Proper capacity planning allows a company to maximize its UC system, ensuring that it scales as needed to make the most of system resources and to meet the needs of its end users. UC capacity planning (sometimes referred to as VoIP management) involves monitoring and analyzing a company’s communications to determine when and where its UC system is most and least used, and how to fully optimize the system. It also involves understanding not only the current communication demands, but how those demands will grow or shrink in the future, as well as understanding the impacts of those demands on the company’s technology infrastructure.
Capacity planning goes hand-in-hand with network performance management, particularly with respect to the behavior of telecom equipment. Unify Square’s consulting services offers a robust network assessment service for Skype for Business and/ or Microsoft Teams. In planning for the appropriate Skype for Business and/or Teams deployment, it is critical to understand how the network is performing overall. For example, to make sure that the UC deployment is successful, the network must be able to provide very low latency when it comes to voice and video communications. If a company does not have sufficient UC capacity, the result can be spotty or dropped calls, unreliable presence information, or some other failed UC functionality. If a company has too much capacity, it is likely paying for something it doesn’t need. In order to maximize its ROI, a company must make sure that it has all of the computing resources it needs to provide effective communications.
Microsoft has created a Capacity Planning Calculator for Skype for Business to assist enterprises with the capacity planning process. The tool starts with creating an optimized UC topology and then testing it to ensure that the optimal server requirements are set up based on user counts and Skype for Business modalities utilized. The calculator helps to identify the correct number of servers, gateways, memory and bandwidth for the overall UC system.
In addition to the aforementioned tool from Microsoft, Unify Square’s PowerSuiteTM offers a number of different solutions (including Service Health and Operations Dasbhoard) which, when coupled with information available from a company’s VOIP provider, can not only track service usage and availability, but also the quality of that service. With this information in hand, an organization can identify and determine where more capacity is needed, and where capacity can be reduced to achieve cost savings.