A new application will allow networks to be automatically and continuously optimised for IP telephony quality of service (QoS), claimed its inventor Xelor Software.

The program does things that Cisco can't, declared Xelor CEO Rob Scott, at the UK launch of XeloRate. It guarantees and enforces voice quality for its registered users, with other IP telephony users getting "best effort" service, he said.

"Do you have a map of what's going on in your network on a call by call basis? Cisco can't give you that," he added. "The first part of our software automates setting up QoS in Cisco routers. We have a server next to the Call Manager, it maps the network and the addresses going in and out, and reports on problems. Then it takes our best-practice rules and methodologies and applies them to the infrastructure - it's an expert system to set up, police and monitor your network for voice QoS on an ongoing basis."

The latter is the important part, Scott said, adding that hard-pressed sysadmins often don't have the time to re-visit the QoS settings that were put in place when the IP telephony network was first implemented.

Clive Jones, who is responsible for customer service and IT at Mid Bedfordshire District Council, said that's what attracted him to XeloRate (the council is its first UK user). "The dirty little secret is that IT managers don't continually update QoS policies as the network changes or as new elements and endpoints are introduced," he said. "Without XelorRate, it would be almost impossible to keep up with network changes, especially where we have employees switching desks, working from remote locations and even working from home on softphones."

XeloRate runs on Red Hat Linux and currently works with Cisco and Avaya IPT gear, including the Extreme switches and routers that Avaya uses. Nortel and Mitel IPT support will be added next year, along with support for optimising video QoS, Scott said.