Although Visual Networks Inc. already supported standard VOIP protocols such as Session Initiation Protocol, H.323 and Real Time Protocol, the new module addresses the full life cycle of VOIP deployments.
The Select VOIP MRI (Management, Reporting and Integrity) module includes the ability to assess whether the network can handle planned VOIP rollouts, monitor VOIP traffic once it is deployed, manage problems that affect VOIP performance and report on VOIP performance and service levels.
New detailed reporting in the module can help with preassessments, according to Jeff Schmitz, senior vice president of marketing at Visual Networks in Rockville, Md.
"In this release weve built a 35-page report that provides site-by-site details on how ready you are for VOIP—including how many IP phones a site could handle. And you can [create the report] at the push of a button," Schmitz said.
The module uses real customer traffic to analyze VOIP readiness at each site, and it can determine the number of VOIP calls that each site can support.
It also measures jitter and delay as part of the preassessment, and it breaks down how users, applications and servers account for the greatest bandwidth consumption.
Along with the preassessment, Select VOIP MRI monitors site-to-site traffic for problems and can pinpoint the source of VOIP performance issues.
"We show you, for example, if an Oracle server was really busy, pumping out a lot of data and squeezing out VOIP traffic. We see those issues in real time and we provide a historical view. We combine that with ongoing problem resolution," Schmitz said.
Once a VOIP deployment rolls out, Select VOIP MRI measures and reports on round-trip delay, jitter, packet delivery ratio, availability and bandwidth utilization, and it provides granular burst analysis. In addition, it can validate agreed-upon service levels for VOIP traffic.
Visual Networks also added a new application management dashboard to the module that allows users to track daily VOIP usage, manage new applications, generate reports directly from the screen and monitor IP PBX performance.
The module requires the Visual UpTime Select Server and Analysis Service Element hardware, as well as the Visual Select core system software. The module is priced at $795 per site, and it is due in mid-June.