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TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:2
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
reply to BiggA

Re: Analog Voice Gateways

said by BiggA:

Why all this for an obsolete technology? Why not just do VOIP directly and get rid of the phone wiring altogether?

Lack of suitable wiring (CAT5) in the building to the phone locations would be my guess.

My second guess would be that it's probably cheaper this way, than to purchase hundreds of VoIP phones to replace the existing POTS phones.

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

But POTS phones just aren't the same... They don't have all the features of the VOIP ones...



beachintech
There's sand in my tool bag
Premium
join:2008-01-06
kudos:5

said by BiggA:

But POTS phones just aren't the same... They don't have all the features of the VOIP ones...

No, but they can get close enough that a digital phone system is a viable alternative. Beats rewiring and replacing all that hardware.
--
Ex-Tech at the Beach.
I speak for myself, not my former employer.

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

You wouldn't have to rewire very much, as any desk would already have ethernet, and the phones can pass it through to the computer via their own internal switch.


cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:8

Any large org will *NOT* mix voice and data traffic to the desktop. Also, how are they going to power all those phones? What happens to desktop connectivity when the phone fails, reboots, whatever? Very few voip phones are gigabit -- and the ones that are, aren't cheap.

If you have a large analog phone infrastructure, you don't rip it all out overnight.

[I work in an office with 10 people, and I run voip is on an isolated network.]


BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Why not? It's all Ethernet, it's all IP. Power them through PoE switches. Most desktops in organizations don't use gigabit.

That's great that you run it on a separate network, but that's not really necessary.

Do those Cisco systems hook up to a wholesale SIP provider just like any other VOIP solution? I'm sure they could hook up to the local phone company, but that wouldn't really make any sense cost wise once you're on a VOIP system...



jmich
Premium
join:2001-08-28
Toms River, NJ
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to BiggA

Thats a good question. This campus has ALOT of analog phones. I guess it was cheaper than licensing all those IP phones. The VOiP upgrade was mostly to replace the dying Rolm PBX. Its a seasonal place and the IP desksets were placed in administrative offices. There are also ALOT of autodialers for remote building monitoring systems. There are additional VG's feeding analogs at the other end of campus as well. The old PBX was having trouble feeding those distant phones. Fiber was pulled to feed those VG's and all the distance problems disapeared. And yes, the cabinet was cheaper than fixing the roof or moving the telephone room. It weighs about 300lbs empty.


BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Oh so they did a few IP phones, and then the rest through the analog gateways?



jmich
Premium
join:2001-08-28
Toms River, NJ

There were probably close to 200 IP phones deployed.



Edrick
I aspire to tell the story of a lifetime
Premium
join:2004-09-11
Woburn, MA
reply to BiggA

said by BiggA:

Why not? It's all Ethernet, it's all IP. Power them through PoE switches. Most desktops in organizations don't use gigabit.

That's great that you run it on a separate network, but that's not really necessary.

Do those Cisco systems hook up to a wholesale SIP provider just like any other VOIP solution? I'm sure they could hook up to the local phone company, but that wouldn't really make any sense cost wise once you're on a VOIP system...

I don't mean to sound rude, but are you new to IT? It makes a heck of a difference properly laying out your network. As already mentioned if not for the fact of having an additional failure point of the phone as a switch or the phone not being gigabit. Also not having all the extra load on the data network. QoS can only do so much. Also unless his campus was new I doubt it's all wired with a minimum of cat5e. Running cable throughout campuses is not simple or cheap. All the switch gear with PoE is pricey. Also quite a few organizations that are clients of mine or I've worked for use gigabit. The cost of IP phones are also tenfold over digital or analog.
--
Edrick Smith
Independent Film & Broadcast Producer
»edricksmith.com


dgrizz

@nktelco.net

said by Edrick:

said by BiggA:

Why not? It's all Ethernet, it's all IP. Power them through PoE switches. Most desktops in organizations don't use gigabit.

That's great that you run it on a separate network, but that's not really necessary.

Do those Cisco systems hook up to a wholesale SIP provider just like any other VOIP solution? I'm sure they could hook up to the local phone company, but that wouldn't really make any sense cost wise once you're on a VOIP system...

I don't mean to sound rude, but are you new to IT? It makes a heck of a difference properly laying out your network. As already mentioned if not for the fact of having an additional failure point of the phone as a switch or the phone not being gigabit. Also not having all the extra load on the data network. QoS can only do so much. Also unless his campus was new I doubt it's all wired with a minimum of cat5e. Running cable throughout campuses is not simple or cheap. All the switch gear with PoE is pricey. Also quite a few organizations that are clients of mine or I've worked for use gigabit. The cost of IP phones are also tenfold over digital or analog.

