VoIP & Network Quality Manager version 4.6 builds on the SIP trunk monitoring work we introduced in the previous release. In the last release, we introduced SIP trunk health and availability metrics monitored from the Cisco Unified Call Manager element. In this release, VNQM delivers SIP trunk call metrics—with on-demand polling—and SIP trunk utilization from the Cisco Unified Border Element. It's comprehensive visibility throughout the CUCM environment.

 

Monitoring the CUBE

 

You'll notice there's a new resource available on the VoIP Summary Page—"VoIP Gateways." These are the border gateway elements where SIP trunks terminate.

 

In this release, we support the Cisco Unified Border Element, or “CUBE” appliance.

 

The Call Manager hosts, visible in the VoIP CallManagers resource, drill down into details pages for each call manager. The VoIP Gateways expand directly into a list of SIP trunks.

 

 

 

At this level, you can see a quick status for each trunk. Drilling into one of the trunks provides this view.

 

 

The SIP Trunk Details view provides resources for monitoring status over time, metrics for inbound and outbound call activity, and SIP trunk utilization. Each of these metrics can be individually opened in a new PerfStack™ project, or the collection of status and call metrics for this trunk can be opened from the summary resource. In PerfStack, the "Performance Analyzer" view looks like this.

 

Pulling these metrics into PerfStack gives you visibility on the same timescale for other related metrics—resources on the CUBE device, for example.

 

 

Or, perhaps the active inbound and outbound calls for several trunks.

 

 

The PerfStack dashboard gives you the flexibility to compose views that you can save and use for monitoring or troubleshooting in the future.

 

Immediate Real-Time Polling

Note that the Inbound and Outbound call metrics from the CUBE have the "rocket ship" icon next to them to denote real-time polling is available. This means we can enable continuous polling and presentation of these metrics from the CUBE when we're troubleshooting issues, and we need to see the current call metrics from the perspective of the CUBE. This is a valuable insight into the key utilization metrics for each SIP trunk.

 

SIP Trunk Utilization

Tracking SIP trunk utilization is complex; there are several different factors to calculate utilization. Utilization depends upon the mix of typical calls, the codecs used in the environment, and the number of active calls. In this release, we're using maximum concurrent calls as the primary indicator of utilization, and calculating and presenting a percentage value useful for capacity planning. You should work with your SIP provider to estimate the number of concurrent calls your trunks can support and configure your thresholds accordingly.

 

To configure the maximum concurrent calls we'll use in the utilization calculation, you'll need to visit global settings for "VoIP & Network Quality Manager (VNQM) Settings," and select "Edit VoIP & Network Quality Manager Settings" to see these global values for "Gateway" settings.

 

In addition to the "Maximum Concurrent Calls," you can also set thresholds, polling intervals, and retention period for these metrics here.

 

CLI credentials are configured at the CUBE level by selecting "Manage Gateways" and providing credentials for one or all gateway devices.

 

 

You can also override the maximum concurrent call value in the CUBE properties.

 

The default out of the box value is 100 concurrent calls. You'll want to confirm this for your environment with your SIP trunk provider.

 

 

Platform Improvements

Along with all the other modules in the Orion® Platform, VNQM can be installed now in Azure, and make use of the native Azure SQL database service to host the Orion database. This adds additional deployment flexibility; we already support deployment in AWS using the RDS service.

 

We're excited to provide comprehensive health, availability, and utilization monitoring for SIP trunks in the Cisco CUCM environment. Visit your Customer Portal to review the Release Notes, verify the System Requirements, and download this release.

 

 

We're looking forward to your experiences and questions in the forum below.