Switch requirement for IP Phones

We are getting ready to replace our aging phone system with a new Avaya IP phone solution. Before we can do that, however, we need to replace a number of our switches as they aren't PoE. My question is what is the requirement for a switch to accommodate an IP phone system?

A little info:

- We are a company of about 100 people and devices. We are growing, but we won't be a giant company in the forseeable future.
- The phone company is suggesting we replace all of our switches with Avaya Enterprise level switches, which run about $2000+ for 48 port switch.
-We currently have one switch, a CiscoSG200-50 port smart switch with VLAN capability and PoE. All of the rest definitely need to be replaced either way.


Does it make any sense to spend $2000+  per switch on an enterprise level device in a somewhat small business with it APPEARS a $500 dollar Cisco Small Business Smart Switch does everything we need?

I'm aware the fully managed Avaya switches have considerably more features and security, but it seems excessive for the size of our company with features I'm not sure we'd ever use.

Or is there more to it?

Thank you
TarkisalAsked:
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max_the_kingCommented:
Hi,
I run into the same issue lately, as a customer bought an Avaya voip solution and was adviced by that vendor to buy Avaya enterprise switches.
Although you probably wouldn't have big problems to use Cisco small business, i decided to propose Cisco Catalyst 2960X switches, which are more expensive than small business but you won't have to battle with the other supplier which might say that problems arising are due to cisco small business switches which he wouldn't have sold.
Everything has gone fine.
By the way, i ordered 5 of these:
WS-C2960X-24PS-L

hope this helps
max
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Kylo RenSystem EngineerCommented:
best advice is to stick to cisco since you already have an existing poe switch from that vendor. yes protocols are supposed to be vendor independent but you will run into quarks and why switch when you already own cisco.  If you arent happy with cisco then consider the hp procurve switches which arent as expensive but work very well and the cli is very similar to cisco
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Cheever000Commented:
You can use Cisco SMB switches for just about anything if you know how to configure them.  It isn't something I recommend to use due to its limited ability to troubleshoot anything and a sluggish commandline, and limited feature set.  That being said the Catalyst model mentioned above is a fantastic model.  HPs will work as well but the issue is every vendor do things differently if you are aware of the differences you will be in each case.
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TarkisalAuthor Commented:
Thanks to everyone who responded! I am leaning towards the Small Business devices. While I am sure the feature set is severely limited compared to the fully managed switches we are in an environment where we do literally nothing with the switches except plug into them and all that is changing now is adding an IP phone system. However, I will keep these suggestions in mind and, as we grow, recommend them in the future. Thanks!
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