Troubleshooting problems is among the IT community’s top problems when managing voice network performance. According to a recent survey, 90% of the time it takes to resolve network problems is spent finding its source. Without the right voice network performance management tools at your fingertips, you’ll be spinning your wheels. To help you tackle your voice network problems, we’ve put together a list of four troubleshooting tips, tried and true from managing the performance of more than 10,000 devices around the globe.
Tip #1: Detect Call Quality Problems at an Early Stage
The earlier a problem is detected, the less impact it will have on users. It will also cause less panic and be resolved faster. The key here is a monitoring system that uses thresholds to drive performance alarms. Thresholds for voice quality, for example can be set to generate warning alarms for potential or impending problems, before any significant effects have been felt. Problems that are less critical for your organization should be set to a higher threshold, so that you’ll only be alerted if it reaches a major or critical performance impacting level.
Tip #2: Get to the Source of Voice Quality Problems Faster by Monitoring the Infrastructure
The quicker you can identify the source of a call quality problem, the quicker you can remedy the issue. To detect and address voice quality problems, you first need to monitor the status and performance of your PBX. When a voice quality problem happens, it typically starts from a resource problem (like strain on bandwidth manifesting in trouble reaching an edge router), or a failure of a device on the network. By monitoring these devices, you’ll see a pattern of multiple device alarms around the time of a voice quality alarm. If you’ve set your thresholds lower, you’ll see these problems at an early stage. With the right voice quality monitoring system, like Mitel Performance Analytics, you can reduce time to resolution by using built-in testing tools to monitor the switches, routers and servers on your network.
Tip #3: Choose Remote Access Tools that Simplify Access to Network Devices
Secure access to remote devices is key to successful troubleshooting. However, options differ in terms of their cost and ease of use. Some, like VPNs, can be costly. Others are cumbersome, requiring the network admin to open the firewall each time you need access. Remote access tools like the one included in Mitel Performance Analytics use a locally installed probe to access devices, so there is no need for a VPN, and no need to open the firewall every time you require access. Access is single click and cost effective, as Mitel Performance Analytics is included in Mitel’s Premium Software Assurance subscription.
Tip #4: Troubleshoot Voice Quality Problems Directly from the Handset
Voice quality problem to resolution time is faster when you can launch an IP traceroute directly from the call’s handset from the detailed voice quality records in the dashboard. Not all monitoring systems offer this functionality, however. Mitel Performance Analytics does this for calls generated from the MiVoice Business. It also offers a range of additional test tools launched from the dashboard, including ping, MTR, iftop and DNS lookup.
Managing the performance of voice networks starts with choosing monitoring tools that specialize in VoIP. Mitel Performance Analytics is designed to help MiVoice users get the highest call quality from their communications systems.