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Shoretel BRI v90 & Recommended Switch

Posted on 2013-06-20
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Last Modified: 2013-07-10
For the above.

Our telecoms company that are going to supply us with a new IP phone system.  2x BRI v90 switches over 2x sites.  SIP into 1x site.  Site 2 using VPN to connect and receive calls.
SIP/Pipe will be shared for voice and data.

I have been told we need layer 3 switches.  Is this right?

Thanks
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Question by:CHI-LTD
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by:getzjd
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Preferably you will want at least 1 layer 3 switch  to handle the routing between your data and voice vlans.   The other switches can be layer 2 though there would be nothing technically wrong with purchasing all layer 3 switches other than the cost of a layer 3 is typically higher than that of a layer 2

An Adtran 1544P or 1534P may meet your needs for layer 3.  Layer 2 you can go with something like the Adtran 1234P 10/100 or the 1238P 10/100/1000
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by:JRSCGI
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The reason for the Layer 3 switch recommendation is that you then have support for Quality of Service (QoS) end to end.  Most of the telephony vendors want all L3 switches because sometimes call quality is impacted by heavy network usage while a call is in progress - and the users blame the telephony system even if it is a network congestion issue.  This normally is only seen on the WAN side (between offices, for example), but even with Gig switch ports can happen internally in some cases.
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by:getzjd
ID: 39267323
Note that not all of your switches do have to be layer 3 to utilize QoS.  I know the adtran layer 2 switches support QoS.
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by:CHI-LTD
ID: 39270598
I did plan on continuing with our existing HP switches for data only and buying new switches for the voice, only.
Is this possible setup?  Can the voice switch have a vlan and data stay as it is, unmanaged and no vlan?
Then if possible how then do we configure the remote site that hasnt a dhcp server and is on a 192 range.   HQ being on 172 range..?
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by:JRSCGI
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ID: 39271895
You can split the voice and data networks physically by using separate switches, and then you are correct that the data switches can remain the existing un-managed switches.  If you never place any data on the "voice switches" you can usually get by with unmanaged switches there as well, although some vendor will still "wash their hands" if a call quality problem surfaces.
I know the remote site will still work, but let my ask my data networking guy for specifics.
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by:CHI-LTD
ID: 39274726
OK ,thanks
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getzjd earned 250 total points
ID: 39275449
You can definitely do this, but again, the DHCP server at least for the voice side is recommended.  You can run this from the switch itself, no need to spend any other money.

If you are going to install two separate switches with 2 separate networks, then you will likely be doing your voice and data routing at your internet gateway.  Keeping in mind that unless your link between the two sites is private / MPLS , you lose the QoS across this line.  You can prioritize traffic that hits the VPN, however, once it leaves the router you have no control of the internet traffic.
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by:CHI-LTD
ID: 39277264
Ok, thanks.  So can we use DHCP on the firewall or switch with the 156 boot option?

I have been told by the ISP that QOS can be controlled between the sites as links are with them...
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by:getzjd
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Yes, typically you "should" be able to use DHCP on the firewall or with the switch.   I will not make a 100% guarantee as I never guarantee 100%  :-)
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by:CHI-LTD
ID: 39289416
and prioritise the traffic @ firewall/VPN level to guarantee QOS?
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by:CHI-LTD
ID: 39293300
So, we would have a layer2 or layer3 switch to handle voice traffic at both sites (L3 will work, L2 might not?).  These would still need to be part of the network as the DHCP servers and client machines will clearly integrate with the voice.

Vlaning voice on L3 switch, connected to unmanaged switch (data) and picking up IP's from DHCP, with WAN/VPN routing the traffic will be fine?
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by:JRSCGI
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ID: 39298134
Yes, you can use an unmanaged switch on the data side and use it to link to DHCP without impacting the voice performance over an L3 switch.  With the WAN link able to support some level of QoS you set the router/firewall to prioritize the voice traffic, usually via priority queuing/forwarding.
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