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Monitoring and Managing Unified Communications over Microsoft Lync with NNM iSPI for IP Telephony

Guest Blogger (HPE-SW-Guest) ‎01-13-2015 08:00 AM - edited ‎05-15-2015 11:33 AM

Guest post by Lalitha Pogula, HP Network Node Manager i Software team

 

Many enterprises have moved toward using Microsoft® Lync as their solution for unified communications. This is because Lync provides a complete experience with fewer servers than a hardware-based implementation.

But this move also adds challenges for these enterprises including:

  • Visualization of the Lync enterprise environment
  • Lack of insight into the health of Lync environments for optimizing the deployment
  • Lack of networking expertise, reporting, monitoring, and tracking capabilities
  • Troubleshooting issues with call connectivity, user registration failures, as well as assessing and planning capacity

HP Network Node Manager iSPI for IP Telephony (NNM iSPI for IPT) addresses all of these issues and simplifies management of the Lync environment. With its single console, the NNM iSPI for IPT consolidates the events, reporting, configuration, and monitoring of the Lync environment.

 

Get started today by downloading the NNM iSPI for IPT evaluation software.

 

NNM iSPI for IPT provides a scalable management platform for large enterprises and MSPs through its built-in multi-tenancy and geographically distributed solutions.

The NNM iSPI for IPT:

  • Monitors the Microsoft IPT infrastructure such as users, gateways, servers, and sites
  • Identifies network faults that cause service degradation or outages (for example, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) connectivity issues or fault on voice interfaces)
  • Monitors and reports the call volume and quality of each Lync site
  • Provides Quality of Experience (QoE) monitoring and reporting for voice, video, instant messaging, and application traffic
  • Monitors the following:
    • Lync Gateway usage
    • Lync service and application health
    • Lync server performance
  • Monitors and alerts on the following:
    • Pre-configured call termination reasons
    • Lync session QoE measures (also provides post-call alerts for calls that had poor quality)

Here are some common troubleshooting use cases and the solutions that the NNM iSPI for IPT provides (Find more information on each below):

  • Visualizing enterprise Lync sites, servers, PSTN Gateways, and end users
  • Identifying important users through the call volume and call quality reports
  • Creating operators to monitor a client-specific UC topology remotely
  • Resolving login issues
  • Resolving intermittent failures of SIP-PSTN calls
  • Real time monitoring of the UC Front End application availability

Visualizing Enterprise Lync Sites, Servers, PSTN Gateways, and End Users

Use the NNM iSPI for IPT-provided Microsoft IP Telephony workspace to view the following:

  • Inventory of all discovered Lync sites and branch sites. The available information includes:
    • Site name, type, parent site, and description
    • Call volume and call quality statistics (in pie charts) for the selected site
    • Underlying server pools, gateways, and trunk configurations for the selected site
  • Inventory of all PSTN and branch gateways associated with the topology; shows the overall status as inferred by NNMi
  • Interfaces of a gateway, including their channels and channel status
  • Inventory of all Lync end users configured in Lync servers

 

Figure 1

 

Identifying Important Users Using the Call Volume and Call Quality Reports

Using the Call Volume and Call Quality reports, an NNM iSPI for IPT operator can easily identify the important users. The prerequisite for this task is that the administrator configures named end users from the set of discovered Lync end users. To identify the important users, the operator launches call reports for the Lync site (Figure 2), and then groups the report by Calling Party/ Called Party (Figure 3).

 

Figure 2

 

 

Figure 3

 

The grouping enables the operator to see the identity (SIP address) of the named end users:

 

 

Figure 4

 

Creating Operators to Monitor a Client-Specific UC Topology Remotely

  1. The administrator creates multiple tenants and security groups. The administrator, then links operators with different tenants and security groups.
  2. The administrator binds the tenants and security groups to the Lync nodes in the NNMi topology.

Figure 5

 

With this configuration, the operator named Customer1 can only monitor Customer1’s enterprise Lync topology and infrastructure. Likewise, the operator named Customer2 can only monitor Customer2’s Lync topology and infrastructure, as shown in Figure 6:  

 

 

Figure 6

 

Resolving Login Issues

Analysis – To see the load on the Microsoft Lync Registrar server, the operator uses the UCC Application reports to analyze trend and the SiteScope to troubleshoot any system issues.

Solution:

  • The operator launches the Top N UCC Application report for Microsoft Lync > Registrar and plots the Queue Latency, De-Registration Notifications, Throttled Requests/sec, and other parameters to get a feel of the performance of the registrar.
  • If SiteScope is available, the operator can launch the SiteScope metrics reports for analyzing system performance.

Figure 7

 

Resolving Intermittent Failures of SIP-PSTN calls

Analysis: Because the problem occurs intermittently, the operator can use the following:

  • UCC Application reports to analyze the trends over time
  • NNMi for troubleshooting connectivity issues
  • SiteScope to troubleshoot any system issues

Solution:

  • The operator launches the Top N UCC Application report for Microsoft Lync > Front end server and plots the SIP 504 Responses/sec metric for the given time window.
  • A large number of 504 responses may result in end users being unable to make SIP to PSTN calls (for example, due to server connectivity issues). The operator can check the connectivity issues between servers using NNMi and can take the necessary action.
  • The mediation service may be down or there may be a system issue on the mediation server (CPU/Memory). The operator can plot the Mediation Server Application reports and SiteScope System metric reports for the mediation server to monitor availability and system performance. The path view between the front-end server and the mediation server/PSTN gateway can show the exact location of the connectivity issue in the network.

 

Figure 8

 

Real Time Monitoring of the UC Front End Application Availability

Before using this approach, the SiteScope to NNMi alert integration must be enabled.

  • In SiteScope, the administrator configures thresholds for availability monitors, alerts, and SNMP trap forwarding to NNMi.
  • When a monitored application fails (in this case, the front-end component), SiteScope sends an SNMP trap to NNMi. This trap appears in the NNMi incident browser.
  • The NNMi incident includes a custom attribute with the URL to the applicable SiteScope report. The operator launches the SiteScope report and continues analysis of the application and system availability.

 

 

Figure 9

 

Get started today with the NNM iSPI for IPT evaluation software.

 

Lalitha has been testing HP Network Node Manager i Software and the NNMi Smart Plug-ins for over eight years. She has experience in deploying, managing, and configuring Microsoft Lync with the NNM iSPI for IPT.

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