June 21, 2019 by Simon Donahue

Troubleshoot VoIP Issues Faster Using Alarm Analytics


Often times troubleshooting voice problems can be the trickiest. Subscribers may not constantly use their voice lines, and thus, not realize there’s an issue until it’s too late. Or, there may be an intermittent issue that you would have to catch in real time to identify and troubleshoot properly. An approach we find beneficial in solving these types of VoIP issues is to analyze them with context on where and when they are occurring.

Most Calix systems have voice-related alarms that can give you an indication when certain problems occur such as:

  • A VoIP client cannot obtain an IP address
  • A subscriber’s VoIP line can’t register to the system or fails to authenticate
  • An electrical imbalance occurs in the cable pair

One important thing to note is that while the alarms themselves may not always tell you what the specific issue is, analyzing them in context of when and where they are occurring can point you in the right direction. For example, if authentication or registration is failing on a single subscriber, then it’s most likely going to be a provisioning issue.

The Calix Remote Monitoring Analytics and Reporting Portal lets you see historic alarm data in a user-friendly dashboard that can help you see when and where VOIP alarms are occurring for easier troubleshooting. The Portal tracks these alarms for you and allows you to search for specific occurrences and then displays information about the location and when they are happening. Even alarms that are intermittent and come and go at a rate some SNMP Network Monitoring Systems (NMS) don’t record them, you will still get a visual of what is going on.

The Portal allows you to look at alarm activity over time and see if the VoIP issues are affecting one subscriber or several subscribers. In the case of the latter, the problem is usually a softswitch, DHCP, or network path issue which can then be further isolated by additional drill down into the data.

The approach for analyzing alarms in the Analytics and Reporting Portal recognizes the fact that network alarms and the contextual data that surrounds them contains rich set of information. Data on when specific alarms occur, where they occur and what other alarms occur either prior, at the same time or afterwards provide considerable insight that can help solve VoIP problems more rapidly. This information can be used with other tools such as packet and protocol analysis and call flow analysis in a manner that eliminates the “needle in a haystack” problem by helping pinpoint when and where to look with additional tools.

You can find out more by checking out a Knowledge Base Article in the Calix Community in the Remote Monitoring Service topic area on “Using Calix Remote Monitoring to track VOIP Issues.” (Login required.) I also want to suggest watching an archived webinar on how to Get Proactive With Our Top Customer Remote Monitoring Use Cases. If you want to find out more about the Remote Monitoring Service, you can visit the Managed Services page of the Calix website.