Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP):
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems are common telephony technologies for multimedia sessions and voice communication over sophisticated networks of Internet Protocol (IP), for example over Internet. These VoIP phone systems are becoming a common sight of communication protocols in enterprises. In comparison to its conventional counterpart, PSTN, Voice over IP is capable to offer many advantages. For businesses, it offers a highly verstile breadth of servives and features, highly quality audio communication, easy-to-manage services, and reduced cost for distant calls.
Performance and Reliability concern of VoIP:
Although, VoIP offers enhanced advantages as compared to its counterpart, many of the enterprises still hesitate to switch towards it. The reason lies in its concern about performance and reliability over the Internet. Since VoIP traverses its route over the internet for communication of voice packets. These voice packets must compete with traffic over the same hardware. In this way, a phone call has to travel on the same speed as of an email on the network. It raises serious concerns for VoIP system’s relaibale performance over the same network.
SD–WAN as a solution provider:
Here comes SD–WAN to the rescue. Software Defined WAN is an applied concept for enterprise level Wide Area Networks. SD–WAN architecture is being used by enterprises and businesses for managing data centers. It is highly efficient in managing multiple types of connections for example, MPLS, broadband, and LTE at the same time. In this way, it simplifies management of highly sophisticated systems. Software Defined WAN solution is capable enough to provide improved Voice over IP performance to organizations and businesses.
SD–WAN ensures working of VoIP phone systems even under choppy internet connection at remote locations. SD–WAN is capable to uproot the VoIP call on a shoddy internet connection to reasonable quality of service that ensures smooth conversion over the call. When multiple applications are running through the same connection tunnel, SD-WAN recognizes applications and allocate them bandwidth and other services accordingly. It provides the load balancing between the multiple parallel connections. It provides highly reliable and assured performance for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). SD-WAN has significantly enhanced the performance of voice and video streams. IT teams can help reduce latency issue, traffic shaping and packet loss by enabling the critical applications through reliable, high-performance connections.
Using multi-path dynamic optimization (DMPO from VeloCloud), SD-WAN provides highly reliable and efficient performance for applications like VoIP, UCaaS, VDI and SaaS. This high-quality performance and reliable connectivity are assured through multi-path optimization and prioritization of applications based on their demand. For latency sensitive voice and video applications, such remedies have proven to be very effective. According to AT&T Business statistics, on a single link connection, Voice Quality Performance of SD–WAN devices have computed to be 35% better than those of Non-SD-WAN configurations. Performance statistics for Video quality are even more satisfying than that of Audio quality. SD–WAN configured Video quality is computed to be 531% better than those of Non-configured SD-WAN setup. This is highly promising and satisfactory performance for SD–WAN configured setups.
How SD–WAN improves voice quality for VoIP phone systems is briefly explained below:
Although, prioritization is not a new concept nor introduced by SD–WAN. It is an old concept which has been used by VoIP phone system developers, as part of many ‘Quality of Services’ (QoS) methods. It renders voice packets with higher priority to make sure quality in the service. But SD–WAN has extended the concept with further upgrades. SD–WAN gives you the control of application prioritization. An SD–WAN device can easily be configured to assign priorities to all the running applications on the network. You can easily assign higher priority to Voice over IP over other applications like emails, which will ensure its reliable and smooth running. SD-WAN monitors very effectively the whole real traffic coming from the network to apply real time changes as per prioritized data. It helps the data packets to fly smoothly. It boosts voice quality by many turns through its conjunction with QoS.
Forward Error Correction:
Forward error correction is used widely to eliminate errors from noisy channels. For example, to reduce error factor from VoIP calls running over congested data connections. It is commonly known as channel coding. By adding redundancy, forward error correction reduces the level of error by using error correction codes. In this way, each data packet of voice gets another successful shot. Although, here comes technical issues related to proper working of FEC, in case of slow network speeds. SD-WAN is highly appropriate to detect these slow speed networks to adapt accordingly. It throttles the applications of low priority or even sometimes cease the working of forward error correction to compensate the low-speed networks. FEC is the bane of almost all the VoIP networks which is capable to reduce packet loss and error.
During a Voice over IP call, all the data packets travel by different paths, regardless of the destination, even if they must reach the same destination. Due to their different routes, voice packets arrive the destination at different times. It causes them to get organized in an out of the order manner. Jitter Buffering is a technique to receive data packets which are coming of the order at a specific destination in the network. It puts all the packets in order and deliver them together for next journeys, making sure the quality is maintained.
Here, SD-WAN further brings advancements in the whole process. SD-WAN applies jitter buffering only if it is needed. It constantly checks for quality of the network to monitor whether to apply jitter buffering or not, to make sure the efficiency and reliability.
Although, there are quite a lot of SD-WAN solutions in the market, when you come out for an appropriate solution, you may like to go for a bare-bones SD-WAN router to configure it according to your network demands and design. There exists multiple SD-WAN solutions in the market which are not compatible to each other in case if you go for changing the existing solution. It may cost you heavily. Furthermore, switching may not also be possible if you have done a multi-year contract with your SD-WAN solution provider. But in case if you get a good figure for ROI calculations, SD-WAN can prove to be the way for Voice over Internet Protocol.
If you would like to deploy SD-WAN to improve the quality of your voice apps have a look at our SD-WAN solutions and Managed Services.