News from Cloudshark
We recently had a chance to sit down with TalkFree, a leading international VoIP and mobile VoIP provider. As a CloudShark customer, they’ve given us some great insight into the ways that packet surfing technology can help VoIP providers make their troubleshooting and customer support systems significantly simpler, easier, and more advanced than ever before. As we’ll see as we explore more ways that CloudShark can assist of service and application providers (see a post soon about how CloudShark can help SaaS providers), TalkFree’s case demonstrates that passing around capture files through email or web attachments just isn’t good enough anymore.
The Challenge: Effectively Securing and Managing SIP Trace Files for Customer Support
TalkFree, a leading international VoIP and mobile VoIP provider, has made it its mission to extend high quality affordable telephony through advanced technologies to populations around the world. When handling over 1.5 billion SIP originated call minutes, and ensuring voice quality standards regardless of traffic volume, it is critical to support effective network analysis – and the teams that perform it.
This fact is not lost on TalkFree, who have been in the VoIP service industry for nearly 10 years. Maintaining their mission critical services requires securing large amounts of network capture data – often from multiple sources – and then sharing that data among their support teams and directly with customers.
“We used several different capture tools to get our SIP traces,” said Daryl Jurbala, Director of Network Architecture at TalkFree. “We’d also receive traces from our customers containing test calls when troubleshooting an issue. Sometimes just in capture files sent through email. There was no way to collaborate easily and manage all of those captures.”
The Solution: CloudShark’s Collaboration and Management Features
“That’s when we found CloudShark,” said Colin Brown, VP of Operations at TalkFree. “It really was the missing piece of the puzzle.”
Through CloudShark’s packet capture management platform, TalkFree’s team was able to collaborate and share their SIP captures and analyses with colleagues or customers instantly using just a URL – allowing them to do so on any device, from anywhere.
“We were doing all of our SIP call flow analysis on local machines,” said Daryl. “There’s absolutely no need for that now, or any need to try and install analysis tools on every machine. We’re even doing it on our iPads.”
The collaborative features of CloudShark were also a big hit. TalkFree’s team was annotating packets to explicitly call out trouble areas, and tagging files to organize them by source.
“Even our customers love the CloudShark solution,” said Colin. “When they see it they say ‘What’s this? I want it.’”
TalkFree needed to solve these problems while preserving and enhancing their already robust network analysis, support, and internal IT systems. Having a new tool was great – but needing to replace an entire system and standard processes would get expensive and tedious.
“We were using capture tools such as HOMER SIP capture,” said Daryl. “We have it installed on all of our products. CloudShark was already integrated with HOMER, and it’s API made it extremely easy to integrate it with our other capture tools.”
“User management was also important to us,” said Colin. “And CloudShark delivered. With CloudShark Enterprise’s integration with LDAP, we could use our existing IT systems to control access to our capture files, on a per user or per group basis. Adding CloudShark to our overall solution was completely seamless.”
The Advantages of Packet Surfing
The bottom line – CloudShark’s ability to apply advanced web technologies to SIP call analysis was able to significantly increase TalkFree’s ability to provide high quality VoIP service wherever and whenever it is needed by quickly and easily collaborating on one of their most critical assets: network captures.
“Everything about CloudShark is cool,” said Daryl. “The interface is very clear and full screen. It’s a much better presentation of our capture data – it makes it much easier to say, ‘Hey, this is what’s going on here’ and share that information across our team. It has significantly reduced our mean time to resolution, and that has saved us time, money, and headaches.”