IP SLA is a Cisco feature embedded in Cisco devices. You can use Solarwinds IP SLA Manager along with NPM and SAM to monitor ShoreTel devices (e.g. switches, servers, appliances, etc...) combining these products will provide allow you to monitor devices, networks, and path quality.
We are using the NPM for shoretel Switches using SNMP which gives us only UP/DOWN and Usage statistics. We are using SAM for shoretel Server to monitor the services status. Will IP SLA give us more features? if so what are they?
Yes, IP SLA will provide a significant amount of network “path” performance metrics for VoIP (Solarwinds includes IP SLA Data: e.g. HTTP and Network Functionality as well: DNS, FTP, DHCP). You can get VoIP performance metrics by logging into ShoreTel switches and accessing Call Detail Records. However, IP SLA compliments or augments this by providing the ability to generate synthetic VoIP transactions that run continuously ( configurable) between two Cisco devices or any destination IP address (some IP SLA Test Operations require a Cisco device to be a destination or responder: e.g. VoIP UDP Jitter). The VoIP UDP Jitter test operation provides overall Mean Opinion Score (MOS), Jitter, Latency, and Packet Loss statistics between the source and destination Cisco devices. The ICMP Path Jitter test operation provides Jitter, Latency, and Packet Loss statistics between a source Cisco device and any IP address; this includes per hop metrics. The following Solarwinds IP SLA demo link is helpful to get a better appreciation of IP SLA.
Thank you. From what i understand , IP SLA will only work with Cisco Devices. Going back to my initial question , is there a plan in future to include Shoretel?
You are correct, IP SLA is a Cisco feature embedded in their images (e.g. routers/switches). There are comparable stand alone or pure play vendors who can provide equivalent synthetic VoIP traffic generation to measure path or call quality metrics either via software agents or appliances. However if you have a customer who uses Cisco for infrastructure and ShoreTel for IPBX using Solarwinds (e.g. NPM, SAM, IP SLA, Network Traffic Analysis, and Network Configuration Mgr.) provides a robust and convenient suite of tools.
FYI, I’m using SAM to monitor performance metrics for ShoreTel switches ( what you can monitor varies between V switches and non V switches).
If you would like to talk further let me know how I can reach you.
As an alternative to IP SLA -when/where using Cisco is not an option- is to use similar VoIP synthetic traffic generation capabilities from vendors such as AppNeta and Visualware. Both specialize in providing VoIP pre-deployment and contious monitoring synthetic traffic generation (VoIP, Data, and Video). They both provide software only components (downloadable to a host at the customer premise) and/or appliances. The destination target can be any IP address but depending on they type of test you want to run it may require an appliances on the target side (no differenent than runing a VoIP UDP Jitter Cisco IP SLA operation which requires the target be another Cisco device). In the case of AppNeta you could install a software sequencer on the HQ server (please ensure it meets the minimum specs. you may want to test this first as you want to ensure it doesn't conflict or interfer with the primary services a HQ server provides) or on a host in the same subnet and test to all the remote sites (e.g. ShoreTel switches). AppNeta recently added the ability to send SNMP traps to third party RMM/NMS/OSS platforms; e.g Solarwinds NPM ( I provided Solarwinds the MIBs which they have compiled and incldued in the MIB database downloadable from their support site; we're in the process of testing) and the ability to incorporate performance metrics into third party reporting tools.
I hope this provides some additional options. If you want to discuss this further please don't hesitate to contact me to include discussing ShoreTel Director road-map possibilities applicable to this thread
Good question, although I can't confirm anything will materialize or come to fruition, I can convey ShoreTel has and is evaluating developing similar type capability-embedded in ShoreTel products (e.g. switches, ip phones, etc...) or other- in response to questions such as yours and demand we see from other customers, partners, and Shoretel support personnel. If you would like I can coordinate a meeting to discuss various remote monitoring and management "road-map" considerations.
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