Comprehensive VoIP management includes the basic network management tasks, but also includes monitoring services such as dial tone delivery, call success rates, telephony delays and impairments, as well as call quality. IP telephony management is categorized as follows:
- Testing: Actively testing the entire platform, including equipment, services and call quality, is critical for assessing the system prior to deployment and for service assurance in production environments. Testing is an ongoing process and necessary for optimizing the live system.
- Troubleshooting, fault and performance management: These are fundamental tasks of network and systems management, but can be more complex to execute within a VoIP environment. The nature of VoIP requires more real-time capabilities for isolating faults and troubleshooting performance issues with the voice application as well as telephony services such as signaling and call set up.
- Service assurance: This refers to the proactive assessment and monitoring of critical IP telephony services. Examples include services, such as delivery of basic dial tone services, measurement of call success rates and quality. Managers need to measure impairment delays to dial tone, and delays to ring back (call set up delay). These all impact the quality of a voice service and needs to be actively managed.
- Configuration management: This fundamental task is often overlooked, but is very critical. The largest percentage of network downtime is often associated with unauthorized changes or misconfigured equipment. Insight into configurations can prevent many self-inflicted issues.
- Call accounting: Managers need detailed reports from the call detail record to measure usage and provide accurate internal billing.
- Security management: While security has not been a primary concern, it should still be considered as IP telephony becomes more widespread. Many of the main VoIP security concerns can be addressed with strong network security.
Return to Cisco VoIP management guide.