Voip phone as computer connection

I found a strange setup at a client where they only have one drop per desk so they use their VOIP phone as network connection for the computer. I'm not very familiar with this design so I was wondering if this could cause any kind of issues in the network...


Thank you!
Alan DalaITAsked:
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DarinTCHSenior CyberSecurity EngineerCommented:
it is very common
Cisco...Avaya
it actually has a mini switch builtin
so the single drop runs to the phone and handles all traffic
the phone separates data and voice
the PC is plugged into the back of the phone @ the data port

the only issue is the very first connection ..when plugged in it takes a few minutes sometimes....it has to work out the 2 signals so the signal gets segregated ....usually its a separate vlan anyway
otherwise they should continue to work well
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Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
This is common as most phones are powered over ethernet, thus they connect to the wall jacks and then the phones have a jack for PCs.  They were designed this way to ensure no additional network jacks are required (i.e. no capacity upgrade for switchports).  VOIP devices usually run on a different VLAN to ensure QoS (Quality of Service) can be implemented for voice.
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Alan DalaITAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your responses!

What I'm not sure that I understand is how you separate traffic with Vlans if the phone is basically the network drop for the computer. The Vlan should be created at the main switch, right? Am I missing something here?

Thank you for you help.
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DarinTCHSenior CyberSecurity EngineerCommented:
yes the Vlan work happens @ the switch/router
and the traffic is tagged.....with a vlan ID

but both streams of traffic head to the 'device'

inside the phone - the builtin switch decides if it is Voice or data

the voice traffic heads to the headset tagged as voice vlan

the data traffic heads to the other port - which connects tot the PC
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Alan DalaITAuthor Commented:
So, if I create two VLANs on the HP switch, how is the computer traffic forwarded to VLAN 1 for example and VOIP traffic to VLAN 2?

Thanks again.
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Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
On a Cisco switch, the configuration is as follows where two VLANs are made, 100 for data and 500 for voice:

Switch(config)#interface range fastethernet 0/1 - 2
Switch(config-if)#switchport mode access
Switch(config-if)#Switchport access vlan 100
Switch(config-if)#switchport voice vlan 500

It must be similar on a HP switch, to configure voice and data VLANs:

hostname "HPSwitchA"  
qos dscp-map 101110 priority 6 (101110 turns on Expedited Forwarding EF)  
snmp-server community "public" Unrestricted  
vlan 100  name "Vlan-Data"  
untagged 1-28  
ip address 192.168.10.1 255.255.255.0  
exit  
vlan 500  
name "Vlan-Voice"  
ip address 10.10.10.1 255.255.255.0  
qos dscp 101110  
tagged 1-28  
voice  
exit

Below is how you configure switch ports:

interface FastEthernet0/1-8
description HQ-SW-2 ===> IP Phone and PC
switchport access vlan 100
switchport mode access
switchport voice vlan 500
spanning-tree portfast
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mikeleebrlaCommented:
Mohammed  is exactly correct. I just wanted to add that the above cisco switch setup will only work for cisco phones as it uses the proprietary CDP (Cisco Discovery Protocol) to determine that the device directly connected to the switch is a cisco phone (so it gets put in the voice vlan).

In the HP setup he provided, LLDP is used.  (Link Layer Discovery Protocol). Cisco Phones support this as well. IE if you wanted to have a Cisco Phone plugged into an HP switch, the above setup would be correct.
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DarinTCHSenior CyberSecurity EngineerCommented:
the traffic ends up where if belongs in the long run....
it just flows thru the same physical port to get there..
the physical port being the one on the back of the VoIP phone
and the port can receive traffic from multiple vLans
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