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Tools for troubleshooting VOIP issues / QoS

Posted on 2014-03-06
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Last Modified: 2014-03-18
I'm new to Asterisk and have a small Asterisk 11.x + FreePBX setup and am trying to diagnose random call quality issues. I've googled quite a bit and have found a number of tools, but haven't had much luck w/the ones I've tried (some of it due to my own inexperience I'm sure ...)  Can anyone recommend a good tool for assessing/monitoring QoS? Preferably one that doesn't require 6 mos of training to configure.

ANY assistance would be greatly appreciated.

TIA
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Question by:_agx_
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LVL 15

Assisted Solution

by:Phonebuff
Phonebuff earned 668 total points
ID: 39911541
Look for a tool called MTR on your system...

When you say QOS, are you talking LAn or WAN to your provider ..

Can you describe your network topology and loads a little..

Also, you can find MTR for Windows here -- http://winmtr.net/ 

========================
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LVL 80

Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 39911577
Please also include the type of connection you have upload/download speeds
QoS is a router/firewall that will prioritize SIP,H.323,VOIP over any other data.

Without QoS your voice performance degrades when other data is being received/sent through your external connection.
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LVL 52

Author Comment

by:_agx_
ID: 39911640
Thanks for the responses.

I'll try and answer as much as I can.  It's a very small test environ:

* 1-2 concurrent calls max, 4-6 extensions.
* T2 ~6Mbs up/down behind firewall - no QoS settings enabled
* MTR - I've tried it, but am not sure what to make of the numbers... I've seen it report extreme packet loss while on a call, yet the call quality was crystal clear. Other times, the numbers are much lower but calls are tinny or choppy.

* QoS - Yeah, I may be using terms interchangeably, so sorry for any confusion. By QoS I meant monitoring/troubleshooting the call quality in general.
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LVL 80

Assisted Solution

by:arnold
arnold earned 1332 total points
ID: 39911676
With 6mb link and your info you should not be experiencing the issues unless your network switches ca not handle the amount of data (includes voice)
QoS for voice calls is addressed via the configuring a QoS on your firewall and your switches.

As was pointed out your control is limited to your equipment.  Is the voice service provider the same as your connection provider or are these two different entities.

Your quality may degrade with the provider.

Capturing network data for the voice calls, what you are looking for is missing/delayed packets.
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LVL 52

Author Comment

by:_agx_
ID: 39912766
They're different entities.

So what tools would you recommend? Which ones have you used?
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LVL 80

Assisted Solution

by:arnold
arnold earned 1332 total points
ID: 39912797
In this case all you can do is setup a local QoS on the router/firewall to prioritize SIP, H.323, VOIP data and possibly VPN if that is carrying you VOICE data to your provider.

You would then on your switches configure a similar QoS for Voice if not present already and if the same switches are used for both.

If this does not resolve the majority of your question, it would point to you ISP as the issue. I.e. Their path to your VOICE provider might be not optimal for you.

Try traceroute to the VOICE service provider.  You are looking for the path and the number of hops.

Does your ISP provider, provide voice services as well?  Just checking since if they do, they will have a VOICE QoS configured on their network.
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LVL 52

Accepted Solution

by:
_agx_ earned 0 total points
ID: 39923500
I ended up using tcpdump and wireshark to examine the voip data in more detail. Thanks for the assist everyone!
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LVL 52

Author Comment

by:_agx_
ID: 39925512
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for _agx_'s comment #a39923500
Assisted answer: 167 points for Phonebuff's comment #a39911541
Assisted answer: 166 points for arnold's comment #a39911676
Assisted answer: 167 points for arnold's comment #a39912797

for the following reason:

I ended up doing with tcpdump and wireshark to examine the voip data in more detail. Thanks for the assist everyone!
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Phonebuff
ID: 39925513
This user got significant assistance I think points other than zero should be allocated --
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LVL 52

Author Comment

by:_agx_
ID: 39926349
> Accepted answer: 0 points for _agx_'s comment

@Phonebuff - Agreed, but the 0 points go to me - not you guys :) Since the original question was about "which tools...", I wanted the archives to reflect which ones I ended up using to help the next guy, but still award points to you guys for all of your helpful comments.  (Edit) When you do that, the system handles things a little differently, but should still allocate points to you guys.
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LVL 80

Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 39926390
_agx_, writing what your award points selection is does not initiate the point awarding/question closing process.
Note at the end of each comment, there is a selection for accepting multiple solutions and accepting this solution.
Use the accept multiple at which point you will see a list of all the comments from which you can choose which of these you want to select and how many points you wish to award each.  Within this selection, you can still choose your comment.
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LVL 52

Author Comment

by:_agx_
ID: 39926474
@arnold - No, that was added by the EE system. I had initiated the closing process,  when Phonebuff posted an "objection". That automatically cancels the closing process and posts the proposed point allocation as a comment on the current thread.

Not sure if I can close it once there's an objection, but if we're all good on the allocation - I'll give it another try ;-)
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LVL 52

Author Closing Comment

by:_agx_
ID: 39936354
Take 2 - "I ended up using tcpdump and wireshark to examine the voip data in more detail. Thanks for the assist everyone! "
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