Gathering information about your network media quality enables you to better understand the audio and video quality that users experience when they use Office Communications Server, and it helps you provide a satisfactory media experience for your users.

Additionally, collecting usage information (CDR) regarding Office Communications Server features can help you calculate return on investment of your deployment, and it can help you plan future growth of your deployment.

To collect both media quality data and usage information, you can deploy one or more Monitoring Servers. Monitoring Server is a server role in Office Communications Server that gathers both QoE data and CDR data, and it enables you to use this data in a variety of ways.

Types of Data Gathered

Monitoring Server collects two types of data:

  • Quality of Experience (QoE) datathat includes numerical data indicating the quality of calls on your network, and information about participants, device names, drivers, IP addresses, and endpoint types involved in calls and sessions.

    These quality metrics are collected at the end of every VoIP call and every video call from the participant endpoints, including IP phones, Microsoft Office Communicator, the Microsoft Office Live Meeting client, and A/V Conferencing Servers and Mediation Servers. For Mediation Servers, metrics are gathered from both the leg between Mediation Server and UC endpoints, and the leg between Mediation Server and the media gateway.

  • Call Detail Records (CDRs), which capture usage information related to VoIP calls, IM messages, A/V conversations, meetings, file transfers, application sharing, and remote assistance. CDR data is captured for both peer-to-peer and multiparty conferences. Note that the content of IM messages is not captured in CDR data; to preserve IM content for compliance reasons, use the Archiving Server feature of Office Communications Server 2007 R2. For details, see Archiving and Compliance.

Benefits of Using Monitoring Server

By deploying and using one or more Monitoring Servers, you can do the following:

  • Identify and isolate problems in your Office Communications Server deployment.

  • Understand overall and per-user usage of Office Communications Server.

  • Receive alerts that can notify you of server and network problems that impact the quality of audio and video (using Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager (SCOM) and the Office Communications Server 2007 R2 SCOM Management Pack).

  • Perform troubleshooting in response to end-user complaints about your deployment’s reliability or media quality.

  • Examine the media quality of real sessions, to assess current deployment quality and prepare for larger rollouts.

  • Gather session usage statistics for return-on-investment calculations, and view trends to plan for post-deployment growth.

  • Use several built-in standard reports that are ready as soon as Monitoring Server is running.