Ok so the post title might be a little dramatic. The IP SLA Manager that you know and love is still alive and well, it's just the newer, better version. IP SLA Manager was primarily focused on network quality by leveraging Cisco's IP SLA operations. It also had a very small amount of voice information (number of registered phones and gateways). Many customers were able to manage their IP Telephony environments by using the VoIP operations to get more information about Jitter, Latency, Packet Loss, and MOS. However, we got many requests to expand this support to provide more insight in to the actual calls in the network. We have done that by leveraging Call Detail Records (CDR) and Call Management Records (CMR). As part of these new significant changes we are also taking the time to change the name to better indicate what the product actually does and how we plan to continue to develop and expand its functionality.

 

So let's get down to what this means exactly for you.

 

If you are an existing IP SLA Manager customer all you need to do is download the new version when it is available and update the license. This has been true for most major releases of Orion based products, major versions requires you to update your license (just like you do every year when your maintenance is renewed). Go to your customer portal, copy your new license key, go to License Manager on the server and put in this new license. The license levels for VoIP & Network Quality Manager are exactly the same as they were for IP SLA Manager. If you had an SLA5, you still can source operations from 5 devices. If you have an SLAX, then you can still run unlimited IP SLA operations. The change is we have expanded the license to cover the new voice functionality. The table below indicates how many phones each old license level entitles you to. Some customers may need to upgrade their license if they need to track more phones.

 

Current TierNew TierIP SLA Source DevicesIP PhonesNodes
SLA5VNQM (IP SLA 5, IP Phone 300)Up to 5Up to 300Up to 40
SLA25VNQM (IP SLA 25, IP Phone 1500)Up to 25Up to 1500Up to 200
SLA50VNQM (IP SLA 50, IP Phone 3000)Up to 50Up to 3000Up to 400
SLAXVNQM (IP SLA X, IP Phone X)UnlimitedUnlimited1000

 


Why are nodes tracked? In addition to the new voice features we have also made VoIP & Network Quality Manager standalone, this means you can run it without NPM. For most customers this won't make any difference, but some new customers will benefit from this. The nodes are used for adding Routers, CallManagers, etc. Existing customers will benefit from this by having an increased Node count (when multiple products are installed together, their node counts are cumulative).

 

There are a few more details about the phones. In the interest in providing more information rather than less, the below Question and Answers should help you to understand how this works.

 

Q: How exactly are “phones” accounted for in licensing?

A: VoIP & Network Quality Manager polls the CallManager servers. Licensing works based on first come first served per poll (reflecting status where registered are taking precedence of being licensed). For example: if there are 500 phones and you have a license for only 300, the first 300 phones polled will be licensed, the rest will shown as "Unlicensed". The next poll of the Call Manager could return a different order of phones and therefore a phone that was previously showing data could change to "Unlicensed".

 

Q: Do we randomly picks phones that are over the license count and just ignore their traffic?

A: No we collect data for all calls together with unlicensed phones, but display unlicensed text for those exceeding the license level

 

Q: Are the phones registered phones in Call Manager?

A: Registered phones take precedence in evaluating the phones as licensed, however the sequence in polling is the main driver. If we poll the phones from Call Manager then the first ones registered are set as licensed, then unregistered if still room, those that exceed license amount are marked as unlicensed.

 

Q. What happens to my existing IP SLA configuation when I upgrade?

A. Nothing, all of your existing configurations will continue to work as expected.

 

Do you still have questions? Post a comment and we will continue to update this thread and reach out to people who need additional assistance.