I Came, I Saw, I Monitored: Troubleshoot Unified Communications Like a Roman Emperor

“We were born to work together like feet, hands, and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower … like Cisco HCS, Nortel, or Skype for Business and our distributed development teams.”

Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor, Unified Comms Futurist*

* (not really)

OK, so, the famed Roman emperor may not have mentioned  technology in his A.D. 180 magnum opus, “Meditations.” But he was certainly on point with his perspective that, as humans, we have an intrinsic need to work together for the continued improvement of society.

Unified communications and collaboration tools are meeting solutions utilized by enterprise teams to ensure they can effectively work together to meet the needs of the business regardless of physical location, time zone or boundary. According to the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions, “By 2022, 65% of meeting solutions users will take advantage of SIP/VoIP-based audio conferencing options embedded in those meeting platforms, up from 20% in 2017.”    

The benefits of unified communications are abundant and obvious, however, most enterprises struggle to successfully deploy, deliver and maintain their UC tools. UC tools can be complex to administer and often suffer from the dreaded curse of tool proliferation.  On average, mid-to-large enterprises have five or more services capable of supporting audio, video and web collaboration. On top of that, truly effective UC monitoring focuses on quality of service, which goes far beyond simply knowing if a device is up or down, the current number of registered phones, or the number of calls attempted/active/completed. 

Just because a call was completed does not mean that call went well. If a conversation is negatively affected by packet loss, incorrect codecs, flawed deployment configurations, or network latency across multiple network hops, the number of calls completed becomes irrelevant if the sound quality is jittery or indecipherable.  

Then, we must take into account the dynamic nature of troubleshooting UC problems. A single call can travel through servers, routers and gateways, across firewalls, and through multiple networks. These multiple hops can affect signal quality and are highly dependent on the resources available at any given time, making accurately diagnosing call reliability and audio quality complex and often costly without the proper solution. 

That proper solution is Zenoss Insight.  

Zenoss Insight utilizes machine data from UC infrastructure coupled with expert policies for all major UC providers (such as Avaya, Cisco, Skype, BroadSoft, Oracle, Sonus, Aspect, Genesys, Pexip and many more), ensuring your UC environments consistently perform at their peak.

Zenoss Insight utilizes a proactive UC monitoring approach. Some platforms utilize a retroactive troubleshooting approach that relies on packet sniffers, simple alerting, and attempts to recreate the problem on a dynamically changing network environment. This approach is time consuming and fraught with error.   

Retroactive Troubleshooting:

Zenoss Insight automates the forensic analysis of call issues as they happen in real time through its correlation engine and policies. It takes the task of problem isolation, which used to take hours or days, and allows you to capture, pinpoint and correct issues within minutes.  

Zenoss Insight Proactive Forensics:

Recently, a leading global provider of digital transformation and IT solutions selected Zenoss Insight to displace their legacy unified communications monitoring platform. A senior director of IT at this major MSP said, “We were able to reduce the load on our customer environments with monitoring based on syslog event correlation and reduce chances of missing an alert. The reporting is all based on dashboard build, providing out-of-box reports matching customer reporting demands.”

Choosing the ideal product to provide your UC and collaboration applications is never a simple task. Infrastructure and applications are the backbone of the services your team delivers to your customers. Unified communications tools allow your team to collaborate efficiently in order to develop, maintain and enhance your product. Zenoss is the solution that provides not only an end-to-end view of UC quality of service but also the best-in-class intelligent application, infrastructure and service monitoring.

To learn more about how Zenoss can help you ensure the availability and reliability of your unified communications systems, schedule a demo today.