POE Switches for VOIP

We are in the process of going to VOIP.  Recently, the vendor let us know that we would need to change out our switch for POE switches if we didn't want to use power supplies.

We are currently using 3 Cisco Small Business SG 200-26 26-port Gigabit Smart Switches piggy backed.

They suggest:  Cisco 3560-24 POE Gigabit Switch  $ 2,239  each!

We found online:  Cisco Small Business Smart SG200-26FP-switch-26ports-managed 24x 10/100/1000 + 2 x combo Gigabit SFP    $626.99

We are not sure of the difference between the two and whether we need to spend the extra money for the switches they are recommending.  

Any help would be most appreciated.
janmishkinAsked:
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Daniel SheppardConnect With a Mentor Network Administrator/Engineer/ArchitectCommented:
I would not recommend going Cisco Small Business.  We interfaces are just clumsy to use.

I would instead encourage you to look at other Vendors, HP for instances has some reasonably priced Managed Switches (2530-PoE)

That said, you also do not require a Cisco 3k series switch.  That is a Layer 2 switch and for pure access you really only require a 2k series switch.  You may require 1 3k switch at your core (due to the number of switches in play) but that may not even be strictly required.

Also, keep in mind, the lower end switches may not deliver 100% of the power required for PoE operations if all ports are drawing power.


Edit: Don't let your consultants dictate what you put in your network.  If you cannot afford Cisco, don't go Cisco, but don't cheap out and go Linksys (Cisco Small Business)
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janmishkinAuthor Commented:
Our consultants like Cisco and I tend to agree with them.  So we are only looking at Cisco.  Thanks.
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MattCommented:
OK, but you don't need L3 switches for this. 2960 or less should be more than enough.
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janmishkinAuthor Commented:
We want to be able to set up a couple VLans so I assume we need the L3 for this, yes?
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Daniel SheppardNetwork Administrator/Engineer/ArchitectCommented:
No, L2 is where VLans are defined, Layer 3 will allow you to perform routing on the switch (use the switch as a router)
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QlemoBatchelor, Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
L2 supports tagging and forwarding (isolation).
L3 is required if you need to interconnect the different VLANs (routing).
But I don't know why you would like to have VLANs for VOIP ...
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Ruel TmeizehOwnerCommented:
As long as the switches you are looking at support VLANs and QoS, you will be good. You really really want good QoS support though, as not having that can drastically affect your call quality---and when it happens, it's generally really nasty. You certainly don't need L3 switches though, like the 3560s.

As for the people who will chime in and say "you don't need QoS on a LAN," well I think that viewpoint, while true in certain circumstances, is naive and risky. Why take a chance with your voice calls? You _might_ not have any problems without QoS, but it's certainly not uncommon...

You can save a considerable amount and still have great enterprise switches if you go with HP Procurve models. I love configuring the Ciscos, and they are great stuff, but HPs are great too. If you must have Cisco, then take a look at the 2900 series (2960). They should more than meet your needs.
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