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How do you troubleshoot UCaaS problems? Put a ThousandEyes on it

ThousandEyes adds SIP Server Test and Voice Call Test to its existing RTP Stream Tests, providing complete visibility into VoIP and UCaaS performance

Cisco Live kicked off this week in Las Vegas. The annual event is where Cisco shows off its latest and greatest innovations, such as the intent-based networking system Cisco announced last week.

However, it’s also a forum for many of Cisco’s technology partners to show off their wares in the World of Solutions Expo Hall. One of the more interesting vendors there was ThousandEyes, which demonstrated their network monitoring solution, as well as their new Unified Communications monitoring and management capabilities that provide visibility into the performance and connectivity across Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), on premises and hybrid VoIP deployments.

+ Also on Network World: Network monitoring tools: Features users love and hate +

While there are many management tools that can look at UC performance when the solution is in a controlled, on-premises deployment, ThousandEyes’ solution is one of the first to provide visibility all the way out to the cloud services and for hybrid deployments. It was actually last week that the company announced the general availability of Voice Call Tests and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Server Tests, which provide end-to-end visibility into VoIP and UCaaS performance, and the company had the software products on display in their booth at Cisco Live

In the time-division multiplexing (TDM) days, voice ran on its own network with dedicated endpoints, making troubleshooting straightforward. Today, modern systems run on virtual machines, clients move around and the network is shared, which makes problem solving extremely difficult. Add in the factor of moving the call control out to the cloud where most organizations have no visibility or control, and the challenge of figuring out what’s wrong and where gets exponentially harder.

Most of the existing voice monitoring solutions are reactive in nature and are based on a combination of call detail records and packet capture. With these techniques, a network manager would start analyzing information after a problem has been found or collect all the packets/CDRs and review the results later, both of which happen too late to find the source of a problem. Also, these tools don’t allow for benchmarking or capacity planning, and they provide very little insight into the actual service delivery because they lack correlation of data across the application, network and routing layers.
ThousandEyes Voice Call Tests now provide complete visibility for VoIP calls

SIP Server Test and Voice Call Test are two new test types that have been added to ThousandEyes’ existing RTP Stream Tests and are designed to provide complete visibility across all stages of establishing and maintaining VoIP calls.

SIP uses a multi-step signaling process to set up calls where both endpoints need to go through a number of tasks, such as registering with a call server. Once the call is set up, the endpoints can communicate with each other at layer 7 using the real-time transport (RTP) protocol. Understanding the network topology at every stage of call set-up can provide the contextual data required for troubleshooting calls.

The ThousandEyes SIP Server Test validates the availability and responsiveness of the SIP server from branches or external locations, such as the cloud. It verifies every step of the SIP signaling phase, so if there is a problem, network managers can quickly see exactly what’s causing it and start troubleshooting. The test uses both data and a visual medium to find a problem and isolate the root cause. Network metrics can indicate things such as increased packet loss, and path visualization focuses on where the problem originates.

Befikre quick movie review: Ranveer Singh, Vaani Kapoor shine in Aditya Chopra’s sweet rom-com

Befikre steers far away from a typical Yash Raj Films love story and deals with both the past and the present of its protagonists.

The past:

Dharam — played by an ebullient Ranveer Singh — is a stand-up comedian from Delhi. Dharam moves to Paris, the city of love and creativity and artistic endeavour, to perform at a bar that’s called Delhi Belly.

Shyra — the very photogenic Vaani Kapoor — works in Paris as a tourist guide. She was born to Indian parents, but her character is depicted as being very French.

Vaani Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in a still from 'Befikre'

Dharam meets Shyra at a party: He’s desperately trying to get a girl to go home with him for the night; she dares him to meet a challenge; he wins [cue Hindi song playing at a French nightclub] and they go home to enjoy a wild romp.

They clearly have the kind of chemistry that’s the stuff of romcom lore, but Shyra — in a reversal of the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am trope, tells Dharam that she’s not interested in getting serious with him since she’s just been through a break-up. Fine, sex with no-strings-attached it is then.

So far, so good.

Of course, once is not enough and we see Dharam and Shyra embark on a wildly uninhibited relationship. As a throwback to their first meeting, Shyra keeps setting Dharam new dares and challenges. He fulfills them, and their spicy, somewhat kinky relationship moves forward. Finally, they decide that to live in together.

