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Thread: QoS problems with Verizon FIOS

  1. #1

    Question QoS problems with Verizon FIOS

    We experience a fairly high frequency of dropped calls and jitter while using our VoIP service. It shares our data network via a Verizon FIOS connection (5Mbps/1.5Mbps). We use an Epygi Quadro 2X as the firewall/router/VoIP gateway. Our VoIP provider is Broadvox. We're only a small office with 8 users and 8 Snom IP phones, so our traffic requirements are minimal.

    After much reading, testing, etc., By using various VoIP speed tests, I think I've determined the problem to be Quality of Service. Verizon makes no promises regarding voice prioritization in their FIOS circuit. I've spoken to a 3rd party VoIP expert who recommends putting a QoS edge router in front of the Epygi (specifically an Edgewater Networks EM-4500) to provide incoming and outgoing prioritization.

    Do you feel this is something that would help our cause or is it a needless expense?

  2. #2

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    DustinT12 ,

    Go to the networking of your Epygi... it is a hidden page within the Epygi ... do a search on the support area for the document on the hidden form or wait for someone to post you a link...

    When you go to the hidden page, adjust the WAN port from 10/100 meg half duplex to 10 meg full duplex.

    Do this before you go to the expense of the QOS router .... there is also a basic QOS setting you can perform within the Epygi...

    I dont normally use it but definitely I use the 10 meg full duplex of the network card.

    The other thing you could try would be to get a couple of trial free world dial up accounts... place one onm the Epygi and have another user that is remote to your office no Epygi extension assigned and get them to register their FWD account via Xlite soft phone if need be .. get them to call you and vice versa ....this should give you an idea of whether or not the ITSP service is poor .. or your network needs modification to suit.

    QOS - can be achieved via a simple Linksys router $150 ... I use one myself... there are other different varieties that have general QOS inbuilt.. some sip aware others not...

    So to sum up ...

    #1./ Alter your WAN Network port of the Epygi from 10/100 Mhz Half Duplex to 10 Mhz Full Duplex and test

    #2./ Try a couple of FWD accounts.. 1 x remote 1 x Epygi VoIP

    #3./ Grab a Linksys Router to apply QOS


    I would recommend doing #1 and #2 first ... these are things that you can do straight up.

    Whoops .. forgot about 1 more thing..... it is something that I normally do to test a link over time... that you can do yourself... Grab a trial version of Ping Plotter... It will report where the link is failing from you to your provider.... leave it sit in the background for a few hours on your PC.. then check the history and look for packet loss, delays etc.. these will all effect your VoIP capabilities...

    I use the paid version... and for me it is a very unique tool that can assist you in for any given network.. Plus it draws pretty pictures and takes snapshots etc... which includes routes, carriers information all along the way.

    Hope this helps....

    Regards

    Kevin

  3. #3

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    This is all great information. I will give these 3 things a try and post my results. Thanks!

  4. #4

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    Ok, I give up, how do I get to the hidden page on the Quadro 2X? I don't have access to the Epygi support site.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by DustinT12 View Post
    Ok, I give up, how do I get to the hidden page on the Quadro 2X? I don't have access to the Epygi support site.


    Mon Dieu

    Check your PM ... I think someone gave you the info ....

  6. #6

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    Pingplotter? Sorry KSComs but that one is snake oil. I frequent a bunch of forums that cater to home ISP users.. and people always get the wrong impression that if there's something wrong with their ping it translates 1:1 to other traffic classes. It would be nice if it were like that but it ain't so.
    Nowadays, many routers treat ICMP completely differently than regular data packets - some devices don't even bother responding to pings sent to them (they'll forward if the destination is not themselves but they never respond to pings meant for themselves).. many also treat pings in a different priority class (lower than anything else).

    There's a reason why in the enterprise world we use expensive software that needs to be installed at multiple endpoints to do a QoS assessment.. those tools make actual VoIP calls and measure real world performance.
    When going over the Internet, you have no control over what happens to your traffic after leaving your router and arriving at the IPTSP.. and you will never be able to really tell what happens in between. I could spend the next 15 minutes explaining (this time in English) what I have so many times over in the national forums I frequent but the bottom line really is that you have no control over that, and your means of measuring actual performance require the cooperation of at least your IPTSP. Your quadro gathers call statistics so at least you know the quality of the "road" between your IPTSP and your Quadro.. but for the inverse, maybe your IPTSP plays balls (there's a standard for sending statistics upon call completion..that way you'd see the quality of the data stream your IPTSP gets from you and that gets you pretty much to the point of those expensive professional tools... provided you can trust your IPTSP).

    I have a simple Linksys router (WRT54GL.. cost maybe 70 bucks) with Tomato firmware doing QoS for my network.. it works just fine but of course it cannot help of the IPTSP is too far away from me... rule of thumb is the closer the IPTSP is to you, the better the quality. Your best (but not always available and definitely expensive) solution would be using a SIP service provided by your ISP.. that way traffic never leaves their network and ISPs offering VoIP usually prioritize voice traffic throughout their network so you have guaranteed low jitter and no packet loss.

