Ready for VoIP: Network Management Architectures: AdventNet

AdventNet, Inc., headquartered in Pleasanton, California, is a privately held software
company with a broad portfolio of products and web services.

AdventNet product offerings span a number of vertical disciplines, including network,
systems, and enterprise security management under the brand of ManageEngine,
collaboration and office
, and web
test automation tools

AdventNet and its global network of partners provide solutions to multiple market
segments including: OEMs, global enterprises, government, education, small and
medium-sized businesses, and a growing base of management service providers.

AdventNet has regional offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Japan
and China, supporting customers that include AT&T, AOL Time Warner, Bank of America,
Coca Cola, Fidelity Investments, Intel, Lehman Brothers, Lockheed Martin, McDonalds, the
New York Times, Pfizer, Time Warner Cable, Wells Fargo, and the United States Army and

The ManageEngine suite includes over 20 network and systems management products
for network and server monitoring, VoIP monitoring, WAN traffic analysis, WLAN
monitoring, firewall log analysis, change and configuration management, application
monitoring, password and security management, plus IT Asset management and an IT Service

For VoIP networks, the ManageEngine VQManager product is a software-only,
web-based, real-time Quality of Service (QoS) tool that can monitor any device or user
agent that support the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), the Real Time Protocol/Real
Time Control Protocol (RTP/RTCP), or Cisco Systems’ Skinny Client Control Protocol
(SCCP). The system runs on a hardware platform with a Pentium III PC running on Windows
2000/XP, RedHat Linux 7.2/8.0, Mandrakelinux 10.1, or Mandriva Linux 2006.

VQManager is targeted at the VoIP monitoring needs of enterprise businesses, as well
as small and growing service providers, and is intended for the post-deployment VoIP
market. The system monitors VoIP QoS metrics in real-time, including jitter, latency, and
packet loss, and produces detailed reports, self-configurable alerts, and in-depth fault
probing-all from a single web interface. In addition, VQManager supports the processing
of a number of vendors’ call detail records, including those from Asterisk, Cisco
Systems, PortaOne, ShoreTel, Swyx, and Tekelec.

The system incorporates a packet capture application that monitors VoIP packets across
the network on a continuous basis. It analyzes and decodes VoIP traffic, and collects
important call statistics and QoS information, which it stores in a MySQL database. By
capturing the actual traffic traversing the network, VQManager is able to provide
real-time information on important QoS parameters, such as packet loss, delay, and jitter
values-as well as Mean Opinion Score (MOS) values for individual calls and for individual
participants in a call. A web-based user interface provides for remote access to the
monitored results using a Javascript-enabled web browser such as Microsoft Internet
Explorer 6.0 or greater, or Firefox 1.5 or greater (see Figure 1).

Complete visibility of call traffic, from call initiation to data transfer to call
completion, is provided through call flow ladder diagrams that illustrate the protocol
interactions between communicating endpoints (see Figure 2). Further drill-down showing individual raw
packet information allows for packet-level troubleshooting of VoIP issues, call details,
and CODEC details (see Figure 3).

VQManager can generate network alarms, based upon user-defined parameters with varying
levels of severity. These include: QoS factors, such as jitter and packet loss; too many
consecutive incomplete calls; excessive call setup times, high average answer delay
times; the average length of a call (either high or low); high voice bandwidth
utilization, protocol errors derived from SIP processing; too many disconnects, or the
volume of calls.

Alarms can be configured for different levels of severity (Warning/Major/Critical) by
defining multiple thresholds for each alarm triggering condition. Notifications come in
the form of Operator alerts, e-mails and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) trap
messages (see Figure 4).

The system also includes broad reporting capabilities that are handled by built-in
reporting profiles and customized reporting options. Network administrators can create
customized and scheduled reports to focus on targeted problem areas-such as a daily call
report of the poor quality calls from the CEO’s phone.

Daily call summaries are categorized into successful and unsuccessful calls, with
further segregation of calls based on the quality experienced. Daily, weekly and monthly
trends of VoIP call quality and bandwidth utilization are plotted to provide inputs for
further capacity additions (see Figure 5).

Detailed reports are also provided for each endpoint in the network, with QoS and call
traffic data being split-up into outgoing calls and incoming calls, which facilitate the
troubleshooting of user-specific complaints.

Further details on the AdventNet ManageEngine architecture and products can be found
at Our next tutorial will continue our
examination of vendors’ network management architectures.

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