Users want systems for managing VoIP quality

* Users say lack of systems for troubleshooting VoIP quality as impediment to VoIP

According to the "2005/2006 VoIP State of the Market Report," published by Webtorials, when it comes to impediments to enterprise VoIP, security concerns remained the primary inhibiting factor, as cited by 42% of Webtorials users. The same percentage of respondents cited lack of systems for managing and troubleshooting VoIP quality as an impediment.

(To view the report, click here.)

To help better understand the issues we talked with the experts at Viola Networks to get their take on what management system features are available in the market place, and what should be included in VoIP management systems. Viola Networks provides products for enterprise network-performance assurance and automated diagnosis, and the company has recently released an upgraded version of its management systems that includes a hardware appliance and some added metrics for performance reports.

According to Viola, users' key VoIP management system requirements include the need for:* End-to-end visibility, including the capability to see performance results from station-to-station across the VoIP network.

* Remote management so the telecom manager can access any device for passive or active monitoring, and take corrective action regardless of the manager's physical location.

* Centralized database, which allows for consolidation of network-wide performance results for improved analysis.

* Integrated applications so the telecom manager doesn't need to worry about applications integration.

* Real-time problem detection along with the capability to take needed corrective action according to prescribed thresholds.

* Automated diagnostic testing that provides a continuous alert capability in a post-deployment mode.

* Multivendor support, since many mid- to large-scale deployments involve multivendor components (e.g. a router from one vendor and a feature server or PBX from another).

* Distributed architecture to minimize single failure points.

Viola also recommends (and we agree) that a pre-deployment "what if" capability for network assessment is as important as on ongoing assessment capability.

Next time: Some reader resources for what's happening with IP Multimedia Subsystems.

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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