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Study reveals need for apt VoIP tools

Posted: 29 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:VoIP performance problem? network application? VoIP network engineers?

Despite widespread adoption of VoIP in businesses across the United States, a study released by Network Instruments found that network engineers often lack the appropriate tools to manage and troubleshoot VoIP performance problems.

According to the study, nearly half of the organizations surveyed have implemented the technology, and 32 percent of these organizations lacked the ability to monitor VoIP performance.

In an analysis of surveys from 273 network engineers across the U.S., the study found that nearly 50 percent were concerned with their ability to monitor the quality of VoIP service and 41 percent were unsure of their network's ability to handle the extra bandwidth consumption from VoIP calls. Also, 36 percent were concerned with the reliability of their VoIP application during periods of heavy use.

"Many organizations adopt VoIP to save on telecom costs without realizing how sensitive VoIP performance is to other applications running on the network," said Charles Thompson, manager of sales engineering for Network Instruments. "The switch is often made without fully understanding the complexities of the technology as well as the high expectations users have of voice performance. The same may be said for the IT staffs, who implement VoIP without having the proper equipment to monitor performance and ensure long-term success."

The main challenge with running VoIP across an enterprise network is its extreme sensitivity to delay, jitter, and packet loss compared with other network applications such as web and e-mail services. This results to audio quality problems, user complaints and downtime.

"Many organizations are unaware that most of these issues can be easily managed by deploying the latest generation of network analysis tools to manage and troubleshoot VoIP traffic and quality of service," said Douglas Smith, president and co-founder of Network Instruments. "Network teams frequently rely on default testing tools included with the VoIP equipment, which provide minimal insight into VoIP communication running over the network and fail to compare its performance with overall network performance. Instead, the IT staff should use analysis tools that provide detailed insight into both VoIP and overall network performance."

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