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VOIP traffic question

Posted on 2013-01-23
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Last Modified: 2013-02-04
My company recently had a new VOIP phone system installed.  It's an NEC Univerge SV8100 server with NEC phones.  We have about 25-30 users and I'm wondering if we should be seperating the VOIP traffic from the general traffic and what's the best way to do this.  Each phone is PoE and then they have a gigabit adapter with a PC port.  So each PC is "married" to the phone.  I thought about doing a VLAN but that wouldn't work with the phones and PC's being married like they are.  So my next thought is to maybe setup Qos rules to better help manage the traffic.  We have a Sonicwall NSA 2400.
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Question by:Vontech615
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8 Comments
 
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:David Atkin
ID: 38810605
Hello,

I would suggest applying QoS to prioritise the VoIP traffic on the network if you're having a problem with poor quality?
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Vontech615
ID: 38810633
Actually, so far the quality is fine so the old adage might be applicable "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".  I was more or less thinking a long the lines of what's best practice.  We have had some users experience slow downs on the internet at peak working hours.  We use a lot of cloud service's so internet traffic is a priority.  Maybe I should be looking at prioritizing this?
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Leeeee
ID: 38810689
Best practice is to have a voice vlan and data vlan. Depending on the switching infrastructure, you may be able to tag voice and data traffic on the same access port. QoS is definitely a consideration as well, as voice is very sensitive to latency and congestion. Is voice traffic using your internet circuit to reach another remote site, say over an IPsec tunnel? If no, maybe the 'internet slowdown' is a result from congestion/over-subscription on the link.
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David Atkin earned 500 total points
ID: 38810693
The VoIP handsets will only use the local network and shouldn't affect the Internet really, unless you have a VPN setup?

When we have installed the SV8100 in the past with VoIP handsets we have just left them on the network without doing any QoS changes.  The only exception is when we have a remote site that is using a VPN to access the Telephone System.  In this case we would prioritise the VoIP.

VoIP doesn't actually use much traffic (About 64kbps a call).  If you have a gigabit network you shouldn't see any issues internally.

As you said: If it isn't broken then don't fix it (Y).

As per the previous comment.  In a perfect world you would have a VLAN for the VoIP.  Its not a requirement though.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Vontech615
ID: 38810742
We don't have VPN setup for using our VOIP system so I need to figure out the internet situation as well but that doesn't pertain to my VOIP question I suppose.  So, I think leaving the VOIP system on the same VLAN with the data will be just fine since we do have a Gigabit network.  I would like to explore seperating this traffic though.  We have a Gigabit Adtran Netvanta PoE switch that supplies power and data to all the phones/PC's.  We also have (2) 24 port Dell Powerconnect 5324's to utilize.  I understand the concept of tagging voice and data on the same port so you would leave the PC traffic untagged and tag the VOIP traffic?   I'm just not sure how to go about this.
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Author Comment

by:Vontech615
ID: 38810904
To further explain..  The flow of our network from end user to server is as follows:
   Phone/PC ->patch panel->Netvanta PoE->Dell 5324->Server ... there's also a router in there.

So, I'm thinking that maybe the VLAN would be on the Dell 5324 that goes to the Netvanta PoE and then out to the enduser's. But how would I still seperate the phone and pc using this method?
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Leeeee
ID: 38811134
It has to be supported on the switch itself. I'm not sure if Adtran supports this feature and may be a Cisco only feature. A 'voice VLAN', referred to as an Auxiliary VLAN (AUX VLAN) is a specialized VLAN that sits beside a regular access VLAN configured on a switch (sometimes called a “normal” VLAN).  The purpose of the AUX VLAN is to allow IP phones to transmit their payloads along with the untagged data coming from a PC that might be plugged into a switchport on the back of the phone.  Essentially the port becomes a mini-trunk and carries CoS values while leaving the PC traffic untagged. CDP plays a pretty big role in the logic used to place the phone on the correct VLAN, but since you don't have a Cisco environment, it's irrelevant but good to know.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:David Atkin
ID: 38814756
In addition to what Leeeee's said, the NEC Telephone System also has CoS and QoS values that can be implemented I believe.
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