified what they are. You have critical knowledge of your requirements and capabilities. Remember that the telephone network is a mission-critical facet of business operations. The phone network is built to support 99.999 percent uptime, which equates to roughly five minutes of downtime per year. Corporate networks rarely provide this level of reliability today. Thus, some redesign effort may be required to provide suitable reliability in the data network. Many VoIP projects begin with the implicit understanding that network upgrades will be required. Network elements such as routers may already be running at high CPU utilization or unable to support VoIP services. WAN links may be overburdened supporting existing data applications. Network capacity in terms of bandwidth and processing power are vital factors in deploying any new service. The pitfall of upgrading before implementing VoIP is the need for multiple upgrades. A smart approach is to assess and understand calling requirements in conjunction with existing data services. Evaluate planned new data services as well as voice requirements. Rather than upgrading prematurely, focus early on data gathering and information analysis. This methodical approach yields a better network design with the capacity to support a successful pilot deployment and expand to provide for all the needs of the business. Evaluating the Pilot for Success In the planning and assessment phase, you gathered requirements for the new VoIP service. You also have information gathered and took steps that set the stage for the design and pilot testing. Was the Pilot a Success? How Do You Determine the Next Steps? Once the pilot is complete, it is common to ask the wrong question: Was it successful? The more relevant question to ask is whether you learned what you need to know. A pilot should be viewed much like an exercise. It’s more than just evaluation of a particular vendor’s technology and testing of design concepts. The pilot is also an opportunity for gap analysis in testing earlier assumptions you had made about the network. You have identified the requirements. The pilot provided real user interaction, so you can tweak expectations of the production environment. 4 White Paper
  7. 7. Now is the time to review the findings and analyze any network shortfalls. Are upgrades needed to network hardware? Do you need to implement QoS? Should you do so by adding virtual local area network (VLAN) technology or Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)? Do you meet the call quality and service delivery needs? The Success Factors for Progress This is not the time to let the VoIP migration project stall. If that happens, when you readdress it a year from now, or more, you will have to repeat all the work you just finished. This is a critical time to map your strategy for moving forward and not losing momentum. Business Decisions and Factors From a business perspective, it’s vital that you document and validate the business drivers behind your migration to converged technologies. Cost recovery and reduction are always factors in business. When integrating data and VoIP services, there may be staff reorganization and management factors to consider as well. There is a danger in overlooking improved efficiencies in what is perhaps the most important business factor: day-to-day work flow. Business process changes might be tweaked and honed for greater efficiency and improved productivity. For many organizations, VoIP implementation leads to a business process re-engineering exercise to tighten up work tasks and become more competitive. This is a good time to develop the roadmap to further integration with business applications you’re planning to deploy in the coming year. Technical Decisions and Factors It’s time to plan the three-to-five-year roadmap for the future of the technology infrastructure while forging ahead with the planned VoIP implementation. As you move from pilot to production, you will deploy new methods for managing and monitoring the network. For some organizations, this transition from pilot into production stalls due to a needless “deer in the headlights” moment of panic. If you overreact, the project might stall, wasting all the effort you’ve put in. Instead, you must recognize that voice services are not new to the VoIP implementation, but have been a mission- critical business tool for years. Convergence doesn’t put voice at risk by moving it to the IP network. Rather, integrating voice and data embraces a new reality of the information age; one often left unspoken. The IP network is also a mission-critical business tool. Gone are the days when the corporate LAN can deliver unreliable service or leave the business without email for a day. Convergence and integration signal that you have accepted technology as a vital business tool—vital for business, for competition, and even for business survival. Your strategies for managing and monitoring the network are shifting to become your technology dashboard for monitoring the health of business workflows. 5