Cut to a different time, and we see Dharam and Shyra have come some distance from those first heady, explosive days. Now they’re in the apartment they share, hurling abuses at each other — the argument takes an ugly turn and they decide to part ways.

The present:

Can two individuals who’ve shared a past navigate new ground as friends? This is what Dharam and Shyra must confront in their present.

That they get to do this against the scenic backdrop of Paris is a huge bonus. Aditya Chopra has chosen some breathtaking settings as the location for his latest film, and as an viewer, one is glad for that.

What about the actors though? Do they match up to Paris?

Ranveer Singh makes for a perfect Dharam. He’s the quintessential Delhi brat who adapts quickly to life in Paris, and proves yet again why he’s considered among the most versatile actors of his generation. Vaani has a job keeping up, but is able to deliver what the role requires. Most of the first half is given over to visuals of the couple making out. (We’re not complaining.)

It helps that Befikre keeps things breezy and light during the first half. Fun and humour are sprinkled liberally throughout the first half and you’re ensured a feel-good time.

But does it also feel — well, frivolous?

Is there more to this film than its good looks?

Ranveer plays Dharam, while Vaani Kapoor is Shyra in Befikre'

***

Post-interval, we’re back in our seats, and ready to watch more of Dharam and Shyra’s adventures unfold. And boy! do they not disappoint.

Now far too many films of late have fallen prey to ‘the curse of the second half’. Everything’s hunky dory in the first, but after the interval, boom! the film loses its plot.

Surprise, surprise — Befikre does not suffer from this fate.

In fact, its second act lifts Befikre to a more beautiful level.

What do Dharam and Shyra get up to in the second half? We left them, dealing with a break-up, and trying to be ‘just friends’. The plot thickens when each of them gets into new romantic relationships. We can’t give more away other than saying, the duo has a lot to deal with.

[Spoiler alert] There’s an exceptional scene, set on a yacht where Ranveer Singh goes completely ‘befikre‘ and bares his derriere. And we’ll only say this: It is a sight to behold.

Does Befikre have a conventional happy ending? You’ll have to see the film to find out.

Does it any point seem clichéd? Yes, Dharam and Shyra’s journey, while fun, is hardly groundbreaking. But perhaps what works for Befikre, is that it does not try to be groundbreaking. Aditya Chopra’s first directorial venture in eight years plays to its strengths: It’s entertaining, beautiful and light.

When the Befikre trailer released, there were doubts over whether or not the film had more to it than seen in these promos. To be honest, there’s isn’t much else to the story beyond what’s seen in those trailers. But that’s not disappointing at all.

At a little over two hours, Befikre is short, sweet and a bonafide Bollywood rom-com.

If I don’t cheat, I will not succeed…

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We all know that Boards of Secondary Education are conducting examinations of grade nine & ten all over the Sindh. Same as always government has imposed cr.pc 144 section near examination centers which restricts people from standing outside the schools in groups, but we all are witnessing its complete violations outside of centers by” nakal mafia” supporters who help students cheat in the examination by providing guide books, solved papers or every material which can be helpful in solving papers by unfair means. Students do this and feel proud like they have conquered a fort and they have achieved everything. This happens very year or it might continue to happen every year because of poor strategies, management,nepotism,jealousy, lust for earning more money and of course, poor quality of education, lack of well trained teaching staff, coaching center mafias, etc.  I will not blame police for not ensuring implementation of cr.pc 144 outside the centers as they are busy with their duties like anti terrorist operations and other routine work but during examination if a student is in need of cheating material to solve the paper for which he or she was given one whole year of preparation, all people will be held responsible for this unfortunate happening who were given opportunities to teach and assist students for the day of examination . Today Pakistan is not only suffering from external challenges,pressures but internal security threats as well. This is the time when we should teach our youngsters the importance of hard work and achieving their targets and goals with honesty so they can defeat social and economic challenges our country is suffering from. If today we help them cheat, in the near future they will become well known corrupt officials.
This is the time when we should teach our students importance of education, discipline and hard work because they are the nation builders. No doubt there is load shedding ,unemployment, poor public transport system, inflation every where in Pakistan but by passing examination by via unfair means  is not the solution.
A strong Pakistan is our common interest, as this country has given us identity, an independent place to live along with each and everything required for a better life. Lets solemnly pledge that we will not  assist our beloved students in cheating but will help them in solving their queries and difficulties.