VoIP monitoring with PRTG
- VoIP monitor: with PRTG, everything is included
- A quick overview of PRTG: VoIP monitoring definitions
- PRTG – Smart Setup
- Measuring quality of service (QoS) with PRTG
- Included in VoIP monitor: preconfigured PRTG sensors
- VoIP disruptions – and how best to eliminate them
- 3 common questions asked by companies with regard to VoIP
- Free VoIP monitoring vs. closed-source software
VoIP monitor: with PRTG, everything is included
How PRTG defines sensors
In PRTG, “sensors” are the basic monitoring elements. One sensor usually monitors one measured value in your network, e.g. the traffic of a switch port, the CPU load of a server, the free space of a disk drive. On average you need about 5-10 sensors per device or one sensor per switch port.
Free QoS monitoring
The predefined PRTG QoS (Quality of Service) Round Trip Sensor measures the Quality of Service of your lines. Some of the parameters covered by this sensor are latency, jitter, packet loss, duplicate packets, and the Mean Opinion Score (MoS). This sensor is included free of charge! There are no hidden costs.
Free IP SLA monitoring
PRTG provides a preconfigured Cisco IP SLA Sensor for this purpose. With this sensor, PRTG lets you monitor your Cisco device data - at no extra charge - as part of the free trial version that you can use to get started. You may also choose to use it as part of your license, and thereby simplify the calculation of your purchase cost.
The PRTG alarm feature runs discreetly in the background and focuses on that which is most important. Notifications are customizable according to your needs.
Decide when alerts should be sent, and the way you would like to receive them: by email, SMS, or push notification. As an IT manager, you can rest assured that you will be notified of issues promptly, before emergencies crop up. This alarm feature is likewise included!
Thanks to the dashboard designer, you can create your own personal dashboard - and keep a constant eye on your entire monitoring environment. Even while on the go, you'll enjoy a constant overview by way of our app, which is available for Android and iOS.
Comprehensive network monitoring
PRTG is more than "just" a VoIP monitoring tool. It also lets you monitor, among other things, your bandwidth, LAN, servers, and CPU. PRTG is an all-in-one solution. Once it is configured, your monitoring is good to go, and you can confidently go about your work. It is easy to see why so many of our customers love our tool!
A quick overview of PRTG: VoIP monitoring definitions:
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
VoIP has become the telephony standard in companies and groups. Every VoIP call saves money. VoIP software is easier to configure and more versatile. The voice is digitized, then sent across the network connection and reassembled. This process, however, is prone to malfunctions. Some examples: packets arrive too late, as duplicates, or in the wrong order...
With QoS (Quality of Service) monitoring, data line performance is monitored using parameters such as latency, packet loss, and jitter. QoS monitoring can take place internally, i.e. as inside a large building (the company LAN). Otherwise, the connection to external offices in other locations can be monitored if the latter are equipped with remote probes suitable for VoIP monitoring.
IP SLA configuration
For IP SLA monitoring, first you must properly configure your Cisco devices, and then add them to PRTG. Be sure to enable SNMP access, for data will be queried via this protocol. In the second step, create the appropriate Cisco IP SLA sensor and follow the subsequent instructions. The first data will arrive in no time at all. More information on IP SLA.
Your VoIP monitor – even on the go
PRTG is set up in a matter of minutes and can be used on a wide variety of mobile devices.
Practical tip: “Hey Stephan, do you have any tips for VoIP monitoring?”
“To simulate a telephone that uses the same network as your real IP telephone, simply set up our QoS Reflector Script on a Raspberry Pi and connect the latter to the desired point on the network. By doing so, you can guarantee that you are measuring the right network path with our QoS Round Trip Sensor. This is important because VoIP traffic is usually treated with priority.”
Stephan Linke, technical support at Paessler AG
PRTG makes your job easier
Our monitoring software frees you to focus on other tasks by promptly notifying you of potential issues.
PRTG gives you one central monitoring tool for your servers and entire network. Enjoy a quick overview of your whole infrastructure via our dashboard and app.
Getting started with PRTG is a breeze. Setting up or switching from another network monitoring tool is easy thanks to the auto-discovery and pre-configured device templates.
Frustrated with your current monitoring software? A tip for those making the switch
Do you currently use Nagios or other commercial monitoring software? Frustrated with awkward user interfaces and hidden costs? Then make the quick and easy switch to PRTG. Our Smart Setup is extremely user-friendly. Configuration takes a few short minutes. Preconfigured sensors are automatically created during setup - another free PRTG feature.
PRTG – Smart Setup
by Kimberley, Product Evangelist
Here we show you the first steps with PRTG: the initial configurations,
we explain how easy PRTG works and how the software is built.
Measuring quality of service (QoS) with PRTG
When calling, perhaps the following are true: There is static on the line. There are delays. There are echoes.
If so, then you have a problem with the quality of your VoIP service. Take advantage of the parameters below to measure performance.
Latency measures the time data packets need to travel from the sender to the recipient. According to ITU-T, which is responsible for telecommunications standards within the International Telecommunications Union, delays should not exceed 125 milliseconds. When it comes to latency, PRTG recommends a maximum delay of 100 milliseconds, in order that you may be notified sufficiently in advance and can react before noticeable disruptions occur.
