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Sonicwall VOIP compatibility and throughput

Posted on 2011-03-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I'd like to connect to a new hosted VOIP provider, but I'm not sure if my SonicWall can handle it.  I currently have a TZ-190 with the Enhanced OS.

I'm planning to start with 10 users making calls.  The vendor says I need 100 Kb per call, so that should be 1 Mb bandwidth I need.  I'd eventually like to ramp this up to 80 concurrent calls, so 8-10 Mb.  I also need to mix in some light data traffic from those 80 users plus another 10 back office people who are heavy Internet users.

I'm currently running A/V and Intrusion detection on everything coming from the WAN.

Can the TZ-190 handle this type of VOIP/SIP traffic at all?  Will it work with up to 80 concurrent calls going on plus some other general Internet usage?
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Question by:s_sykes
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DrDamnit earned 2000 total points
ID: 35182831
The TZ-190 appears to handle voip just fine. See this doc:

http://www.sonicwall.com/downloads/Configuring_VoIP_for_SonicOS_Enhanced.pdf

100Kb per call is a little much. You actually need 64kbps + about 11% overhead, which is 71kbs. But, for calculations, 100Kbps per call is a better calcualtion. It's better to be conservative.

Your next issue is QoS. Sure... you can fit 10 calls at 100kbps per call, but do you have good QoS? This is an ISP issue. Does the ISP do QoS for UDP / VOIP traffic?

The SonicWall can QoS the inbound and outbound traffic so that email downloads don't kill your calls, but if you don't have control over the QoS from your provider then you need a fat pipe (I have Comcast with 50Mbps down and 20Mbps up, and never have a problem) or you need a provider that guarantees QoS.

The SonicWall's processor should be able to handle 80 concurrent calls, however, if it cannot, you'll end up upgrading to one that can or going to a BSD based open source firewall like Monowall where you can use desktop grade computing power to run the firewall.
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by:s_sykes
ID: 35183843
Yep - I was figuring a 100 kbps to try to account for my people being on a call and some light surfing. I'm a little doubtful it can handle 80 concurrent calls, but I'm not sure how you figure that out ahead of time.
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by:DrDamnit
ID: 35183928
I think your bandwidth will run out before the SonicWall poops out. :-)
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by:s_sykes
ID: 35184124
HA!  Cool - thanks!
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by:s_sykes
ID: 35184128
Oh  - meant to ask - are you running a bunch of VOIP calls through your Comcast connection?  How many?
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Expert Comment

by:DrDamnit
ID: 35184233
I have 8-10 concurrent calls running through Comcast. Never a problem. You just have to engineer it right.

Also... the size of my pipe is huge for VOIP calls. It's like throwing a hotdog down a hallway.
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by:s_sykes
ID: 35184268
Cool - I'm on a 5 MB symmetrical connection with Cavalier right now, but I've got an appt with a friend at Comcast business next week.
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by:DrDamnit
ID: 35184296
Beware: Comcast Business may or may not perform like Cavalier's 5/5 product. Get references from the Comcast Business guy from people IN YOUR AREA.

Where I am in northern Atlanta, comcast owns the market. They rule. THey rock. I bow at their awesomeness.

In midtown and the east part of Atlanta, however, they suck. Big time. Their modems make a sucking sound when illuminated. They are constantly down.

This is because comcast acquires smaller companies with sometimes inferior networks.

Cavalier, CBeyond, etc... put down all their own networks. So, quality is ensured.

Before you buy, ask around.
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Author Comment

by:s_sykes
ID: 35184473
Yep - Cavalier has been rock solid the past few years.  We've got data and 10 back office phones on it and never miss a beat.  Paetech just bought them out though so changes are coming.

My Comcast contact here in Richmond, VA claims they have a ton of available fiber in our area, but I don't know anyone that is actually using it in their business.
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