One great thing about writing tips for SearchNetworking.com is the amount of feedback they generate. In response...
to my recent tip entitled "Tools for VoIP Planning, Monitoring and Management," I heard from a representative of another company, Viola Networks, with an interesting offering in this space as well. Their product, NetAlly VoIP, provides useful testing and troubleshooting services for those pondering VoIP deployment on their networks, and for those who go on to implement VoIP as well.
NetAlly VoIP leads users through a pre-deployment network assessment. It helps to answer the fundamental question: "Is the network ready for reliable VoIP?" Assuming an affirmative answer, the product also helps to determine how many simultaneous calls the network can support. For those who obtain answers they don't like, NetAlly VoIP can also pinpoint infrastructure elements in need of improvement or upgrade to enable the network to support reliable VoIP, or to boost the number of possible concurrent calls to an acceptable level.
Once VoIP has been deployed, NetAlly turns into a performance monitoring and diagnosis tool. It can verify and report on both data and voice performance on demand, or on an ongoing schedule. It can also help to diagnose network performance problems or bottlenecks as they occur, to help network administrators identify and remedy such problems quickly and effectively. The product is entirely software based, and runs on a single workstation that communicates with browser-based remote endpoints that serve as performance monitoring agents. Reports include critical information about packet delays, jitter, packet losses, and so forth (see a sample assessment report and a sample comprehensive report for examples; Adobe Acrobat required).
It looks let NetAlly VoIP is a worthy alternative to the products I mentioned in my previous tip—and of course, that's why I mention it here. More product information is available at the company Web site, including white papers, case studies, sample reports and lots of other useful information. According to the company, they're preparing to launch a new product at the end of April called NetAlly Realtime which covers the whole lifecycle, and adds VoIP software agents to complement the browser-based agents. For smaller environments, it will cost $5,000 or use to use NetAlly; enterprises should expect to spend $100,000 or more.
Ed Tittel is a regular contributor to numerous TechTarget Web sites, and the author of over 100 books on a wide range of computing subjects from markup languages to information security. He's also a contributing editor for Certification Magazine, and series editor for Que Publising's Exam Exam Cram 2 series of cert prep books. E-mail Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org.