Packet loss is one of the most frequent errors to take place during VoIP, as well as during video conferences and streaming. ITU-T recommends a maximum loss rate of 5 percent. For packet losses, PRTG recommends a default setting of 0%. For even the smallest losses can cause interruptions. PRTG also lets you know if packets are "duplicates" or "out of order."
Mean Opinion Score (MOS)
The MOS rates the call quality on a scale of 1 to 5. The higher the score, the better the quality. The rating is based on jitter, latency, and other parameters. MOS is a kind of summary that is displayed in the sensor overview with the other key information.
Jitter is also an important parameter for determining your quality of service. Jitter measures the deviation from the average latency value. PRTG recommends that this deviation be less than 20 to 25 milliseconds. This value, too, lies significantly below the ITU-T recommendation.
Included in VoIP monitor: preconfigured PRTG sensors
The QoS (Quality of Service) Round Trip Sensor monitors the quality of the network connection while taking QoS parameters such as latency, packet loss, and jitter into consideration. Read more about the QoS (Quality of Service) Round Trip Sensor here.
Cisco IP SLA Sensor
This sensor takes advantage of the ability of Cisco devices, which feature IP SLA, to read and analyze data. Find out more about the Cisco IP SLA Sensor here.
SNMP Cisco CBQoS Sensor
Even Cisco devices with CBQoS can be monitored with their own special sensor. Find out more about the SNMP Cisco CBQoS Sensor here.
SIP Options Ping Sensor
This sensor displays the SIP status code directly so the sysadmin immediately knows what is going on: SIP Options Ping Sensor.
VoIP disruptions – and how best to eliminate them
When you switch to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), you’re bound to experience disruptions. Common disruptions are when one or both of the parties on the line are no longer audible. These disruptions can arise during the buildup to the call or during the call itself. Common error messages include 404 (remote switch not found) and 500 (server error). You can find a full list of error messages here.
Disruptions can be caused by many things. Users might be using their Internet phones incorrectly, errors may arise while configuring your gateway or QoS settings, or something may be wrong with your hardware. Another reason may be that your provider is not delivering the agreed upon bandwidth and is therefore in breach of your service contract (SLA). This can lead to increases in latency and lost data packets.
PRTG helps with the troubleshooting process. Errors are sniffed out much faster. Whether latency, packet loss, or other QoS issues: with PRTG, you’ll immediately see where the problem lies and can quickly go about resolving minor errors and disruptions. You can also improve the voice and overall quality of your calls. The same goes for video quality and streaming.
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3 common questions asked by companies with regard to VoIP
Why should we switch to VoIP?
Many companies seek to benefit from the advantages of VoIP solutions: IP telephony can be operated from any location in the world, which is also helpful when employees work from home. As language packs are transferred via the Internet, connection costs are significantly lower, especially when it comes to international calls. What’s more, in a few years’ time, old ISDN lines will be shut down completely.
What should we look for in a VoIP provider?
Various B2B providers offer cloud solutions for companies. Any decision should be based on the provider’s service, conditions, and performance. Other important considerations are availability and reliability - both should be at least 99%. Consult the provider’s data protection and data security policies. You’ll want to know, among other things, if the cloud provider operates its data centers in Europe.
Why is monitoring necessary?
In the event of disruptions and/or downtime, a VoIP monitor such as PRTG can help. Monitoring immediately lets you know when problems arise. You’ll therefore be able to take action before users know something is awry. As a result, you’ll free up a lot of your technical support department’s time.
Free VoIP monitoring vs. closed-source software
Free VoIP monitoring software
You can try the full, unlimited version of PRTG for 30 days free of charge. After this time, you’ll continue to get access to 100 sensors for as long as you like. If you’re only interested in keeping an eye on your VoIP, these 100 sensors will allow you to set up VoIP monitoring. The alarm, dashboard, and reports features are also available indefinitely in the free version of PRTG.
Closed-source VoIP monitoring tools
Some VoIP tools (including PRTG) offer licenses which enable you to set up extensive network monitoring. With a license, you can monitor your network devices, applications, services, and much more. Thanks to comprehensive overviews, you’ll immediately see if something is causing a problem in your network. In other words, you'll ensure your network runs trouble-free.
Printer Monitoring: With PRTG you know the status of every printer. See detailed printer error messages at a glance and get informed if printer replacement is necessary.
Ping Monitoring: PRTG uses ping to check the availability of all your network devices. If the ping fails, you will be notified immediately.
SSL Monitoring: PRTG determines the extent to which your connections are protected. You can therefore learn if they are strong, weak, or not protected at all.
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PRTG: The Swiss Army knife for sysadminsAdapt PRTG individually and dynamically to your needs and rely on a strong API:
- HTTP API: Access monitoring data and manipulate monitoring objects via HTTP requests
- Custom sensors: Create your own PRTG sensors for customized monitoring
- Custom notifications: Create your own notifications and send action triggers to external systems
- REST Custom sensor: Monitor almost everything that provides data in XML or JSON format
Reader tips from our knowledge base
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