[VoiceOps] VoIP passive monitoring appliances or software - any recommendations?

Christopher Aloi ctaloi at gmail.com
Thu Feb 13 13:37:57 EST 2014

Hey Brian -

I've used Empirix/Hammer in the past but found the ongoing cost, 
maintenance and complexity wasn't worth it.

We recently deployed VoIP Monitor to our remote POPs feeding back to a 
central VoIP Monitor box with a nice front end.

I'm very happy with the solution.


- Chris

On 12 Feb 2014, at 16:02, Gast, Jim wrote:

> Hi, Brian -
> If your VoIP endpoints can give you RTCP-XR (RFC-3611), turn it on.  
> You can harvest the "Statistics Summary Report Block" for Jitter and 
> Packet Loss stats and the "VoIP Metrics Report Block" for things like 
> MOS score.  All of these stats are from the viewpoint of that 
> particular VoIP endpoint.   They aren't very good at helping you find 
> the site of packet losses, but they are great at telling you whether 
> or not you have a problem.
> Cheers,
> / Jim Gast, TDS Telecom
> From: VoiceOps [mailto:voiceops-bounces at voiceops.org] On Behalf Of 
> Brian Knight
> Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 2:15 PM
> To: voiceops at voiceops.org
> Subject: [VoiceOps] VoIP passive monitoring appliances or software - 
> any recommendations?
> $DAY_JOB is at a national ISP/NSP where we resell VoIP services.  We 
> do peering with the VoIP carrier at one of our remote POP's.  We are 
> looking for a better way to be able to monitor the handoff of those 
> calls to our carrier over that peering link.
> We have quite a bit of instrumentation within our walled garden to 
> tell us about call quality.  We can monitor our QOS policies to ensure 
> packets aren't being dropped by intermediate routers.  If the customer 
> uses our routers to terminate their SIP session, we can pull call 
> quality stats from those routers as well.  We can also use our own 
> office telephones to make and receive test telephone calls, and we can 
> of course run Wireshark captures from the switches to which those 
> phones are connected.
> However, we can't say for certain that the customer's RTP traffic 
> actually made it on the wire connecting us to the VoIP provider, nor 
> can we say that the traffic is being transmitted and received 
> properly.  The peering link is connected to a Cisco 12k router on our 
> side, so there is no way (afaik) to mirror the port, as on a switch.
> For the moment, I am envisioning that we'll need to deploy a server 
> running Wireshark to the remote POP.  It will need two network 
> interfaces; one connected to a management network, the other a capture 
> interface.  The capture interface will connect to a network tap, and 
> the network tap connected in-line between our router and the patch 
> panel.
> Wireshark is probably adequate for what we need.  But I'm wondering if 
> there is any software or an appliance that would do the job better.  
> Given the usual details - calling number, called number, date and time 
> - we want to be able to quickly inspect traffic and dig into the 
> details of the stream.  Do we see any missing packets from the media 
> stream?  What is the MOS score of a particular call?  Do we see any 
> missing packets coming from us?  Any missing packets from the 
> provider?
> Alerting on bad call quality would be a nice-to-have addition.
> Any recommendation would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance.
> -Brian Knight
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