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LAN switch for VOIP

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I have a client who will be deploying VOIP solution. The VOIP switch/server will be in house and fed by a couple of ISDN PRI’s so this is strictly a level of service issue on the LAN side. There are 30+ users on the network and all the PC’s are relatively new in the last 8 months. Each Ethernet line will go to each phone and then branch off to a PC. I know the VOIP vender is pushing Cisco hardware however I believe a switch with good quality of service should do the trick. This client is a Dell shop and currently has Dell layer 2 switches installed. I know dell doesn’t actually manufacture there own switches, but that doesn’t bother me as I have used then time and time again without any problems and its hard to beet the price.

Please advise.

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thats what i am asking, the pc's are mixed 100Mbps and 1Gbps if a PC is moving a 200MB file while on the phone will it affect the voice?

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I personally would recommend Cisco gear for this, however any switch that can perform QoS based on packet type should suffice.

The issue with VOIP is latency, and using normal unmanaged switches will work in most cases where the network doesn't see a lot of traffic. However if multiple users start pulling full bandwidth, you will notice the delay on the phone.

Ideally I would get full-managed switches w/QoS, however if cost is a consideration, and with only 30 users decent switches (w/o QoS) should be okay.

*Cisco Catalyst 2950-48 or 2x 2950T-24's would be ideal, and not as expensive as you think.

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How do you intend to power the phones? Are you going to use PoE in some fashion (either native PoE switches, or power injectors)? If so, then you might as well get some good switches with PoE built in. If you hadn't planned on using PoE, then perhaps you might want to. Phones are a service that is expected to work pretty much at all times, and having a PoE switch on a UPS with decent runtime will at least give the illusion that phone service is survivable post power loss. You also want to make sure you have at least one POTS line and phone available for E911 reasons (liability is a concern here).

Personally, I would vote for good switches with QoS capability since you plan on sharing a single ethernet connection with the PCs. I have seen issues where a single connection was shared and no QoS was available/configured.

If I might ask, what kind of IP telephony solution is the vendor offering? What phones?

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