    And I think you meant Mbit, not MHz

    One last thing though.. QoS only works for your uplink. You have a very low downlink speed... if somebody downloads the latest patches from Microsoft on patch day.. router side QoS or not, you risk running into severe quality problems. And you can't really do QoS on the downlink. Sure there are routers (e.g. certain flavors of the Tomato firmware) that allow you to slow down individual clients.. which overall works, but it's not efficient enough to stop problems it can cause for VoIP.. you'd really have to apply QoS on the egress port between Verizon and your on premise equipment.. it would have to prioritize VoIP traffic over anything else so as to not overload the line. And thats' precisely the reason why ISPs can still charge you a hefty premium for a commercial grade SIP connection where you have guaranteed quality and availabilty.

    Last but not least.. isn't FWD closed these days? I seem to recall vaguely that they wanted to charge me for my two account so I gave them up a while ago and on their website it says enrollment is closed.

  7. #7

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    *COUGH*

    http://www.pingplotter.com/pro/

    Features in PingPlotter Pro v 3.30 include:

    Everything in PingPlotter Standard.
    Collect data from (and graph) multiple targets simultaneously.
    Summary screen shows the status of all active traces at a glance.
    Runs as a native Windows Service.
    VoIP-targeted troubleshooting capabilties. Jitter metrics and graphs. MOS (mean opinion score), plus packet loss and latency.
    Web interface allows remote control and access to PingPlotter Pro's data and settings (using built-in web server or IIS).
    Can load and "merge" multiple saved sample sets.
    Trace from a remote computer to any other target using the remote trace capability.
    Enhanced script-based alert conditions and events. Write your own rules and actions (or use some we've already written)!
    Built-in scripting engine allows custom calculations and extensibility.
    Workspaces let you automatically start tracing your favorite targets when PingPlotter is launched.
    Docking and floating of any target, plus saved workspace management to remember how you like things.
    Named configurations to quickly switch between your favorite settings on any target (ie: ICMP and TCP port 80).
    Lots more! Download your free 30 day trial copy of PingPlotter Pro today.



    Sorry my learned friend, but you can still learn more about the link than pinging the address...

    Regards

    Kevin

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssteiner View Post
    And I think you meant Mbit, not MHz
    Oh My !!!

    \\Megabit//


    Yes .. I was distracted and stated Mega Hz ... ah well .. but at the same time its an easy one for him to fix .. rather than spending heaps on a Router that might not offer any more than PFSENSE ... changing the 100 mg HD to 10 Meg FD is a cheaper solution...

    Regards

    Kev ( old age )

  9. #9

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    I know the product page.. I wouldn't just discard your suggestions without making sure I know what I'm talking about.
    So, you can run the software on both ends.. that's the way to do it... but there are two buts there
    1) will your IPTSP run the software on their end for you? I'd like to see one that does that. And.. if you check out their page on how you configure that feature, , it strongly suggests that all they do are pings. And as I said, and no matter how many people object here, this is USELESS
    2) The maker of pingplotter admits, albeit well hidden (had to google it), that they're not actually making calls.. they're just guestimating all the voip related information based on their usual ping measurements. And since pings do not accurately reflect performance of other traffic, the numbers PingPlotter comes up are not reflective of actual calls.

    So, as I said, snake oil.

    I'm sure, the support department of many ISPs secretly wished there was a law against software like that.. it is extremely hard to explain to your customer who doesn't know the first thing about how an IP network works, that their $200 software that has all those nice graphs and plots is feeding them misinformation. A picture is worth more than 1000 words after all... so the task is pretty darned futile.

    I agree with you though that I wouldn't plunk down $450 for that box seeing as my $70 router can do the same, just a lot cheaper.

    I don't understand though why changing the WAN port speed should change anything.. given that the WAN bandwidth is 5/1.5 mbit and thus below 10mbit, you can still saturate the link between the Quadro and the Verizon equipment (don't know what they call the fibre to Ethernet converter)... do you suspect that the Quadro could get overloaded and thus its built-in (does it even have any?) QoS is failing?
    Also, as far as I know, the Quadro 2x only has a 10mbit uplink (the data sheet seems to agree with my own 2x here) - but either their autodetection has issues (it's connected to a gigabit switch here and it still comes up as 10mbit half duplex) or it's preset to 10mbit half (need to dig up my manuals to find the hidden settings again to check)

  10. #10
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    2 words from me, guys, so you don't spend hours digging in the manuals :

    Quadro2x/4x/16x WAN port is preset to 10 Mbps half duplex (no autonegotiation enabled). You can set it to full duplex using the hidden page Kevin is talking about (but still no autonegotiation). I personally would not suggest to deal with those settings at all... 10Mbps half duplex is completely enough for VoIP traffic Quadro can create (and if you have 5/1.5 Mbps link, 10 Mbps HD of Quadro is enough for data too).

    I appreciate ssteiner's considerations - and I agree practically to everything (well, I don't consider thet usability of pingplotter to be very important topic.. ).
    Especially it is important to understand the fact that any router can provide the QoS only in upstream direction, but not to downstream. By theway, Quadro does have the QoS embedded - you just need to set the Uplonk paramaters (bandwidth settings in Internet Config Wizard) correctly...

    Best regards,
    David

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