How to Monitor your VoIP System
The importance of monitoring VoIP
With VoIP changing the way we communicate with each other, it takes a bit of getting used to in order to fully understand the fact that IP communication is just another Internet application. For example, old PSTN systems were designed to provide a standard quality of service from which there is very little deviation under normal circumstances. This means that there was no need to continuously monitor the service. Of course being an analog system with a closed nature, there was no way to monitor it even if we wanted to.
With VoIP however, we can easily get a glance of how the service is performing at any given time and get a pretty good idea of the quality of the calls on an organization wide basis. Indeed, given the complexities of VoIP, such monitoring is hardly a luxury any more. Any business big or small needs to keep its finger on the pulse of VoIP implementations to head off any resource hog or correct any major problems before anyone notices.
Let's take a look at some of the parameters which need to be tracked in order to ensure that VoIP systems run properly on your network.
How to monitor VoIP
There are a few metrics that are critical to effective and good quality VoIP. Packet loss for example is something which can quickly degrade an IP call and it's worth keeping a close watch on this metric. Others include jitter, packet delay and perhaps even user feedback which can be incorporated into a Mean Opinion Score (MOS). A combination of all these measures along with analysis of their trends on a day to day or week to week basis will tell you whether where you need to improve.
In order to perform this monitoring, you need to have the correct software which can be bought after shopping around. Business VoIP systems can install this software on the VoIP server which can then present the reports on a periodic basis. You can even set up thresholds for various metrics and when these thresholds are reached, you can be alerted by the server to take corrective action.
VoIP monitoring isn't only for in house solutions. It can also be used for a Hosted PBX Voice System where a third party implements the solution for you. Though they will be tweaking their network for optimal performance, things like bandwidth etc are under your control and need to be monitored appropriately.