The musings of an IT Consultant

Oct 31 2009   9:00PM GMT

Is your data network ready for VoIP?



Posted by: Raj Perumal
Tags:
call manager
Catalyst
Cisco
data
data network
engineers
IT
PBX
phones
POE
QOS
switches
switching
voice
voice network
VoIP

Hi folks! One of the greatest things about today’s network is that it seems to be able to handle anything. It doesn’t seem to matter what you want to do on your network, there is always a technology around the corner that can make it happen for you.

Well one of the most common things happening today is the conversion of data networks to voice and data networks. With the coming of VoIP, network engineers have been put under an increasing burden to support the world of the telephone when historically data and voice have been two separate entities.

There are a lot of people that erroneously think that VoIP is all about the phones and the PBX, but in reality if you don’t have a data network that can handle the traffic, none of that is really going to matter. Some of things network administrators find out in the end is that a switch isn’t always just a switch. What I mean by this is that administrators have been forced to cut and slash budgets and buy cheaper equipment only to find out that their switch is sub-par and cannot support a voice network. They are then faced with redoing their entire data network infrastructure which makes the cost of going to VoIP prohibitively expensive.

If administrators really look at what is offered to them when they buy network equipment such as switches, they can then plan for future VoIP deployments so when the time comes their data network will be ready. Things such as QOS and POE are two items that are not paid heed to when buying switches if VoIP isn’t in the equation, but then you find out you need it when the company starts going in the VoIP direction.

What I’m trying to say here is that in the future, almost all of us will be using VoIP, so you might as well start planning for getting your data networks ready now.

-RP

2  Comments on this Post

 
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  • Olgen
    Yes, it's just like this, especially when you want to have the ability to use PoE.
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  • Mttcrn
    All good points here, one of the things that folks want to be aware of is whether the network is ready for VoIP. Historically to do so has meant expensive purchases of voip kit to carry out tests, at the time the above post was written this was probably true. However with solutions like AppView Voice you can now carry out tests before investing in any voice kit and get accurate metrics on whether the bandwidth is in place to cater for voice calls. http://www.prosperon.co.uk/products/appneta/appview-voice/
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