What is voip monitoring? It is the ability to observe any and all aspects of an individual or organization’s VOIP network and calls. It is not simply that one can observe how much traffic goes through your VOIP system – that is ‘algorithm’! No, it is much more than that. It is all about the ability to accurately pinpoint the cause of problems and difficulties with a specific system, such as your VOIP phone system.
Many large organizations have already been using some form of voip monitoring tool for quite some time. They are able to get a clear picture of just how their network is performing from just a single view. Now small businesses can follow close behind, in order to obtain the same ‘aliased’ view. The idea behind these extrahop tools is simple: if you can see what’s wrong with your network you can easily figure out what needs to be fixed. For example, if your call flow is too busy you should look at your connection speeds and overload of outgoing traffic. If those two issues are resolved, you can start to work on improving the quality, reliability and speed of your VOIP system.
There are a number of free softwares available for use with this functionality. Two of the most popular amongst companies are the free trial version of Solarwinds VoIP and Netbrake. Both of these utilities offer the basic monitoring capabilities. However, they do not offer any of the advanced features and may even have limitations. If you need those features, you will likely have to pay for them.
When you are using voip phone systems you can be alerted when packets are dropped or busy tones are received. These alerts can also be configured to send ‘urgent’ messages (which will be translated into an immediate phone call). Most providers also allow you to set the threshold for receiving packet loss alerts. If a packet loss is detected you will get an immediate indication (either an email or SMS message).
Some additional features that may be of interest to you are the ability to view bandwidth usage, the quantity of data transferred and the number of simultaneous calls. It should be noted that with many providers, including colasoft capsa network monitor, a monthly subscription is required. This service is usually provided in tandem with other specialized voip monitoring tools such as SLAAC, FreeCall, Netgear’s FAPturbo and Ovation’s Call Guard. However, with this additional monthly charge, the business owners may find themselves paying quite a bit more. For businesses that use these tools regularly, the monthly fee may well be worth it.
Another great feature is Jitterbug’s ProXPN. This application is ideal for monitoring low bandwidth, high latency or mobile devices. With the ProXPN you can not only receive real-time packets, but can also determine the average latency and bandwidth used. One great advantage of Jitterbug Pro is that the service can be remotely hosted. Another good feature is that the service can be extended to multiple phone lines.
To monitor voice quality, there is VoIP Call Manager. The Call Manager software offers two different options, one being the dedicated server option which supports Jitterbug technology. The dedicated server option has full access to all features but the other one, the client-side application, does not. With the dedicated server option, the business owner can determine the exact amount of bandwidth used, packet loss and latency, control the call quality and can also view the call history.
The Jitterbug application also offers some advanced features like Traffic Shaping, call rolling, automatic call distribution and overload management, trace route, advanced routing capabilities and much more. These features help the network administrators to understand the exact capacity requirements. The packet loss metric helps the network administrators to analyze the packet loss better. There are some other advanced functions like Jitterbug View and Analyze that help the administrators to get the information they want. There are many other Metrics integrated with the application and the most common ones are the following: total number of calls, average call length, peak and average call frequency, total number of calls per hour, average call duration, number of dropped calls and missed calls.