In this day of companies downsizing and more employees working from home to cut office space costs, voice and video traffic over the internet is becoming more prevalent and also critical that it the quality is reliable.
We have several employees who work out of their homes and in an effort to maintain acceptable voice quality, we have configured QoS on their routers.
Plixer International can help you put a number of these services to work for you by providing the best network analysis and reporting tools available on the market today.
We have talked for a long time about the benefits of using Cisco IPSLA as a proactive method of reliably measuring network performance. Raul Duran wrote a series of blogs talking about the use of IPSLA operations, and believes that IPSLA should be a part of every Network Administrator’s toolbox. Using our SNMP Performance and Trending tool, data can be retrieved and trended, enabling users to graph performance over time.
Plixer International is proud to present the YouTube debut of Mix Master Mitch’s first single, “NetFlow Rap”.
Workin’ in IT’s a breeze
Got my chair back, feet up, crossing my knees (cuz I’m feelin’ it)
Got the collector running data, it’s reelin’ it
Writing data to mySQL, there’s no sense concealing it
Because I got it Scrutinized
A Big Mac, super sized
Just spent 9 grand, now all my NetFlow’s analyzed
Finally realized I needed a tool
Called up the Plixer and they took me to school
Engineer’s on site, and if that wasn’t enough
Even set me up to integrate their stuff with WhatsUp
Tables charts and graphs galore
Signed up for the webinar and learned that there was even more
Now I can run a report
And find out which cohorts are busy building heavy forts on my ports
Check my Top Conversations every single minute
Now when there’s a network battle, instantly I win it
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Then you too could sit back and listen to this song
But if you don’t go, I won’t be help responsible
When you get busted by the network constable
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Don’t know how you’ve been livin’ with no NBA
If every day you fall victim to performance paralysis
I don’t know why you think you don’t need behavior analysis
So if you’re waitin’, procrastinatin’, hesitatin’, and tool debatin’
You can escape from the fake statement you’re statin’ and makin’
It’s frustrating, making mistakes, because you’re pacin’ and waitin’
For the boss to stop flaking, wake up and stop the budget breaking
So many vowel sounds that now my head is aching
May fall off because it’s loose, just like the feet of Kevin Bacon
But back to the track and the point that I was makin’
Hold up, there’s a phone call that I’m about to be takin’
There’s a radio station, somebody listens to it
But there’s an issue because there’s not enough legit bandwidth
We can resolve this real quick, just ran a report and found out that it’s Chris
Went to his cubicle and said Chris what’s this
The T1 is lit, the boss is pissed and pitching a fit
What’s that? How did we find out about it?
With the Plixer Flow Analytics
I spit this, just like a baby spits spinach
Flow Analytics will finish your decision, due to the features within it
Competition watching – chances of winnin’ business diminish
Like they were presidential running mates of Dennis Kucinich.
There is no question that our Network monitoring tools are our eyes into how our network is being utilized. Moreover, to truly gauge the efficiency of changes made to the network to increase efficiency, it’s critical to have performance trends before and after changes are made.
Scrutinizer QoS reporting can be the key to troubleshooting or evaluating network performance of traffic going through QoS queues.
Today we’ll talk about how we can use Scrutinizer’s custom reporting to analyze the traffic associated with QoS and class maps.
We know that to create a class map, we can specify the DSCP value we want to be included in the class map. In the map below we can see that EF in the name column corresponds to a codepoint of 10111000, for example.
Scrutinizer allows class map reporting by simply adding the Diffserv codepoints assigned to the DSCP Values of your class map to your custom report. It’s just like as if you were creating a class map, except instead of the DSCP Value you use the codepoint.
Let’s say we have a router with a VoIP class map configured to include the EF DSCP Value. Let’s also say we want to analyze traffic associated with this class map on this specific router.
All I need to do now is to create a custom report in Scrutinizer where I have included the 10111000 (EF) Codepoint, select interfaces belonging to this router, and I’m instantly viewing a report of all the traffic flowing through my VoIP class map.
We can also use this same technique to create a custom report on a class map that hasn’t been rolled out yet, so that you can verify that the changes made to the router configuration have resulted in the changes intended in traffic flow.
Ideally, the administrator would pair this with a Cisco IP SLA Jitter monitor that would also give stats on:
• Latencies including source to destination, destination to source, and jitter.
• MOS Score if the class map affects VoIP Traffic
• Packet Loss metrics including late, or out of sequence packets, and tail drop.
By comparing the before and after statistics, verification can be made of increased efficiency and everybody is happy.
If you would like information on how to setup the Cisco Jitter IP SLA, check out the 4 part Cisco IP SLA Blogs on Systrax.
We had an interesting weekend in Maine. The first ice storm of the season seemed to be a bit problematic for all of us, but it could not stop the Plixer Christmas adventure. The ice knocked out power to our office as well as to an estimated 220,000 homes and businesses in Maine. Some of us are still without power. In this mess, there were some amazing sights only an ice storm can create. I was struck by how the trees encapsulated in ice captured the sun light and lit up the trees. Billions of lights flickered in the winter breeze glimmering on a magnitude that no man made string-o-lights could ever produce.
Every year Plixer does something special for its employees during Christmas. Our Plixer Christmas event had been planned for this weekend; Ice storm or not the show still went on. “The Magic of Christmas” was the title of an amazing show that showcased the Portland Symphony Orchestra. The title was fitting as these great musicians played together in unison – truly magical. I couldn’t help but draw metaphors on what great things can be accomplished with teamwork, a good listening ear, and timing within our networks.
If one musician would have been out of time or delayed in any way, it might have ruined what could have been a perfect . Why should we expect anything less from our Voice communications? In order to listen, we need the right tools to monitor latency, jitter, MOS, and packet loss. Cisco already provides us with these tools (Cisco IP SLA), and all we need to do is configure, and trend it.
The IP SLA statistics can be retrieved through SNMP. The Denika SNMP Performance Trender is the perfect tool to deliver the Cisco IP SLA reports. There are IP SLA MRTG templates already built in to Denika that allow users to create hundreds of reports in seconds. The fact that most configurations are already done makes it quick and simple to deploy. Plixer also has a special My View gadget so that you can see your VoIP statistics within Scrutinizer. 3rd Party integration in both Scrutinizer and Denika allow it to play well with other network monitoring tools. With the right tools, it won’t take years to have your network sounding like a world class symphony orchestra.