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The Tools Needed for VoIP Troubleshooting, Part Two: Application Performance Monitoring

phone worldAs we mentioned in Part One of this series, VoIP systems do not always work as intended. Poor quality VoIP calls can lead to major inconveniences across the network, which can impact productivity and lead to frustrated employees as well as customers.

What do you need to prevent an angry flood of complaints about poor call quality? The right VoIP troubleshooting tool.

With so many tools of this nature available on the market, however, finding the right one is not always easy. In this article, we delve into another such tool, application performance monitoring, which has useful applications for VoIP troubleshooting but may leave some companies feeling shortchanged depending on their specific business needs.

To help you in your search, here is the rundown on Application Performance Monitoring (APM) as a troubleshooting tool:

What it is: Application performance monitoring—or call simulation—is used to determine the performance of a VoIP call. It involves setting up two physical devices on the network and sending traffic between them, thus creating a synthetic voice call.

Why you use it: Use application performance monitoring to measure the user experience across the network. It can confirm that you are experiencing problems like packet loss, latency and jitter between the two devices. It will confirm that there is, in fact, a problem occurring somewhere between the two endpoints.

What it’s good for: Sometimes, you just need confirmation that a problem is occurring on your network that is negatively impacting VoIP communication. For instance, your supervisor may come to you when call quality is quirky and ask for an update on network performance. You could run a call simulation and let him know that there are network issues that need to be addressed.

What it’s bad for: Unfortunately, you won’t be able to tell him where or why the problem is occurring or the best way to fix it. In a way, running a call simulation can be compared to UPS package delivery, i.e., your UPS man picks up 10 boxes but only nine wind up at the destination. You have no idea where or why the box went missing, but you know that a problem happened along the way.

In a nutshell, application monitoring is great for measuring VoIP communications, but it will not give you the insight needed to perform root-cause troubleshooting.

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