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The Tools Needed for VoIP Troubleshooting, Part Three: CDR Analysis

Sep 21, 2015

photo man with headsetIt’s not pleasant when you’re trying to have a serious business discussion over your VoIP phone, and the person on the other end of the line sounds like they are speaking through Auto-Tune due to a poor network connection.

As we’ve been discussing throughout the first two parts of this four-part series, network issues can ruin VoIP conversations. And when call quality issues arise, it’s important that you select the right tool to solve them.

What you’ll find is that unless you opt for a robust VoIP troubleshooting solution that can provide holistic, root-cause troubleshooting analysis of your network, you’ll be left with specialty tools that will only provide a partial view of your network activity.

To learn more, download our white paper:  The Root-Cause of VoIP Call Quality Problems

Let’s take a closer look at one of these tools-- call detail record (CDR) analysis:

What it is: A CDR analyzer is a tool that provides advanced insight as to how two phones are communicating over a network. A CDR analysis is basically a file or database that provides a detailed account of a conversation between two people.  This information is usually collected from a phone system/PBX.

Why you use it: CDR analysis is typically used to gain metrics related to issues like latency, packet loss and jitter. It can also be used to determine the duration of a call, how much a call should be billed for and the point of origin and destination of each call.

What it’s good for: Like the majority of VoIP troubleshooting tools on the market, CDR analysis can confirm that you have a VoIP problem on your network. You can use CDR analysis to obtain critical metrics needed to justify performing system maintenance or upgrades.

What it’s bad for: Troubleshooting the problem.  Suppose you go for a drive, and your car starts shaking and making a horrible noise. So you look at your dashboard, and see a variety of metrics. Your dashboard could tell you the temperature of your engine, how much oil is left in the tank and how much gas you have left. But it won’t tell you what’s making the grinding noise!

CDR Analysis works in the same way. It will tell you that you have a problem, but it won’t take you under the hood of your network and show you where the problem is, what’s causing it and how you can fix it.

For that, you’ll need a robust solution like TotalView from PathSolutions. 

Related posts:
The Tools Needed for VoIP Troubleshooting Series
Part I: Packet Sniffers
Part II: VoIP and Application Performance Monitoring
Part IV: SNMP Collectors


Watch the video walkthrough on VoIP/UC monitoring

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