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Greater Insight Into Troubleshooting Voip And Video Connections

Sanford, ME — Jan 06, 2011 — Since its inception in 1999, Plixer International has assisted thousands of businesses with their network monitoring software. Plixer’s Scrutinizer NetFlow Analyzer software collects and reports on NetFlow, a network traffic profile monitoring technology developed by Cisco Systems in 1996.

Cisco Systems recently announced their expectations that over 90% of all network traffic will be voice and/or video streams within the next few years. As a result, advancements in technology and IT management are required to aid network traffic management. Networks are an essential part of communications with trends being driven largely by a combination of video, social networking, and advanced collaboration applications. The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) is the company’s ongoing effort to forecast and analyze the growth and use of IP networks worldwide.

Outside of packet analyzers, the management and troubleshooting of network video and voice applications have historically been nearly impossible for IT administrators. The end to end QoS unpredictability of voice over IP (VoIP) and video over IP connections has presented barriers to quality. This is because portions of some networks lack the connection provisioning ability needed to support simultaneous high-quality video and voice.

According to Aamer Akther with Cisco Systems, video applications are sensitive to fluctuations in network performance. In his Cisco blog, Mr. Akther states, “After the video has been packetized for IP transport, the network’s contribution to the video streams performance is generally limited to delay, jitter, and loss. Generally, video conference participants can detect IP transport delays above 400 milliseconds, which impede quality communications.”

To aid the developing business needs regarding media streaming, Cisco has been developing capabilities so users can evolve toward a Medianet, an intelligent network optimized for rich media.

Cisco Medianet capabilities combine video and VoIP technologies in the business, home, and service provider networks. More than just higher bandwidth, it optimizes video and rich media traffic by incorporating intelligence into the protocol infrastructure to help meet Quality of Service (QoS) demands. Network traffic can no longer be prioritized solely by media type, allowing video first, audio second, and text applications third. Instead, all streams within the same interaction must be handled with the same QoS guarantees.

Failing to consider a media-enabled network will result in poor quality for all of the increasing number of network applications. Merely acquiring bandwidth for these applications doesn’t provide a solution. Network insight is necessary to understand the media stream and its requirements.

Network management tools collect and analyze NetFlow for a media stream’s loss, latency, and jitter. NetFlow is a technology that monitors and records all IP traffic passing through the supported router or switch. Prior to this technology, IT administrators could see how much traffic was on a network, but they couldn’t see what kind of traffic it was. NetFlow collectors gather and analyze the flow packets for source IP address, destination IP address, source port number, destination port number, protocol type, type of services, and the router input interface. This data is then presented in graphical format, providing extremely detailed trending and measurement of network traffic.

Currently, Scrutinizer NetFlow Analyzer from Plixer International, Inc. is the only NetFlow monitoring solution to report on the new metrics Cisco embedded into Flexible NetFlow templates for Medianet. Scrutinizer delivers detailed reports on all traffic related to voice and video. The Medianet Performance Monitoring Reports which are possible between hosts or entire subnets include:

  • Round Trip Time
  • Jitter
  • Packet Loss
  • Bits/Bytes and Packets.

To configure NetFlow exports of Cisco’s Performance Monitoring, routers need to be running Cisco IOS version 15.1(3)T (Cisco’s G2 routers also require a license to be installed). Through the use of comprehensive NetFlow analysis and Medianet’s stream-aware architecture, there is much greater insight into troubleshooting VoIP connections.

“We are very excited to be involved with this emerging technology involving Flexible NetFlow with Medianet” said Michael Patterson, CEO of Plixer. “We strive to be a leader in the latest NetFlow technologies and it was great to see Cisco approach us so we could be one of the first vendors to support it.”

Download a free trial of Plixer’s Scrutinizer for NetFlow traffic analysis or schedule a live demo by calling: (207) 324-8805 or via email at [email protected]. For more NetFlow insight, follow Plixer International on their Blog, Twitter, Facebook or join NetFlow Developments Group on LinkedIn.

About Plixer International, Inc.

Plixer International, Inc. develops and markets network traffic monitoring and analysis tools to the global market. All of the tools are built from the ground up with valuable feature sets and ease of use in mind. Plixer tools have been used to analyze and troubleshoot irregular traffic patterns by IT professionals with some of the largest networks in the world, such as CNN, The Coca-Cola Company, Lockheed Martin, IBM, Regal Cinemas, Raytheon, and Eddie Bauer.

For product and sales information, contact Plixer International, Inc. at 1 Eagle Drive, Sanford, Maine, via telephone (207) 324-8805, fax (207) 324-8683; or visit the Plixer website.

Published in Press Releases 2011