Network Switches and Routers For Use With VoIP
Routing advanced traffic like voice and video require advanced network equipment. Entry level models such as those purchased from retail locations is not suffient for voice and video applications. Both advanced network routes and network switches should be considered. These devices include features that make voice and video applications more reliable. Whether or not SIP trunks are used to route calls outside your organization, your internal and inter-office calls should be deployed over IP infrastructure.
Features Required on Network Router and Switch EquipmentConsider these features on the purchase of your voice-enabled network infrastructure.
- VLANs VLANS allow you to segment your voice traffic from all other traffic on you network and allow you to apply special security and priority rules to it. VLANs are an essential part of any mid to large sized network.
- POE Power over Ethernet allows network devices such as phones to be powered from a central location. Apart from the convenience of having a single cable to your phone, POE allows all phone to effectively be placed on a UPS. We recommend that all telecom equipment be placed on a UPS as it helps ensure stability that may be lost by power fluctuations
- Traffic ShapingSome traffic is more important than others. When using voice and video applications over your wide area network (WAN), your WAN connection become a limiting factor. Traffic shaping on your router will reserve bandwidth for voice application to ensure that adequate bandwidth is available and call quality remains high.
- QoSQuality of Service protocols prioritize network traffic on a micro level to ensure that realtime traffic is sent before other traffic. Entry level network equipment does not always have this feature.
- Static Routing RulesWe recommend redundant WAN links are used in a voice based infrastructure. Static rules can force Voice traffic on a dedicated WAN connection.
- Static NATSome routers will modify your network traffic as it passes over the router in the name of security. When it comes to voice traffic, unplanned modification of the traffic can lead to instability like one way audio problems. Ensure your router has advanced settings to control how your network traffic is handled.
- Option 66Option 66 refers to a DHCP Server capability to specify a boot server when the DHCP Server issues an IP address for a device. DHCP servers are most often the responsibility of the router / firewall. Option 66 is a commonly used method of auto-provisioning phones and for some phones like Polycom it is the easiest way to have them configured. Make sure that the DHCP server on your router support option 66 for auto provisioning but also that the data for option 66 is an ascii text string and not just an IP address. Some routers like Cisco Small Business routers only allow an IP address for Option 66 and so are un-usable for provisioning IP phones.
Call our Specialist. He can be reached at:Dar ZuchBusiness IT Specialist - CalgaryHelia Technologies