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Switches for VOIP

My company is looking to implement VOIP in one of our buildings. The building is wired cat 5. In my closet I have a hp 4000m switch. Will this work for voip? Im not familiar with VOIP at all so im wondering if the switch will handle it or am I better off getting better switches. Also would it be recommended to set up Vlans for the IP phones???

Thanks in advance!
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jsanfilippo5
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jsanfilippo5
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calvinetterCommented:
>Will this work for voip?
  If the 4000m is stable enough, if it supports VLANs & you don't need PoE (Power over Ethernet), it might work ok. Though I've heard that the 4000 model isn't one of HP's best model of switches (from a few network admins & an HP sales engineer!).
  I'd highly suggest going with Cisco instead - they're rock solid & are feature-rich (incl VLAN & QoS support).  The Cisco Catalyst 3550 or 3560 series support PoE & are also capable of routing functions, depending on the software image. (FYI: 3550 series is starting to be phased out this yr.)  If you don't need PoE or a "layer 3" switch ("routing" capable), you could go with Catalyst 2960 series.

>would it be recommended to set up Vlans for the IP phones?
  Yes, it's a good idea to separate your VoIP traffic from your regular traffic if possible.

Just my $0.02
cheers
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jsanfilippo5Author Commented:
let me ask a VLAN question now..

The phones we are looking at are having "switch" built into them, so the cable comes from the jack on the wall to the phone, then another cable to the PC.

How could i set up a seperate vlan for the phones when the computers are connected to the phone? Wouldnt I be recreating the same traffic on the VLAN now???

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Any switch will do - I have a client running one of their phones through Netgear 10 Mbit hub - YES ten Mbit HUB.  BUT, that said, I would want to ensure the highest quality and consistancy possible.  To that end, I would put all phones on a seperate VLAN or even a seperate switch.  And if possible, I'd have the QoS on the internet pipe and network switches (especially if the switches are shared with data).
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jsanfilippo5Author Commented:
How  is the voice quality through 10mbit???
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Looking at the Cisco 79x0 phones?  That would be a potential problem.  You'd have to do seperate network drops.  But failing that, QoS and do it on one VLAN.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Honestly, I've not made a call from that phone.  But typically, a VoIP call uses about 75-95 Kbits... 10 Mbits is TECHNICALLY enough for 100 calls simultaneous.
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minmeiCommented:
Ok - lets get some VoIP things straight.

10mbps is _not_ the problem. Hub is the problem, that is, half duplex. If the phone starts to transmit or receive and there is a collision on the network segment, there is no data to retransmit and you _will_ have bad voice quality.

If you are using phones with switches in them to put the PC's behind the phones, _and_ you want to still keep the phones and the PC's on different VLANs (which is a good recommendation), you will need a managed switch. A managed switch is one which you can set individual ports to do things like VLAN 2 and VLAN 1 or even VLAN trunking using a protocol called 802.1q which is the thing that allows the one line to the phone scenario.

QOS is vital, on WAN connections. Most (almost all recent ones, anyway) switches will support forwarding the packets fast enough to not have to worry about QOS on the LAN, that is where you have 100 mbps connections. Some people will sell you up on QOS switches, and while they can make you feel better, I've never seen a VoIP installation where QOS on the _LAN_ mattered for voice quality.

So, your HP 4000's are probably fine unless you want to use the VLANs and one drop per phone and PC, and then you may want better switches that will support the VLAN trunking and virtually useless QOS at the LAN level.  

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
minmei,

Lets get some things straight here - I didn't say you WANTED to use a hub or a 10Mb switch - just that I've seen it work.  
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minmeiCommented:
Ok. I'll buy that - I just wanted to elaborate that the bandwidth wasn't the critical issue, it was the duplex. If the hub is between the phone and a printer, and the printer doesn't get used much, you may be just fine.

Sorry for the tone. :)
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
So the information myself and calvinetter provided was of no use to you?
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