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How to handle VOIP Communications MPLS or other?

We are looking to install a VOIP system.  The main office will house the system and two remote sites will connect to this system.  

My question is related to the type of network we should have.   There are conflicting opinions among some of the parties quoting us a system.    

1.  One provider indicates the following
Each Site will have a T-1 Connection. The T-1 at each site will connect to the providers switching and data platform providing dialtone and internet. They will absolutely not be connecting to us via the public internet
It will be a private direct T-1 connection to our switch. The remote sites will have a managed router on-site which will connect via T-1 to our network.
 
They indicate these will be direct T-1 connections so QoS will still be necessary but won't be a major concern because you have direct connection to our network, regardless though there will still be QoS enabled on the routers deployed at each of your locations as well as our data platform which consists of Carrier-Class Cisco Core Routers.
 
2.  Other providers indicate connecting our sites via an MPLS network.

Any words of wiadom?


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lkg115
Asked:
lkg115
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6 Solutions
 
lrmooreCommented:
An MPLS will be more cost effective because you will only pay for 3 ends, not 4 on monthly recurring basis. It also handles QoS as an option, but it should be provisioned with QoS from the beginning.
With point-point you provide all the QoS
With MPLS you tag data as it leaves your network and the MPLS cloud handles the priority
With MPLS you get pro-active monitoring of the links by the telco. With point-to-point, they don't know if there is trouble until and unless you call them.
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lkg115Author Commented:
lrmoore, Without MPLS, we are being quoted 3 T1 lines for our headquarters and two remote sites...what do you mean 4 ends?
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Reid PalmeiraTelecom EngineerCommented:
Your MPLS networks are generally more cost effective and more efficient. ONe thing to check with the provider you quote in 1 above, is what the difference is in pricing between the voice and the internet data side of the network. Are the routers managed or unmanaged (by the provider)? what kind of pricing and timeline do they have for Move, Add and Change orders? How many calls will they gaurantee at each site? For example, say your main site has 100 people and they make 20 simaltaneous calls (talk paths, whatever you want to call them) but the provider will gaurantee only 14, then you're hosed unless you get a second T1. Same thing with each of the branches.

Same thing with each of the branch sites, if each of the T1 connects to the provider do they allow you to mix priate point-to-point LAN data AND internet data across that link? are they only private? what happens if the internet side of that link fails? What about IP addressing schemes? Are the public IP addresses on te routers? this may lead to other security concerns such as DoS attacks from the public Internet.

As for the QoS, even if they are not public connections, QoS is still important.
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lrmooreCommented:
If you have a point-point T1 between you and a remote office, that's 2 ends, or local loops. This is a charge usually burried in the contract after they hook you with the low T1 charge. You pay for the local loop, then you pay for the T1.
If you add a 2nd point-point T1 between you and another remote office, that's another 2 ends or local loops. 2 termination units at HQ, means 2 CSU/DSU's for a total of 4 CSU/DSU's as well.
That's a total of 4 local loop charges, plus hardware, plus the local loop charge and hardware for the 3rd T1 (Internet or voice?)
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lkg115Author Commented:
I am confused still.  In the option 1 above, the provider indicates it is private.  However, they indicate we are all connecting to their switch.  What difference is this from what we have now, by virtual of using the same ISP at all locations?   Is it just they are going to route traffic  via some vpn technology between the three sites?  

Without MPLS (and COS) would a set up like option 1 above be subject to latency?
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Reid PalmeiraTelecom EngineerCommented:
most likely by private they're putting on on your own "private" MPLS VPN for the voice side. Your traffic there is cordoned off from other traffic but there is still some latency (there's always latency, it's just a matter of how well it's managed). Since the same provider is handling all your traffic and provides ocnnectivity to their switch, the traffic does not have to traverse the public and will remain in that carrier's network.
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lkg115Author Commented:
Is MPLS "usually" faster because with COS  it can traverse the MPLS VPN without having all the routers do look up's of the packets?
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Reid PalmeiraTelecom EngineerCommented:
It's usually faster because the MPLS cloud is controlled by a single provider which can setup end to end QoS and can prioritize traffic through the whole network instead of just part of it.

the routers in the MPLS cloud will still have to look at the packets and route traffic accordingly but within the cloud it can use the tags to route the traffic quickly and securely. kind of a nice overview of MPLS here: http://www.ee.unlv.edu/~venkim/opnet/AN%20OVERVIEW%20OF%20MPLS%20AND%20CONSTRAINT%20BASED%20ROUTING.pdf
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greekstonesCommented:
hi there


if you have less than 10 phones each site i will go for MPLS we are using mpls connection for all our remote site and we have around 2000 which it works great.  

if you pass th 10 phones you will need t1 line forevery remote site.

thanks.

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