ThousandEyes Active Network Monitoring
ThousandEyes, developer of a cloud-based Network Intelligence platform that uses synthetic transaction monitoring to test application delivery performance and network conditions, has extended its capacity to monitor and troubleshoot real time VoIP solutions. The ThousandEyes system is designed to have many agents, running as probes from an enterprise datacenter, in end user devices or from the cloud. Each agent generates synthetic traffic that is used to monitor the condition of the underlying network and the operational characteristics of the real-time application.
Through a portal to the SaaS service, the agents are configured to generate synthetic transactions and traffic to assure the operational characteristics of the system or associated applications. In VoIP, the agents can generate simulated SIP registrations to test the availability and responses of the communications server as well as RTP traffic between agents to analyze voice quality and underlying network characteristics, reported as loss, jitter, latency, discards and Mean Opinion Scope (MOS). Both SIP and RTP phases can be linked sequentially in a simulated Voice Call. The results are integrated into a set of displays and metrics to enable analyzing traffic flow and voice quality.
The ThousandEyes solution is on the Assurance side of Monitoring and Assurance management. Assurance platforms use synthetic traffic and detailed monitoring of the traffic carriage to deliver an analysis of the overall system. Monitoring platforms monitor SNMP messages, call records, and traffic error traps to analyze the operational state of the system. Synthetic transaction assurance enables more detailed analysis of the actual characteristics and path of the traffic and the state of the network as it is not limited to actual traffic patterns or time of day load levels.
The ThousandEyes team does not see their platform as necessarily replacing a monitoring tool, but rather augmenting it in three ways: delivering a more detailed analysis of the operating condition of the system through the synthetic transaction detail, a tool to use to actively test certain conditions and hypothesis in a troubleshooting scenario, and a way to plan/analyze for production VoIP deployments.
The ThousandEyes platform joins other management vendors in providing the solutions to benchmark, operate, maintain, and troubleshoot the ever more complex environments of real-time communications in an IP world. Multiple studies have shown the value of the full range of configuration, change management, monitoring and assurance tools in delivering availability and quality in the next generation of solutions as well as reducing the size and cost of manual configurations. Organizations that are adopting these next generation communications and collaboration solutions should have a detailed management plan in place. Assurance solutions like ThousandEyes are a way of monitoring both premises and cloud solutions as well as the underlying networks and services, both public and private, that modern real-time solutions are running over.