Businesses with workplaces spread across multiple global locations share and receive data via a WAN link. This demands continuous monitoring of network quality across widespread network locations and paths in order to achieve optimized performance levels and uninterrupted service delivery.
An IP service level agreement, or IP SLA, is a network measurement technology that simulates network traffic and IP services by generating continuous, reliable, and predictable data across multiple network locations/paths, and uses the statistics collected from the simulation to analyze the performance of a network in real time. The collected information is time-based, and is used in actively monitoring and troubleshooting a network.
To do this, an IP SLA source (an IP SLA router or a switch) sends data packets across the network, to a destination (any device with an IP). The destination device acknowledges the received data packets, and on the basis of the type of IP SLA operation, responds with a timestamp information which is used by the IP SLA source to measure various performance metrics. If the destination is an IP SLA enabled device, it is called as an IP SLA responder, which is capable of providing much more accurate and functional measurements than a non IP SLA destination device. Cisco IP SLA technology and IP SLA monitors are widely used by leading network service providers and IT admins.
OpManager uses Cisco IP SLA technology to provide uninterrupted, real-time data on the performance of your network by continuously monitoring the traffic in the environment. Businesses utilizing IP applications and services are backed up by Cisco IP SLA monitoring tools to actively monitor IP SLA performance and ensure round the clock availability.
Be it the bandwidth on the key link of your network, the call quality, or the voice over IP (VoIP) traffic, OpManager's IP SLA monitor provides clear visibility into your networks and also helps in active troubleshooting. IP SLA performance or the performance of a network in general, is based on three parameters:
Latency or response time: The time it takes for a message to travel from the source to reach the destination is known as latency. Higher latency is a result of the poor performance of a network. Increasing traffic in the network may cause high network latency.
Jitter: Jitter is the interpacket delay variance between arriving packets. In other words, it is the difference in latency between data packets. This variation occurs when the data packets are queued, or due to configuration errors in the communicating devices.
Packet loss: The data loss that occurs during the travel of data packets from the source to the destination is referred to as packet loss. The more packet loss, the poorer the connection. Data loss may occur due to network congestion, software bugs, or problems with network hardware.
Round trip time (RTT): As an inclusive measure of the overall latency of a network, it is the entire time (in milliseconds) required by a packet to travel from a specific source to a specific destination, and back again.
Connectivity: It is a measure of network health between two end points. This metric is calculated by continuously monitoring the link availability between two devices, to check whether or not the link is reachable.
Voice quality scores (MOS Value): Mean opinion score (MOS) is a standard for measuring the quality of voice across the audio calls on a network. The MOS value is dependent on the codec that is used for the transmission of Voice packets over IP; and the higher the value, the better is the voice quality.
OpManager's IP SLA monitor supports the following operations.
VoIP technology works by converting the analog voice signals into digital signals, and in turn breaking them down into IP packets. These packets are then transferred over the internet, reassembled in the same order, and played as audio signals on the receiver's end. The VoIP monitor in OpManager helps monitor voice call quality between two remote sites by simulating synthetic traffic to analyze various parameters like latency, MOS, RTT, jitter, and packet loss.Learn more
The WAN RTT monitor in OpManager helps monitor the performance of your WAN link by simulating organic traffic, which in turn helps you figure out the round trip time (RTT) for that particular path. RTT is the time taken for a data packet to travel from its source to the destination and back. RTT helps in putting together statistical data on the availability and reliability of the entire network. Learn more
Being able to monitor the performance of IP SLA devices is just not enough. You need to have visibility into errors and violations when they occur. With flexible threshold configurations, OpManager's IP SLA monitors continuously track service levels and generate instant alerts when violated.
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