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Total Network Visibility

PathSolutions' Blog: Total Network Visibility

Migrating to Skype for Business? Do This First

January 31st, 2017

Skype for Business. This should be an easy process, right? It can be, if you take the proper precautions. Introducing a phone system like Skype for Business is a bit like installing a new program onto your computer in that first, you have to make sure you have the available system resources. Otherwise, the operating experience will be sub-optimal. Read more »

It May Be Time to Automate Network Troubleshooting

November 15th, 2016

My, how your business is growing! Just yesterday, you were a small startup. Now, your company is moving out of its nascent stage. You’re attracting big-name clients, increasing the scope of your research and development operations and looking to hire more in 2017. It may be time to automate network troubleshooting. There’s no telling how big your company could grow next year. As your business grows, the scope of your network will expand as well. More traffic will flow across your organization on daily basis, which could impact the quality of your applications. You may need to purchase new storage and computing hardware. And downtime will become increasingly costly with every passing day. Read more »

The Top Five Myths About VoIP Call Quality, Part Five: The Sniffer Will Fix It

September 28th, 2016

If there’s one lesson you can take away from our recent series on the top VoIP call quality myths, it’s that you can’t take a cavalier approach to VoIP troubleshooting and expect strong results. Problems tend to arise when network or voice professionals think they have the right technologies in place, only to find out the hard way that they are using the wrong tools. That brings us to the final myth, which is one we encounter often: If you run into call quality issues, you can use a packet sniffer to solve them. What’s the problem with this strategy? Well, think about how a fire alarm works. On one hand, a fire alarm can let you know when your house is burning. But the fire alarm won’t tell you where the fire is, or what’s causing it. It sure won’t put the fire out. Read more »

What the Airline Industry Needs is More Network Visibility

September 15th, 2016

The network outages experienced by Southwest and Delta in July is a cautionary tale about the lack of visibility into network infrastructures. Here is a rundown, in case you were out of the loop: On July 20, a router malfunctioned in Southwest’s network, resulting in a cascading technology glitch that ultimately took down the company’s reservations system and forced the company to ground its planes. It took until July 25 to fix the problem. During the five-day outage, the company was forced to cancel more than 2,300 flights. And about 8,000 flights were delayed. It is estimated that Southwest lost between $5 million and $10 million in ticket sales during this time period. Read more »

The Top Five Myths About VoIP Call Quality, Part Four: You Can Trust Your Network

August 16th, 2016

In part three of this five-part series on the top myths about VoIP call quality, we explained how it’s easy to get duped into thinking your VoIP system is performing fine if you’re not using a WAN. Many network professionals, in other words, fail to take into account the fact that VoIP issues can take place even over a LAN network. They carry on thinking everything is in working order, when in fact there are many issues taking place behind the scenes that are subjecting users to a bad call experience. The problem lies in making assumptions about the state of your network instead of taking a scientific approach and examining how the network is actually performing. Read more »

No wan no worries.The Top Five Myths About VoIP Call Quality, Part Three: No WAN, No Worries

July 20th, 2016

Your VoIP system is up and running and, by all accounts, it appears to be in proper working order. Seeing as you don’t have any external wide-area network (WAN) links to double check, this means you can pack up and head out early today, right? Not so fast. First consider the next subject in our three-part series on VoIP call quality myths: VoIP issues only take place over WAN links. Read more »

In a Cisco Live Frame of Mind

July 11th, 2016

By: Tim Titus This week we’re at Cisco Live—and while lots of folks are thinking about summer plans, the PathSolutions team is getting ready for a jam packed week. Cisco Live is Cisco’s premier education and training destination for IT professionals worldwide. It features thousands of technology innovators and I am proud to say that PathSolutions is one of them. In keeping with Cisco’s philosophy of education and training, we are featuring a number of customers at our booth’s theater to discuss how they use PathSolutions TotalView in a variety of settings:
  • Brian Chee, Director of the University of Hawaii's Advanced Network Computing Laboratory, uses TotalView to manage a network located three miles beneath the ocean's surface.
  • Larry DiGioia, Information Services Director for the City of Altamonte Springs, Florida, delivers 24/7 city-wide operational support with TotalView.
  • Glenn Evans, Founder and CEO of Acrux Consulting, builds and supports large-scale show networks in only four days with TotalView.
Read more »

The Top Five Myths About VoIP Call Quality, Part Two: Extra Bandwidth Is a Cure-All

June 29th, 2016

We’ve all been there: One minute, your VoIP phone system is running smoothly, and the next you can barely understand what the person on the other end is saying. In this series, we’re focusing on what not to do when you run into VoIP quality issues. As we discussed in part one, there are many myths related to VoIP call quality that can lead you in the wrong direction—adding extra time and money to the resolution process, without addressing the root cause of the problem. Let’s focus on myth no. 2: You can “throw bandwidth” at the network, and all of your VoIP problems will magically go away. Read more »

The Top Myths About VoIP Call Quality Part One: You Can Trust a Standard Network Assessment Report

June 14th, 2016

Over the past few months, we’ve spoken with countless customers about VoIP troubleshooting at industry trade shows like Interop Las Vegas and IAUG 2016. What we’ve found is that there are still quite a lot of myths floating around about VoIP call quality. So, in this series we’re going to debunk some of the biggest myths to set the facts straight. Let’s start with the first VoIP call quality myth, which is that running a network assessment report prior to a VoIP deployment will provide enough information to ensure your network is healthy and capable of handling VoIP traffic. Read more »

Be Careful When Using Free Network Troubleshooting Tools

June 2nd, 2016

During a presentation at this year’s Interop conference, an analyst provided a long list of free or affordable network troubleshooting solutions that budget-conscious organizations can implement into their networks. Here’s our two cents on the topic: It’s true that there is no shortage of free or cheap solutions on the market that you can use to gain more visibility into how your network is performing. We wanted to add an important caveat, though: Such commercial tools—like Wireshark, Nmap and SmokePing—are specialty solutions designed for specific drill-downs, and limited uses. Read more »