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.
I am also hosting a number of sessions at our booth on how to root-cause troubleshoot VoIP and data networks. I travel quite a bit during the year speaking at various conferences, user group meetings, and other events and this topic is one that never grows old. Finding the root-cause of network problems is probably the single-most pressing issue that IT teams and telecom teams deal with on the job. More time and resources are spent on this responsibility than any other and needless to say, most teams find themselves in fire-fighting mode. This session is all about moving troubleshooting out of reactive mode and into proactive mode. In other words, keeping your network running reliably all the time and staying ahead of network issues so that the number of fires you find yourself having to put out is much lower and the time you spend on troubleshooting them is much less.
Consistent VoIP call quality is another issue that teams face. Often the “problem” is not with your VoIP package, it’s with your network. In a recent survey, 31% of work place tech users said that network outages and poor Internet speeds were the biggest recurring technology problem. As a long time VoIP performance solution provider and network and telecom professional, I know that VoIP is especially sensitive to this issue. For example, a broken switch, misconfigured router, or damaged cable can indirectly cause VoIP problems. In order to find the root-cause of a VoIP problem, you have to first look at your network. One of our senior network engineers, Steve Winter, has had a great deal of experience troubleshooting VoIP problems. He’s found that most problems can be distilled down to this question: Is your network sucking the life out of your VoIP system? To help attendees answer this question, in a number of booth sessions Steve will count down the top VoIP call quality myths and offer a better way to troubleshoot call quality issues.
I am also speaking at a number of Cisco Live sessions on root-cause VoIP troubleshooting and troubleshooting VoIP call quality. Not surprisingly one of my sessions, Root-Cause VoIP Troubleshooting, was so oversubscribed that another session was opened. I say not surprisingly because the VoIP market for business continues to grow at an explosive pace while VoIP technology has evolved at an equally fast rate. Today, there are far more options (just take a look at 2014’s trending VoIP terms) to consider than a decade ago and all of those options—like BYOD, UCaaS, WebRTC, SRTP, Click-to-Call—push your network’s bandwidth requirements.
If you’re at Cisco Live, we’ve set up a landing page that provides information on what we’re doing at our booth, as well as daily booth theater session showtimes and more information about my Cisco Live speaking sessions. If you couldn’t attend Cisco Live this year, we hired a videographer to video our theater sessions so that you can see how some of our customers are deploying TotalView in interesting ways as well as get our take on root-cause troubleshooting networks and how to improve VoIP call quality.
When the videos are available, we’ll let you know on this blog. For now, the PathSolutions team is in Las Vegas doing its part as technology innovators to educate and train!