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IP phones intermittently lose connection to phone server over VPN

Posted on 2014-04-30
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Last Modified: 2014-05-17
We have a Fonality phone system.  The phone server is located at our main office on a 192.168.23.x network.  The phones there have no issues.  The data network at the main office is 192.168.22.x.  

I am in our other location.  We have a site to site VPN in place using SonicWall appliances.  Here our data network is 192.168.29.x and our phones are 192.168.30.x.  Occasionally our phones will stop working and display a "no service" error.  Not all of them stop working at the same time but eventually they all have stopped working at one time or another.  It used to happen only once a week or so and now we've had it happen several times in a day.

Our data network used to lose connection when we first set up this office (about a month ago) but after I changed the DNS config our DHCP server was handing out to point only to our DC that stopped and now it's only the phones having issues.  

Any ideas guys?

Thanks in advance for helping with this.

Craig
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Question by:computerconcepts
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by:M Roe
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Are your VPN connections dropping?  I would check firmware for the sonicwall also
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by:computerconcepts
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Thanks for the reply -

I don't think the VPN connection is dropping since we don't lose data or all the phones at the same time.  

Sonicwalls in both locations are updated to the latest general release FW.
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by:M Roe
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Have you done anything with QOS on Sonic?  Also make sure your routes are setup right.
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by:computerconcepts
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Yeah, I have BWM set up in the firewall that is supposed to work but I've noticed if we are downloading a large file from the main location our phones lag.  I'm working on that as a separate issue.  

Routes seem to be OK, I mean if it works at all it should work all the time, no?
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by:M Roe
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Can you setup logging on the VPN boxes and see if you have anything in there to indicate a drop
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by:M Roe
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Try to disable SIP functions on firewall if you have anything setup for SIP.

Also make sure the phones are not in DMZ on firewall
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computerconcepts earned 0 total points
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I do have logging set up and have checked it when the phone goes down but there isn't anything negative relating to the VPN or any of the phone addresses.   I'll dump the log the next time it happens so we can take a look at it.


SIP functions have already been disabled and the phones are not in a DMZ.  

The thing that keeps bothering me is that the problem doesn't happen to all phones at the same time.  It's really messed up.

Thanks for the suggestions, keep em coming!
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by:M Roe
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If you can post log file that will maybe help since you will have someone else looking too.

Make sure IP numbers are changed when posting.
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by:masnrock
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Let's peel the layers of the onion back. First off, turn off BWM and see if the problems persist. If not, problem solved. If so, look at the next layer. It is possible the way the bandwidth management is not working the way you intended for it to. (Remember that phone calls do not use much bandwidth to begin with)

So if turning off BWM does not work out, I'd look at the two subnets and/or the VPN connection itself.

Question: How many users are at the second office? Depending on the number, it might be worth looking into giving the office its own server.
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by:computerconcepts
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As soon as I turned off BWM our phones lag and echo.  There are only 4 people at the other location and they will be moving to this location later this year.  This is a new development since I opened this case.  I know we won't want to put a phone server over there.  I'm thinking we may just have to live with it.  The problem is very intermittent and does not happen often.  Thank you so much for everyone's effort on this one.  

Should I reward points?
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by:masnrock
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4 people? Yeah, definitely not worth the server, especially given the short term. The only other thing I might've been able to think is whether or not having the two subnets comes into pay with routing, etc. But that is probably way more headache than it's worth.

The points thing depends on you... do you think that the information provided was helpful, even if a solution was not found? If so, then I'd say yes. Sometimes points are worth giving based on getting at least point in the right direction. But I will not make that determination for you.
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by:computerconcepts
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Thanks for the help guys, I do appreciate it.
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