Carl Valiulus found himself between a rock and a hard place: his organization demanded VoIP applications, yet the technology hogged bandwidth on the nationwide healthcare management firm's network.Hines & Associates had been experiencing ongoing issues with network latency and Citrix user drop-offs, but its real crunch came when the company deployed VoIP for interoffice and call center traffic in five of its locations. Connected by frame relay at speeds varying from 256K bit\/sec to 1M bit\/sec, remote office users experienced sub-par voice quality due to bandwidth constraints."There was very limited bandwidth for the VoIP apps, and the apps aren't very good at keeping packets together either," says Valiulus, director of IT at the organization's Elgin, Ill., headquarters. "I wanted an easy way to manage the applications and prioritize the traffic. In the past, we would just throw more bandwidth at it or upgrade our routers, and it just wasn't working anymore."After attending a few seminars at which he learned about companies such as Expand Networks, Valiulus decided to work with Peribit and its SR-20 sequence reducer appliance. "From what I saw, Peribit included all the features I wanted in one appliance," he says.In November, Valiulus rolled out five SR-20 appliances to improve the performance of VoIP application running among five large sites. Peribit offered a thin client interface that Valiulus found easy to navigate. Also, the quality-of-service prioritization wizard helped him establish which traffic gets top ranking at which port.While the sequence reducers gave Hines & Associates immediate capacity improvements and QoS control that addressed its Citrix and VoIP problems, the company found that its VoIP performance was still dropping at times. Using Peribit's monitoring features, the IT staff used both packet capture and the Top Talkers report to identify previously unknown network virus traffic.Valiulus plans to purchase more SR-20s as well as some SR-50 appliances to incorporate 30 smaller sites in his application performance plans.