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Configure VLAN for Voice VLAN on switches

Posted on 2013-06-06
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I would like to clarify how a switch should be configured for a voice VLAN on my switch gear (I am still learning about networking). We currently run 2 VLANs at each of our offices.

*  VLAN 1 = Data (Default)
*  VLAN 100 = Voice

Every user has a TIPT VOIP handset and PC at their desk. The PC's NIC is cabled to the Handset, and the handset is connected to (via wall data point) the switch.

So in saying this, every port on the switch is configured with both VLAN's (VLAN100 Tagged, and VLAN1 Untagged).

The current switch has no more free ports available. So we have purchased another. The current switch is a Cisco Catalyst 2960. The new switch is a Dell Powerconnect 5524.

The part that is confusing to me is how to configure the VLAN's when both are required on each port. I am confused about the VLAN modes and what they mean (eg Access, Trunk, General). I have tinkered around with all of the different modes, but I seem to keep crashing the LAN where the device is connected.

The new switch has 24 Gigabit ports. The old switch is connected to Port 1 on the new switch. Do I configure this port with a different mode to the remaining 23 ports?

My limited understanding is that I should configure port 1 as a trunk and the rest as Access ports?

Sorry all for being a Newb!!
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Question by:Howzatt
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Don Johnston earned 375 total points
ID: 39225471
If the phone has a port for a PC, then the switchport that connects to the phone will have to be (in Cisco parlance) a trunk. Which means that the switchport will carry more than one VLAN. In this case, two VLANs, one for voice and one for the PC's data.

The switch make/model will determine how this is done.  In some cases, it's done manually. For example, on a Cisco you may have to define the port as a trunk or on an HP, set the voice VLAN as tagged on the port and the data VLAN as untagged.

In other cases, it somewhat automated. On most Cisco switches, you can define the port as an "access" port and define the data VLAN, then issue the "voiceVLAN" command on the port to tell the switch that's there a phone connected. This has always bugged me since it confuses the situation by making people think it's an access port but it's actually a trunk.
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by:Howzatt
ID: 39225627
Understood. I think I set all of the ports up as Trunks initially, but when I sent it to the Branch Office that it meant for, it crashed the LAN at that office.

However I think the issue was that before I sent the switch up, I did not save the running config. So when it was turned on at the other office, it had lost the new VLAN config and it was also showing the wrong subnet.

I just wanted to clarify that I had it configured correctly before. I wasn't sure if I needed to configure all ports that connect to phones as Trunks or only the port that connects to the other switch.
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by:Don Johnston
Don Johnston earned 375 total points
ID: 39225638
Sounds like you have a good handle on it. Sending preconfigured equipment to a site can be... interesting. :-)
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Author Comment

by:Howzatt
ID: 39225659
I had to send it pre configured unfortunately. The site is in a remote area and the closest local IT support is about 6 hours away.
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by:Don Johnston
Don Johnston earned 375 total points
ID: 39225666
Been there, done that.
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by:convergint
convergint earned 125 total points
ID: 39225797
Dell switches are a bit odd with their VLAN setup terminology.  Access mode is when the port is only assigned to one VLAN, General mode is for multiple VLAN assignments (able to transmit tagged or untagged packets on the selected VLANs) and Trunk mode is a strange mode that sends all traffic tagged on VLAN 1 (this mode works best when connecting a Dell switch to another Dell switch).  The Cisco switch's VLAN 1 is normally the untagged native VLAN, hence why your LAN is crashing when you have port 1 set to Trunk mode.  It is good practice to never use VLAN 1 which is normally the default management native VLAN as your primary data VLAN (unless you have no VLANs at all).  You should either configure a different VLAN for your data traffic or change the management native VLAN to a different VLAN number.

So in your configuration:

On your Cisco switch you need to tag VLAN 1 and 100 to the port that is connecting to the Dell switch.

On the Dell switch you need to set every port setting to General VLAN Mode and assign PVID to 1 (this is a pain in the ass to do on the webpage unfortunately).  Then tag port 1 to both VLAN 1 and 100.  Then tag port 2-24 to VLAN 100.

On the QoS settings, interface settings, change every port to CoS 6.

Hope this helps a bit, I fought a lot with these Dell switches to get the VLANs working properly.  In the end I actually dumped them for much easier to manage HP Procurves.
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Author Comment

by:Howzatt
ID: 39227806
I ended up configuring the ports in Trunk Mode. This works perfect.
General mode just kept crashing the LAN.

Thanks for all of the tips guys.
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