Home » Computers » Networks

Life Cycle of a Converged Network: Ongoing Operations and Network Optimization

Aug 18, 2008
Whether you plan to use an MSP for ongoing operations, or you feel the IT staff is sufficiently trained to handle it in house, failure to have the proper management tools can evaporate your ROI through network outages and costly troubleshooting practices. Software patches and vendor upgrades can wreak havoc in a production environment, and should always be tested first on an isolated segment using all inclusive analysis software to assess their impact on the network.

Most companies have come to rely on their IP PBX vendors management software, and after a year or two into the deployment have found them sorely lacking. Today, IPT vendors and developers are seeing the need for a management application that takes a look at the whole network, including the traffic patterns of data and real time applications.

Analysis software packages are rapidly entering the market from such well known industry leaders as Alcatel-Lucent, as well as vendor independent software developers.

The converged network analysis solutions available to you should be assessed in the planning stage, and once decided upon, used extensively in the testing, implementation, and ongoing operations and optimization stages. Such features as capacity planning, network assessment and simulations, design and configuration are all crucial in the pre deployment stages Your analysis software should be hardware agnostic and compatible with a wide variety of PBXs to accurately measure voice use patterns both pre and post deployment.

Monitoring of ongoing operations such as real time QOS data, dropped calls and packet loss, policy based management features, and troubleshooting alerts with root cause analysis should all be included in the application, as well as the ability to interpret the data in a variety of reports.

IP address management should also be a consideration, as now that you have converged, every device - a laptop, an IP phone, even hand held mobile devices that connect to your network will be competing within your address space. IPAM tools are also becoming available from many vendors to help streamline and simplify administration.

It is the ongoing operations responsibility to assure that the benchmarks that were set in the planning phase are being met, and that the SLAs agreed upon, either in house or with a carrier, are being adhered to. With the help of the right analysis solution IT can quickly determine both, and in the case of an SLA not being met, can help find where the responsibility lies.

Network Optimization

The same software that you use for ongoing operations could prove vital to the optimization phase of the IPT life cycle. While operations and optimization are both ongoing, they are also happening at the same time, and should probably best be thought of as two different job descriptions.

The IPT converged network is a dynamic entity, with moves, adds, and changes constantly shifting performance levels in a growing organization. Much of the motivation for convergence is to future proof the network, extending its life span to avoid costly upgrades every few years.

While much of the ongoing management operation is happening in real time on the production network, optimization could and should be performed first in the test lab. The goal of optimization is to push the network, to define new benchmarks and to improve existing SLAs with specific targets in mind.

If VoIP is the voice aspect in the triple play of IP Telephony, then IPT can be thought of as just one aspect in the broader scope of Unified Communications. As organizations seek to converge all communications, both real time and non real time, to an IP infrastructure, new applications are being developed and deployed. Unified Communications cover a range of applications from audio/video conferencing, blogging, mobility, wireless VoIP, distance learning, instant messaging, wikis, collaborative desktop applications, and presence, just to name a few.

Each of these applications will require its own bandwidth and Class of Service. It is the role of the optimizer to test and prepare the network for these potentially disruptive services by allocating resources appropriately, and making the necessary upgrades. With the proper tools and strict adherence to the IPT life cycle, convergence can future proof a network infrastructure for deploying a host of unified business applications for years to come.
About the Author
Michael Talbert is a certified systems engineer with over 7 years experience in the industry. For more information on VoIP, visit the website VoIP-Facts.net, or the VoIP Facts Blog for up to date industry news and commentary.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 290
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources