Latency, Jitter, and Loss – Oh My!

With apologies to L. Frank Baum


Dorothy was scared of the creatures that lived in her network forest.


“I’m trying to get to Emerald VoIP City but am scared of the Latency, Jitter and Loss that exists on the road” Dorothy exclaimed to the Tin Woodsman IT consultant.  “How will we reach Emerald VoIP City with all of these problems?”


The Tin Woodsman was very familiar with this concern, as many before Dorothy had this same worry.  “The Latency, Jitter and Loss that you fear are valid concerns, Dorothy”  The woodsman said.  “They can cause problems with reaching Emerald VoIP City, but they are only indicators or symptoms of the real problems.”


Dorothy looked perplexed with the response.  “You mean I shouldn’t fear Latency, Jitter, and Loss on the road?”


“No.  Latency, Jitter, and loss are valuable indicators, but they cannot lead you to the solution.  You need to look beyond these symptoms for the true cause of problems.”  The woodman said with confidence.


Dorothy picked up her dog Toto and looked plaintively into the woodman’s eyes “What should I do?”


“Simple.”  The woodsman replied.  “Ask the road.”


Dorothy looked confused again.


“The road knows what is happening.  It knows all about the problems, you just have to ask it” said the woodsman.


Dorothy looked around and noticed that there were yellow bricks lying all over the place, and potholes marred the previously beautiful road.  Just up the road there was a horrendous traffic jam of merchants with their carts trying to get through an intersection.


“I can see some of the problems right here!” Dorothy exclaimed.


The tin woodsman knew that Dorothy was still a bit short-sighted with her vision.  “What about the problems further down the road that you can’t see?  How will you uncover those problems?”


“Oh, I didn’t think of that.  I suppose I’ll try your method” said Dorothy.


“Yellow brick road, what are your problems?” Dorothy asked sheepishly.


The road hasn’t been spoken to in ages, so it was surprised with the question “I’m glad someone finally asked me!  I have potholes from Munchkin City to the scarecrow farm.  There are too many carts on the road between the scarecrow farm and the woods.  There is only one-way traffic from the woods to the poppy fields.”


Dorothy almost dropped her dog.  “Wow!  I now know all of the real problems and can have them easily fixed!”


“I’ll have the road replaced from Munchkin City to the scarecrow farm.  That should fix the loss problem on that section of the road.”


“To fix the traffic problem on the road between the scarecrow farm and the woods, I’ll put an additional lane in place that should only be used for the high priority carts.”


“To fix the one-way traffic problem from the woods to the poppy fields, I’ll change that section of road to be two-way.”


The tin woodsman felt good, knowing that Dorothy would soon have what she wanted – an easy path to Emerald VoIP city.


Dorothy smiled with satisfaction “I’ll never be scared of Latency, Jitter, and Loss again, as I now know how to uncover the true cause of VoIP problems”



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