The Importance of Monitoring VoIP
Even though VoIP as a communications tool is significantly superior to traditional PSTN phone systems in many regards, there is one aspect in which it still presents a problem - you have to continuously monitor it. This is because unlike regular phone lines which have a dedicated channel through which analog data is sent, VoIP can share its connection with a lot of other applications including its own.
This is why as a business grows, it's important to constantly monitor VoIP usage. It's not a "set it and forget it" exercise. In fact, most businesses regularly re evaluate their Internet usage based on various parameters to ensure that more bandwidth isn't needed and since VoIP is a child of the Internet, it must receive the same level of attention. This is true even with hosted PBX phone systems where most of the management is outsourced to a third party.
Let's take a look at a few ways in which we can ensure that VoIP continues to run as smoothly as the day it was first installed.
Ensuring that VoIP has enough resources
It's very common to see a VoIP installation start off well and then slowly deteriorate as time passes by. The main reason for this is that Internet traffic tends to increase over a period of time, and VoIP being a time sensitive application, gets choked off. It doesn't require much bandwidth for a single VoIP call but when many people are talking at the same time and when an organization's employee roll keeps growing, VoIP traffic consumes more and more space.
Additionally, some applications such as those which download data can completely monopolize Internet pipes leaving no room for anything else. If you've been in even a medium sized business, you can know that everyone's connection can slow to a crawl when a huge file is being downloaded elsewhere.
Fortunately, we can avoid most of these problems with proper network management by crafting a separate channel for VoIP which will always have a fixed amount of bandwidth in which to operate. This is set at the router level and the hardware can also impose QoS restrictions to ensure the best VoIP quality.
Alternatively, a large business can also consider a leased line for its VoIP traffic. Business HD voice systems for instance can consume more bandwidth than regular VoIP and a leased line will ensure that your infrastructure is always up to the challenge.
There's no fixed way to maintain a VoIP system and you'll have to select one method out of the many available that suits your needs.