Get the network right!

Unified Communications technologies introduce a new paradigm to data networks due to the real-time nature of these technologies. If the underlying network has performance and capacity issues, UC applications are quick to suffer from this. UC technologies should thus be deployed on data networks which are correctly scaled to accommodate the additional load which these new technologies introduce.

Key factors that contribute to a reliable data network are capacity planning and ongoing monitoring. Capacity planning should be an ongoing process of analysing network load to ensure that a network’s performance meets defined requirements, either current or future, based on projected user-base growth, and to determine whether a given network can accommodate the additional load of new applications and technologies.

Before deploying any UC workload, a network readiness assessment is a great idea to help you understand the capabilities of your network within the context of a Microsoft Unified Communications deployment.

The following table outlines the key metrics and goals for measuring the performance of networks and their readiness for real time communications:


Network Conditions

Acceptable Quality

Optimal Quality

Inter-arrival packet jitter (avg)

≤ 10ms

≤ 5ms

Inter-arrival packet jitter(max)

≤ 80ms

≤ 40ms

Packet loss rate (avg)

≤ 10%

≤ 2%

Network latency (One Way)

≤ 100ms

≤ 60ms

Jitter, packet loss, and latency are the key factors that determine networks suitability for quality real time communications. These factors will be measured not only based on current network traffic, but will be taken while simulated voice, video, and signalling traffic is generated.