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Watchguard Firewall/Router and hosted VoIP (8x8)

Posted on 2013-01-28
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We have a site which has a 10Mb (up and down) circuit using a Watchguard x330 running 11.6.1 software.

We are using Virtual Office solution from 8x8 which is a hosted SIP PBX solution.

Problem is that users complain of call quality issues.

At the moment I have setup 'Traffic Management' which uses a firewall rule and allows you to allocate/dedicate bandwidth, so I've set aside 512Kbps (10 users at site, maybe 6 calls active at once top) so this should be totally overkill.

8x8 says that if I can't disable SPI on the firewall, then they recommend a second firewall/gateway that doesn't use SPI, and point all phones to it.  I can do that, but I'd like to investigate further before we go that route.

I've noticed also that on Watchguard there is a SIP ALG which is equivalent to a Cisco Fixup Protocol, but I think that just facilitates opening of ports, not prioritizing traffic.

Anyone have a Watchguard device working well with SIP protocol (8x8 is one, Skype also uses SIP)

Your help is appreciated.
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Question by:ITDharam
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ArneLovius earned 500 total points
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You are correct about the ALG

VoIP call quality is frequently "fun". SPI on your Watchguard will add a small amount of latency, but this should not affect call quality, jitter and packet loss are the killers of call quality.

I would suggest using a span/monitor port on your switch and Wireshark to capture some calls and listen to them. You might find voipmonitor easier to use.

I might also try putting a phone outside the Watchguard on a public IP address, limiting Watchguard traffic to n-512k (plenty of bandwidth) and seeing if the call quality improves.

I would run pathping/mtr to your ITSP and see how many hops and how many carriers the traffic goes over, although you might be applying QoS to your part of the link, QoS is usually not honored by ISP peers.

You should also confirm the codec that your ITSP is using, just in case they have put you on a 9.6k codec...
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by:ITDharam
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Great info
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