VoIP Network Takes City to the Future
When the City of Jacksonville, N.C., switched from a traditional phone system to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in April 2002, it did so to not only save money, but to bring the city into the modern age.
The previous system was antiquated, cobbled together from various pieces and came saddled with a $12,000 monthly phone bill–in short, it needed upgrading. The city realized that $500,000 invested in a VoIP network would pay off due in part to the reduced costs of making calls over an IP network. But the choice to move to VoIP was also driven by the desire to prepare for future technologies. With its upgraded network, the City of Jacksonville is set to easily adapt to new features such as videophones, instant messaging and broadcast VoIP.
In all, the City of Jacksonvilles VoIP network has nearly 400 users across 14 remote sites, including City Hall, the police and fire stations, as well as the Public Services department and recreational facilities. The network includes two Cisco Call Manager servers; several Cisco switches and 250 Cisco handsets.
While the citys data network has an application designed to monitor and manage data traffic, giving the IT team insight into slowdowns, bandwidth problems and other issues, the device was not applicable for the VoIP network. Administrators realized a specialized solution that would provide real-time monitoring and management for voice quality and network reliability.
We were running into some echoing and some obvious packet loss in some of our calls, said the citys Senior IT Specialist Bobby Parrish. We needed a way to monitor the voice side, assess these problems and then make the necessary fixes.
Thats why Parrish recently turned to the Qovia VoIP Monitoring and Management System (VMMS). The VMMS is designed from the ground up to monitor VoIP networks in real-time, giving administrators insight into what is happening with calls as they are happening. It presents information from all the various components on a single pane of glass, giving the staff the ability to fix problems as they are happening from a central location, rather than having to try and troubleshoot the problem later.
For the City of Jacksonville, the Qovia VMMS will be called on to monitor even more in the future. The city plans to expand its VoIP capabilities to include services such as video on demand, video conferencing and integrated instant messaging.
Of course, as the network grows and changes, the challenges expand as well. Spam over Internet Telephony (SPIT) has not yet become a major issue, but Parrish expects to see its presence increase in the future, so he wants a solution in place that can block SPIT before it starts. Another security issue at top-of-mind for him is the presence of rogue devices. As unauthorized devices jump on the network they are immediately a vulnerability threat and can degrade voice quality by siphoning bandwidth. Parrish wants to know the moment a rogue device connects to the network. Qovia VMMS lets him do just that so he can fix the problem in real-time.
As to how the Qovia is going to help him going forward, Parrish said, The Qovia VMMS takes a lot of the guesswork out of troubleshooting the voice side of our network. Its going to change my job, its going to make it a lot easier.
For more information visit: http://www.qovia.com