  8. 8. Moving Forward: Putting VoIP into Production When you move forward into production with VoIP services, you want to adhere, as much as practical, to the earlier baselines established during the assessment, design, and pilot testing phases. You’re moving beyond planning and probing into the most exciting part of the deployment. You will get to reap the benefits of the hard work that has gotten you this far. What Do You Need to Monitor and Manage? Over the years, telephone callers have come to expect a preconceived level of performance in a number of areas. Through planning and testing, you’ve identified which QoS and QoE measures count. Now it’s simply a matter of ensuring the network is ready to deliver, then monitoring to make sure conditions are stable and that you’re getting what you need from your resources. The Elements of the Network to Monitor and Manage and Why You need comprehensive monitoring of the VoIP service and the network elements that deliver that service. Whenever a new device registers with the network—whether it’s a telephone set, a gateway, or some other element—there will be an audit entry to review. Registration problems can lead to service availability problems. You’ll want to be alerted when the number of registration attempts or failures exceeds predefined thresholds. An unexpected change in the number of registered telephones could indicate a problem with the network. Monitoring gateway registration can help identify new or missing servers. Call monitoring isn’t eavesdropping on individual calls. You need to monitor calls for traffic monitoring. This means monitoring incoming and outgoing call volumes to identify failures. If the VoIP system supports fax calling, attempted fax calls also need to be monitored. For most organizations, call monitoring focuses on the following four areas: • Calls in progress—Every time a VoIP phone goes “off hook,” a call is in progress until it goes back “on hook.” Calls in progress that are successful are active calls. • Active calls—Active calls have successfully connected a voice path. In short, two people can talk. Remember back in the assessment phase, you designed the system to determine how many active calls it needed to support. Monitoring the active calls ensures you aren’t outgrowing your design. As the business grows, this will be one of the first indicators that you need to start increasing calling capacity. • Attempted calls—Ideally every call in progress will complete as an active call, but in reality that just doesn’t happen. Monitoring calls that were attempted provides information about the peak periods. It helps you identify the busy hour call attempt (BHCA) value for network sizing and capacity. • Completed calls—A completed call is any phone call that is successful and didn’t end abnormally. Monitoring completed calls also helps you understand the peak periods and the BHCA value. Because VoIP services usually interconnect to the PSTN through gateways, you need to monitor gateways and the PSTN side of the VoIP service network, which is often made up of T-1 circuits. Monitoring these links to the PSTN provides important information about calling patterns and busy hour peak call volumes. Baseline data can help identify underutilized circuits so you don’t pay for capacity you aren’t using. 6 White Paper
  9. 9. IP phone functionality needs continual monitoring to ensure service levels are meeting your needs. You should monitor IP phones for their registration status, the validity of their dial tones, jitter, latency, and lost packet count. These QoS parameters directly affect service delivery. Monitoring Bandwidth and QoS As new applications are added to the network over time, there is always a risk of oversubscribing network links. Oversubscription leads to congestion; congestion may degrade call quality. Packet loss and increased delay are common side effects of congestion. Both can render VoIP services unusable, so you need to monitor basic packet delivery across the network. You may have determined in earlier readiness, design, and testing that VoIP traffic needed some kind of prioritization over other kinds of network traffic. The main objective of any QoS mechanism is to ensure that each type of traffic—data, voice, and video—receives the preferential treatment it deserves. If you have implemented QoS to reduce or eliminate delay, for example, now you’ll need to monitor it to make sure your design is working effectively. The basic metrics you will monitor to keep your service in top condition aren’t daunting. And they’re easily managed by network tools. You are simply ensuring that you are bringing the right tools into the mix to support the work you’ve put into developing VoIP services: • Delay, or latency, is simply an estimate of the network delivery time expressed in milliseconds. The end-to-end delay, or latency, as measured between endpoints is a key factor in determining VoIP call quality, and is considered a routine part of monitoring. • Jitter is nothing more than the variation in the arrival rate of packets. Jitter gives you a view of the consistency or predictability of your network. You know jitter causes problems with VoIP service. Networks can compensate for jitter by implementing jitter buffers to normalize the timing of the traffic flow. Once you’ve performed a pilot and know what you need, jitter monitoring is just another technical tool for providing a continuous health check on the state of the network. • Packet loss indicates a packet lost during transmission. In VoIP, packet loss could mean the loss of an entire syllable or word during the course of a conversation. This loss can severely impact voice calls, and is tracked by monitoring the number of packets that were expected against the number actually received. • Mean Opinion Score (MOS) is a subjective measure used to score the quality of how the audio sounds in telephone calls. There