Archive for July, 2008

Why Traffic Reporters Don’t Report from Inside the Car

July 21, 2008

The next time you’re stuck in a traffic jam, consider how similar the freeway system is to your VoIP network.  You are data inside a packet (car).  You’re trying to get to and from work each day, in real time.


Since you’re inside the car, you have little or no ability to see further down the road to determine if you’re going to hit a roadblock or traffic jam.


A packet analyzer would be similar to a toll booth where all traffic passes through and the toll taker looks inside the car to determine the occupants.  The toll taker has the same limitations as you: They cannot see further down the road to help determine if you’re going to encounter a problem.


Some VoIP troubleshooting tools will send test cars on the network to see how long it takes to get from one location to another.  Again, this doesn’t help locate where the traffic jams are, or what caused slowdowns.


In order to locate problems on the freeway system, traffic reporters determined that they needed to get out of the car and get an eagle’s eye view of everything.  From an airplane, they can see all of the intersections, collisions, and traffic conditions everywhere.


Freeway agencies determined that they could not afford to keep traffic copters in the air 7x24x365, so they developed systems that gave them the information continuously with a low operational cost: Traffic loops and freeway cameras.

The traffic loops and cameras were deployed throughout the freeway system so if there is a slowdown of traffic, they could quickly use a camera to see what the problem is and remedy it.


On a VoIP network, if you want to use a packet analyzer (toll booth) to see the condition of the network, it’s not going to provide you with enough information to solve problems (but it will be easy to determine how many cars have velvet interiors!)


If you intend to use simulated traffic (test cars), you’ll also be stuck with a lack of information as to where and why the VoIP network is not performing correctly.


Most all networks have built-in traffic loops and cameras on all interfaces.  Managed switches and routers have been deployed far and wide, but little analysis has been done to collect and analyze this information due to the complexity of SNMP.


PathSolutions’ SwitchMonitor breaks through this complexity by providing you visibility into the performance of every network interface.  Sources of traffic jams and packet loss can be quickly and easily remedied because the right information is available to you whenever required.


Get out of the car, and into a vehicle that is capable of seeing the big picture of your network: SwitchMonitor VoIP.