VoIP monitoring vendor Devfoundry has packaged its VoIP monitoring software on to an appliance for the first time.

The company has also announced software that generates email alerts when call quality drops below set levels. The software monitors traffic and measures the quality of each connection as determined by real-time mean opinion score (MOS) or analysis of FAX protocols.

Devfoundry's offerings compete against products made by ClearSight Networks, Codima Technologies, JDS Uniphase (JDSU), WildPackets and Touchstone Technologies among others.

The new Devfoundry software version can capture more traffic - 300 simultaneous phone calls, compared to the previous software's 200 simultaneous calls.

VoIP Monitor can keep an eye on all SIP-based traffic as well as any FAX traffic based on the t.30 protocol.

Devfoundry is also introducing a free version of its software that can monitor one call at a time. The intent is to give customers some visibility into their VoIP traffic with the idea that they may find it valuable enough to pay for a full version.

The company is also introducing a per-instance licensing option that enables using a full version of VoIP Monitor for a set period. So if a business uses the free version and wants to use a full version to track down the cause of a particular problem it can buy a short-term licence to do so.

An appliance or a machine loaded with the software is attached to a mirroring port on a switch where it identifies and captures VoIP traffic and stores it per call. The calls can then be analysed to determine what might be causing problems, but can also be used to record calls.

The software collects enough data to create call-detail records for billing purposes as well as troubleshooting.

The 1.7 version of VoIP Monitor is available now. The appliance is also available now and costs $900(£630) for the device plus a licence for monitoring 10 concurrent calls.