are a number of technical solutions for monitoring MOS. Voice quality measurement can be either non-intrusive or intrusive. Non-intrusive tests are usually based on monitoring actual voice conversations that take place during daily business. Intrusive testing requires placing test calls across the network. Monitoring and Managing the VoIP Service Delivery QoS is a measurement of how you treat the packets traversing the network. It includes the monitoring of delay, jitter, packet loss, and network availability. Although a measure of instantaneous QoS metrics is important, it only provides a rough approximation of the user’s complete QoE. In VoIP systems, QoE is defined as a telephony system user’s perception of the quality of the communication being experienced. QoE takes into account the cumulative effect of network characteristics on the human speech being transmitted. 7
  10. 10. QoE vs. QoS QoS may be an important element of technical issues such as SLA compliance, but meeting the user’s QoE expectations is the key to a successful VoIP implementation. QoE is more than just the audio quality of the voice conversation. Monitoring solutions also provide tools to monitor how quickly users get dial tone when picking up the receiver, how quickly calls ring through to the other end, how efficiently connections are torn down when the caller hangs up, echo or noise on the line, and a number of other factors. Many aspects of QoS might be measured in incremental links across the network but total QoS and real-world QoE are end-to-end measures of the complete user experience. Solid network monitoring and management tools provide for end-to-end testing and alerting capabilities when expected parameters aren’t met. Best Practices for Rolling Out VOIP to a Multi-Branch Company When deploying VoIP across the enterprise, one of the most successful approaches is to keep simplicity in mind and try not to do everything at once. Perhaps the riskiest thing an implementation project manager can undertake is a “flash cut.” The idea that on Monday everyone will come in and have new phones and be operational on the new system sounds so appealing that it can be very tempting. In a single site implementation, this can be quite successful, and may indeed be the best approach. In a multi-branch company, it makes far more sense, and yields a much higher success rate, to take a phased approach. Cut over one or more sites each week on an implementation rollout plan. The larger the enterprise, the greater the likelihood you will learn lessons unique to your company along the way. In other words, although cutovers might have challenges at the beginning, by the time the migration wave washes across the entire enterprise, the problems will have all been identified; a methodical cutover means smooth sailing. For example, in a nationwide enterprise, use the idea of following the sun for cutover work. Don’t start work at 1:00 PM on the West Coast if people on the East Coast are involved in the cutover work. Plan the cutover to coincide with working hours, or coordinate time-of-day planning throughout the implementation project. One danger with pilot testing can be enticing: You cannot afford to plan a pilot, then decide partway in that it is good enough and just start rolling out production services. Do not give in to the temptation. It’s important to complete a pilot and assess any lessons learned. By letting a pilot proceed to production without undergoing a thorough test, you risk learning your lessons during real- life business operations. It is best to avoid identifying problems with the VoIP service while the CEO is on a crucial business call with the board of directors. Make sure your pilot is truly a pilot. You will come away from a completed pilot having learned several lessons. Some of these lessons will validate things you already know; many others will provide insight into your network’s architecture and capabilities. A good pilot provides data for reassessing your network’s design. When moving forward from a pilot, keep in mind these best practices, which are simple and general in nature: • Build for today • Upgrade the network in stages as needed • Plan for tomorrow 8 White Paper
  11. 11. Do-It-Yourself vs. Using a Solution Suite When it comes to management and monitoring, you might choose from two fundamentally different approaches. You might choose to do it all yourself. By using commercial software packages, shareware, and open source tools, an organization can build an effective management and monitoring suite on its own. If you’re considering that approach, the first thing you need to ask yourself is why? For most organizations that seriously look at the do-it-yourself approach, the baseline driver is often cost. There is a preconceived notion that commercial management and monitoring packages are just too expensive. The danger of doing it yourself is far greater than this simple cost-based mindset demonstrates: • Who will integrate management tools from different sources into a common corporate dashboard? • Do you have the resources in house? • Do you want or need the resources for this sort of work in house? • Would you rather focus on the core mission of your business? • Will your staff think of everything you need to manage and monitor, or would you rather partner with a vendor to incorporate an integrated suite of tools and applications designed to let you manage the resources of your network without becoming your own