How can network managers track softphone traffic and user experience? What types of problems are usually uncovered?
Enterprises can observe software telephone (softphone) traffic and examine experience through user comments and other feedback in order to get to the bottom of different problems. Doing so can reveal a number of issues, including bandwidth difficulties. If bandwidth seems to be a key issue, more bandwidth should be added.
Softphone traffic has the potential to flood a network. It's easy to assume that this wouldn't be an issue because softphones use a lot less bandwidth than other applications (video conferencing apps, for example). However, if you have multiple people making a softphone call at the same time for some reason, it could constrain the enterprise.
Running softphones on virtual computers is proving to be a very challenging task for a lot of companies. As adoption of virtual desktop infrastructure spikes, call quality and bandwidth consumption will become increasingly complex. Figuring out how to process voice locally will be vital if you want to avoid delay when sending voice traffic back into a data center.
This was first published in July 2013