Today I was troubleshooting some issues with VoIP where we had a user connecting to our Austin office from our Brno office in the Czech Republic and voice quality was pretty much zero. It got me to thinking about the way that many of us monitor, support, and manage our VoIP infrastructures and our networks in general respective to latency, jitter, and packet loss.

In the old days so long as bandwidth was available and latency was somewhat under control your job as the network administrator was done. Not so today. In today's environments telephony is really just another component of our network infrastructure and we're not only managing the routers and switches but the call managers and gateways.

Understanding true latency, jitter, and packet loss (and as a result MOS) is a big part of getting a handle on VoIP performance - or for that matter performance of any latency sensitive application. This is why leveraging technologies like IP SLA are so important as it helps you understand performance within the WAN vs. monitoring from a single point on the WAN.

Additionally, since most of our Network Operations Centers (NOCs) are now handling tickets on phone issues we need to have visibility into these statistics and health and performance of the call managers from within our central NMS.

As many of you are aware, Orion has a module called the "VoIP Monitor" which is aimed at doing exactly this. It leverages IP SLA to pull statistics on WAN performance and pulls health and status data from Cisco Call Manager. As we continue to add features to this product I'd love to hear more about how you manage your environments and where you'd like to see it expanded.

Flame on...