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VoIP Readiness Assessment Tools

Posted on 2006-05-24
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Will begin mass VoIP rollouts in the near future. I've looked at the NetIQ "Vivinet Assessor". Looks like it is around $12,000. A little out of my budget. Are there any tools out there that will help assess VoIP readiness for a network, that aren't outlandish in price or even free? Software preferably, but also Hardware recommendations welcome.
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Question by:eidebailly
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grblades earned 152 total points
ID: 16755569
The best way I find to test it is to do the testing with real life VoIP traffic. Get a couple of PC's and install asterisk (http://www.asterisk.org) on them and setup a number of calls between them to load the network. If you use the IAX protocol between the asterisk boxes (instead of SIP) then you can use asterisks built in "iax show netstats" command to show various information such as jitter, round trip delay, and packet loss.
See http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/Asterisk+cli+iax2+show+netstats
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by:eidebailly
ID: 16760981
Not exactly the kind of solution I was looking for. I would have to lug around two computers to all the sites? Also, SIP is the protocol we would be using. Doesn't IAX and SIP have different packet lengths, etc.?
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by:grblades
ID: 16761093
No the codecs are the same between IAX and SIP so it is really only the control information which is different which will be minimal for an established call.

You would only need one computer at each end that you are testing so you could have a PC at the main office and carry round a notebook to the other.
If there is a free PC you can use at the remote site you could download the free vmware player and run asterisk under wmware. See http://sourceforge.net/forum/forum.php?forum_id=551485
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by:CaldNT
CaldNT earned 148 total points
ID: 16821423
You might consider setting up a virtual machine with Asterisk installed to make the test calls instead of manually setting up asterisk on a system. With VMware Server(still in beta) ( http://www.vmware.com/products/server/ ) or VMware Player( http://www.vmware.com/products/player/ ), both available freely, you can easily setup both ends of the link.

There are several Asterisk images available at:
http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/appliances/directory/

I've researched the topic a bit and have found that most VoIP monitoring solutions are propietary systems and rather expensive.
http://www.certmag.com/articles/templates/cmag_tools_generic.asp?articleid=1056&zoneid=92

For monitoring the traffic the open-source tool ntop ( http://www.ntop.org/ ) can help you. But for monitoring the VoIP traffic generated by the VoIP calls you would need nProbe (http://www.ntop.org/nProbe.html) which sells for 100 euros per probe (you would need one probe for each remote location and ntop on a central point.)

This thread talks a bit about it. Luca Deri, the project leader, responds in this thread that you should use the CVS version of ntop which supports NetFlow V9.
http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/ntop/misc/18430

The steps to download ntop from cvs can be found here:
http://www.ntop.org/download.html

Other links:

Open Source VoIP trafic monitoring
Presentation given at SANE by Luca Deri
http://luca.ntop.org/SANE-2006.pdf

A whitepaper by Luca Deri detailing VoIP traffic monitoring (using ntop and nProbe)
http://luca.ntop.org/VoIP.pdf
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by:cliffchapman
ID: 38201484
Try AppView Voice from www.appneta.com.
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