Healthy VoIP Nets�Part XLIII�Network Management Architectures: EMC

Tasked with managing hundreds of IP PBXs? You should give EMC's Smarts VoIP Management solution serious consideration.

By Mark A. Miller | Posted Sep 16, 2008
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EMC Corporation, headquartered in Hopkinton, Mass., is a developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions. The company focuses on information management, including risk and cost reduction, to enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete in their respective industries, and create value from their information.

EMC works with organizations around the world, in both the public and private sectors, in every industry, and of every size, from startups to the Fortune Global 500. Their customers include banks and other financial services firms, manufacturers, healthcare and life sciences organizations, Internet service and telecommunications providers, airlines and transportation companies, educational institutions, and public-sector agencies.

Since 2003, EMC has acquired and integrated over 30 growth-oriented software and services companies into its operations. The firm now has research and development centers in Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, China, India, Israel, Russia, and the United States—plus manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Ireland. It also claims to have the world's largest sales and service force focused on information infrastructure, and works closely with a global network of technology, outsourcing, systems integration, service, and distribution partners.

EMC employs more than 38,000 people worldwide, about 40 percent of whom work outside the U.S. It is represented by approximately 400 sales offices and scores of partners in nearly 70 countries around the world, and posted annual revenues of approximately $13 billion.

EMC’s solution for converged IP networks is called the EMC Smarts VoIP Management Suite. It offers the complete, integrated solution for specialized IP telephony management that enterprises need to address the management challenges and complexity posed by VoIP. The suite delivers all the capabilities necessary for comprehensive, end-to-end management, diagnosis, and analysis of the performance and availability of VoIP services and network infrastructure. It supports the Avaya, Cisco and Nortel VoIP platforms.

The Smarts management solutions play a crucial role in network and data center operations by automating the discovery, understanding, and mapping of the complex relationships that exist among business processes, applications, and information infrastructure. It also provides a robust, extensible platform that enterprises can grow as their businesses grow, markets change, and technologies evolve.

The VoIP Management Suite functionality addresses four main areas:

  • automated discovery and visualization of the VoIP infrastructure
  • automated fault management
  • IP telephony performance management
  • management reporting

Included are the capabilities for SNMP-based enterprise management, protocol and packet-level analysis, performance and QoS monitoring, plus network mapping utilities.

The suite is composed of VoIP Availability Manager, VoIP Performance Manager, and VoIP Performance Reporter.

Specifically, Smarts VoIP Performance Manager and Smarts VoIP Performance Reporter deliver real-time information about phone extensions, phone calls, voice quality, availability of the telephone service, and interconnections to telecommunications providers. In addition, the solutions monitor call volumes, call quality, and route patterns to ensure service levels are being met, and they offer both real-time and historical performance and trend reporting.

The VoIP Availability Manager provides the same capabilities and levels of reliability of traditional network management tools, while addressing the specific requirements of a broad range of VoIP devices, including media gateways, servers running VoIP applications, voice switches, routers, and phones. The product discovers the network elements, such as switches and IP PBXs; builds a topology of relationships and dependencies among these devices and their applications; establishes the device relationships and interconnectivity; and monitors the VoIP network systems and applications for availability, identifying the root cause of any problems that arise.

VoIP Performance Manager monitors, measures, and manages the availability and performance of VoIP services and systems, plus the network services supporting them (see Figures 1 and 2). The product provides intelligent alerting, deep diagnostics, and extensive reporting on all aspects of systems that may affect the quality of VoIP services. The product currently supports Avaya Communication Manager 3, plus Cisco Unified Communications Manager 5, Unified CallManager 4 and CallManager 3.

VoIP Performance Reporter demonstrates how and IP telephony service is performing against key performance indicators or service level agreements or SLAs (see Figure 3). It can identify problem trends in the IP telephony environment and automatically generate and distribute reports to pre-defined lists at regularly scheduled intervals. The Microsoft Word-based reports cover service-level analysis, operational metrics, and business-level management statistics.

Since the Smarts software scales to manage hundreds of IP PBXs and hundreds of thousands of phones, it is targeted as a solution for global enterprises and managed service providers. While other VoIP management tools provide only network-centric or event-based information, Smarts software provides in-depth, real-time views and flexible reporting on telephony infrastructures, while demonstrating how that detailed information relates to the end-user experience.

Further details on the EMC architecture and products can be found at http://www.emc.com/. Our next tutorial will continue our examination of vendors’ network management architectures.

Copyright Acknowledgement: © 2008 DigiNet Corporation ®, All Rights Reserved


Author's Biography
Mark A. Miller, P.E., is President of DigiNet Corporation®, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.

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