vendor? Consider this: Should you choose to assemble your own custom toolset for management and monitoring, will you have the in-house resources to help when a service disruption occurs or a security breach endangers your network? You may not have a trusted vendor or partner who can step in to help identify and analyze a problem so that you can quickly take the right steps for remediation. The danger of doing it yourself is that you might have to do more than you want to. Doing it yourself is a business decision that is not without risk. And although there is risk in any business decision, working with a reputable solution vendor can bring tremendous strength of knowledge to the effort. Consider the value-added NetIQ VoIP solution. It supports the complete life-cycle management (see Figure 2) and provides support for both Cisco and Nortel applications, thereby easing the management of and daily operations for several of the major IP telephony solutions deployed in enterprise VoIP networks. 9
  12. 12. Report on and review VoIP service levels Assess network readiness for VoIP AppManager Analysis Center Vivinet Assessor Call Data Analysis Assure VoIP services Define VoIP SLAs and AppManager for VoIP set monitoring policies Vivinet Diagnostics AppManager for VoIP VoIP Security Solution AppManager Control Center Figure 2: NetIQ support for VoIP management life cycle. Emerging telecommunication technologies such as VoIP can provide a competitive edge in business. Managing these technologies to sustain the necessary performance, availability, and reliability can be a complex role. The NetIQ VoIP solution can help play a vital role in ensuring: • VoIP servers and voicemail systems are up and working • IP data networks continue operating properly to sustain business operations • Call quality meets user needs both in QoS and QoE • VoIP services are secure, assuring system integrity and availability In doing so, the VoIP solution helps organizations avoid problems and enhance efficiency in IT operations. Automating oversight of service delivery maximizes use of staff time and helps make the most effective use of server and network resources. NetIQ Vivinet Assessor helps you identify and document how well your network can support VoIP before you deploy anything new. It helps identify the call quality you will be able to expect from your network after implementation. It provides predictive modeling capabilities to ensure you can match your live production network, helps gather the appropriate metrics to ensure accuracy, and simulates background traffic to closely match the real-world operating environment. Vivinet Assessor also helps build a network inventory through a set of automated tools. Assessing your network on a regular basis will continue to ensure that your network will be able to support changes and updates that occur not only as a result of VoIP updates such as new phones, but changes to other IT operations, such as newly deployed servers or applications. You need continuous management and monitoring throughout the life cycle in order to guarantee the QoS and experience that business communications requires. NetIQ AppManager for VoIP delivers a solution for managing, securing, diagnosing, and analyzing the performance and availability of VoIP services infrastructure. By simplifying management of VoIP services and incorporating powerful reporting capabilities, you can maximize the availability and performance of the network. You can use these tools to extend VoIP expertise to the corporate dashboard environment, always monitoring the health of the network and services running within the enterprise. 10 White Paper
  13. 13. NetIQ Vivinet Diagnostics helps quickly pinpoint any VoIP call quality issues and narrows remediation efforts to the root cause quickly and effectively. It brings advanced capability in automated monitoring, reducing the technical skill level required to maintain a healthy VoIP service. Vivinet Diagnostics is easy to use in daily operations, and can give your staff the information it needs to troubleshoot complex VoIP problems in Cisco and Nortel environments. Data pulled by Vivinet Diagnostics can be communicated to NetIQ AppManager for enhanced reporting via Analysis Center and predictive performance management with AppManager Performance Profiler as well. Summary You completed much of the difficult project implementation work involved when you performed network readiness assessment, network design, and pilot testing. That substantial work effort was time well spent. Now it’s important to maintain momentum and keep moving forward with service integration. By implementing a methodical plan and setting proper expectations, you ensured a smooth and seamless cutover from vision to production operations, but the work doesn’t stop there. At cutover day plus one, management and monitoring of VoIP services become part of the daily routine. Just as corporate cultures evolve, operational strategies evolve with them. Technologies change to support the needs of your business, and the way you manage them has to keep pace. Sustaining a competitive business network isn’t a product that you drop in place. Just as you have day-to-day business operations, you have routine management and monitoring. You’re living the life cycle, and the operations that begin when your VoIP deployment is placed into production are the first steps in gathering information and analysis for the next evolution of enterprise network services. 11