As you might expect, there are key considerations for businesses in using VoIP. Fluke Networks (News - Alert) has done a good job bringing some of them together, along with a helpful sketch of VoIP itself and its applications.
Generally voice services are delivered over dedicated circuit-switched networks and data services are sent over packet-based networks. Internet protocol -- data services -- has matured to the point where it can handle all forms of information – data, video, and voice. VoIP is sending voice calls over your computer lines.
As is apparent, this means you only need one network, not two, which makes things cheaper and more efficient. The drawback is that because voice is sent the same way Internet information is, in packets reassembled in order at their destination, the voice might come out a bit jumbled or with noticeable pauses.
You don’t notice this lag time, latency or “jitter,” when an Internet page is loading, but you do when you’re listening to real-time speech, as conversations can be unintelligible. This is the main reason dedicated phone lines are still around.
As Fluke’s outline contends, then, effective VoIP management “requires assigning priority to voice packets to preserve call integrity, while simultaneously ensuring data applications continue to perform at levels users expect and demand.” In other words, let voice have the space it needs to traverse the network correctly, but also have enough space
Bottom line for business: If you do VoIP right you can save a lot of money and resources. If you get it wrong, though, making calls won’t be pleasant experiences.
Fluke officials say the key is selecting robust VoIP management that has, among others, the following capabilities:
Planning for implementation, including configuration, design, asset management and call simulation.
Managing operations, includes handling dropped calls, measuring packet loss, jitter, latency, and mean opinion scores of VoIP call quality, measuring quality of service data and creating policy-based data.
Troubleshooting anomalies, including capturing all traffic flows and measuring performance across all seven network layers, managing alerts, drilling down and/or back-in-time to isolate root cause and automating problem resolution.
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Juliana Kenny