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Leading Local and Long Distance SIP Trunking provider, AireSpring ( www.airespring.com), offers managed IP Communications services to small and medium-sized businesses in 48 states of the US via its own privately owned and managed core-to-premises network. Of AireSpring's more than 10,000 business customers, many operate high-volume Call Centers or multi-location enterprises.     


IN BRIEF

Industry

  • Telecom, VoIP

Challenges

  • Quickly diagnose and resolve customer issues in a high speed, high volume voice network environment to meet QoS guarantee.

Solution

  • Cascade
  • One Cascade Shark appliance monitoring up to 9000+ concurrent voice sessions
  • Cascade Pilot enabling network diagnostics and troubleshooting by multiple licensed technicians concurrently

Benefits

  • No dropped packets
  • Ability to capture and analyze all sub packets and RTPs
  • Extremely fast call location and data sorting
  • Fast, sophisticated data analysis
  • Ability to consistently outperform “best efforts” standards for VoIP service

AireSpring

Overview

Leading Local and Long Distance SIP Trunking provider, AireSpring (www.airespring.com), offers managed IP Communications services to small and medium-sized businesses in 48 states of the US via its own privately owned and managed core-to-premises network. Of AireSpring’s more than 10,000 business customers, many oper ate high-volume Call Centers or multi-location enterprises. AireSpring’s network frequently processes more than 8000 concurrent voice sessions on each cluster of multi-homed switches.

“Competition in the VoIP space is fierce. AireSpring’s key differentiator is the high quality of our services and responsiveness of our support,” AireSpring CEO Avi Lonstein states. “We deliver our bandwidth to a customer with a QoS guarantee they can count on.”

The Challenge

It’s not hard to find a particular call if there’s only one call going on, but it’s a different story if you have tens of thousands of calls going at the same time. The challenge of guaranteeing quality of service (QoS) to all of its customers led AireSpring to research and test virtually every network monitoring product within its budget, without finding one that could perform reliably in the face of the company’s routinely high traffic demands.

First Customer Status

Through its association with the Wireshark community, AireSpring knew about CACE Technologies (acquired by Riverbed Technology) and called to inquire if they had a product that would address their needs. Cascade Shark appliance (formerly Shark Distributed Monitoring System) was in development but not yet announced or released, and AireSpring became the first customer. “We were aiming Cascade Shark at the enterprise network market,” says CACE CTO Loris Degioanni “With AireSpring, we had the chance to prove our stripes with an extreme carrier. We couldn’t have had a better or more demanding test case.”

AireSpring had no reservations about acting as a guinea pig for the new Cascade Shark appliance and Cascade Pilot technology. “We found CACE to be a small, extremely agile organization,” says Lonstein. “We value agility. CACE moved fast and made resources available to resolve our issues quickly.” “We have a saying—it’s like our value proposition—if you want to be a small fish in a big pond, go with AT&T. If you want to be a big fish in a small pond, come to AireSpring. With CACE,” Lonstein says, “we were the big fish.”

Cascade in Action

Capturing data packets is relatively easy because of their size, but monitoring VoIP call quality requires capturing RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol, an IETF standard for streaming media) packets as well. “They’re tiny,” Lonstein says. “Like 40 bytes.” Cascade Shark was the only affordable network monitoring solution that made it possible to capture, locate and analyze both sets of packets associated with a particular call.

“With Cascade, once an engineer is on a trouble ticket, he sets a trace going and very soon thereafter pulls the data he needs out of the data stream - everything from the MOS score on that call to latency buffers. Further, we can decode the call so we can listen to both sides of the conversation.”“Now we can suck the data out in minutes instead of the half hour or more it took before,” Lonstein says.

Beyond “Best Efforts”

Of AireSpring’s army of more than 15 technicians, 8 can be at work simultaneously, using the Cascade platform to resolve specific customer issues or to proactively monitor network performance. While most VoIP providers promise a quality of service no better than the “best efforts” standard of the Internet itself, AireSpring’s private, managed network and aggressive diagnostics enable them to meet a higher standard.

About Airespring

AireSpring, one of the fastest-growing telecommunications carriers in the US with over 4 billion call records processed every year, is a privately-held, diversified, debt-free, full-service communications company offering a broad range of innovative services at competitive prices, including SIP/VoIP, voice, data, and conferencing products.

“It was taking us hours and hours to capture, decode and get to bottom line information for particular customers. With Cascade, we’re now able to do it in less than 20 minutes.”

“The first thing we noticed was the amazing ability of the Cascade platform to capture all subpackets and RTPs coming over multiple Gigs of full bandwidth--without dropping any packets.”

“Cascade has enabled us to meet our customer needs and provide them with what I believe to be a faster and more satisfactory resolution to their issues. That changes our reputation in the marketplace. Our competitors simply can’t do what we do.”

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