Like anything else, it depends. Specifically about IP phone costs, the phones like for like (at least for Nortel) TDM/digital compared to IP are about the same. You also need licenses for any type of phone.. IP, digital, or analog.. so no savings there. If you're starting a new system go IP, if you have heavy investment already in digital sets/licenses and you're not replacing the entire system, then it probably doesn't make sense to go to change.


Edrick
I aspire to tell the story of a lifetime
Premium
join:2004-09-11
Woburn, MA

My post was in relation to an existing system. That poster seemed to insist that the OP should of gone VoIP. It all depends on phones too wether the analog was preexisting and they just changed the back end which to me seems to be what they did.



jeffmoss26

join:2002-07-22
Beachwood, OH
reply to jmich

jmich, yikes to the other pics posted! Don't see a whole lot of those old Rolm systems anymore! UT still has one at the Health Science Campus...
At my work the majority of the phones and computers are on separate switches (all gig, phones are POE). A handful of shop floor computers go through the ports on the phone, since we don't have POE switches out there.



tubbynet
reminds me of the danse russe
Premium,MVM
join:2008-01-16
Chandler, AZ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to cramer

said by cramer:

Any large org will *NOT* mix voice and data traffic to the desktop.

my experience has been quite the opposite.
my employer is a *large* cisco systems gold partner. converged networks are the bread and butter of our consulting work. while i'm not a voice guy, i work very closely with them for enterprise wide refreshes. professions like nortel pbx administration are rapidly waning in usefulness and a lot of the pbx guys are being told -- learn cisco uc administration or find another job. the cost of maintaining separate copper infrastructure plants for voice and data are rapidly increasing. more often than not, we consult the 'it' department and break down the opex/capex ratio for such infrastructure, then show the cost savings in opex over the short and long terms for running converged infrastructure, especially as 'it' leverages vdi alongside the cisco collaboration suite.
any enterprise *not* running 10gbe in their core and 1gbe to the desk will be left behind in short order. with ever tightening margins and budget squeezes on things like 'it' and infrastructure -- movement to a converged desktop is going to need to occur.

Also, how are they going to power all those phones? What happens to desktop connectivity when the phone fails, reboots, whatever?

poe-capable switches are dropping in price. coupled with the deep discounts that cisco will offer to bring uc into a large enterprise make this a very attractive offer.
additionally, any sales engineer worth their salt will have discussions regarding sla's and uptime for the phones and devices. any critical infrastructure not on some sort of battery backup (even data only) is comical. from there, the loads on the switch are computed using cisco's power calculator and from there ups/battery backups are sized accordingly. several analogue lines are also installed for that "absolute worst case" scenario, especially in verticals like healthcare, education, etc.
[edited to add] my question back to you is 'what is the sla requirement for a phone tech to fix a voice line?'. once a user calls in and the issue is determined to be a 'voice plant' issue -- how long does it take the 'phone guy' to either (a) test all x-connect points with the butt-set, check the punchdowns, run impedence testing, check the osp breakers/fuses, etc or (b) check all of the settings for the phone station cabling, qos, or uplink on an ip-voice network?

Very few voip phones are gigabit -- and the ones that are, aren't cheap.

nearly every 'new' phone made by cisco now supports gig-e. a lot of the older 7940/7960 models don't -- but these phones were first manufactured nearly 8 years ago. i've had a 7940 at my desk since i started working for this partner -- which was 5 and a half years ago.

If you have a large analog phone infrastructure, you don't rip it all out overnight.

right -- but you don't leave it in to drain money either. pilots, testing, and acceptance coupled with an implementation plan and *user training* are crucial keys to any ip voice rollout over converged infrastructure.

[I work in an office with 10 people, and I run voip is on an isolated network.]

[i've deployed route/switch networks to support converged phone deployments ranging in size from 100 to 45000 phones. oh yeah -- and there was movi/video calling supported for the execs, too.]

q.
--
"...if I in my north room dance naked, grotesquely before my mirror waving my shirt round my head and singing softly to myself..."

voxframe

join:2010-08-02
reply to jmich

And see I find the exact opposite. Unless of course, you're talking government or ridiculously large enterprises.

Campus infrastructures especially, just don't have the $$ kicking around (Or willingly have it) to do a complete rip and replace.

I've seen probably 70% of all contracts turn down VOIP if it couldn't first get their legacy POTS up and rolling, then look later at converting it. (5 years later and still no budget or urge to do it)

As for converged workstations with one cable... Well I see 50/50. Depends on the hardware. Newest and greatest Cisco, yeah no problem. Anything else, not so clear cut. The way I see it, if they have the $$ to spend on a Cisco end-to-end built system, they will rip and replace and do it that way... But the majority don't, won't, and never will.

It's no so black and white when you look out of the Cisco box.


cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:8
reply to tubbynet

If we're talking about the same thing, Cisco's "converged network" is a data vlan and voice vlan, so still isolated logical networks. Yes, it's on one cable, and in a world where a desk/office only has one ethernet port, that's a fair plan. However, it's a safer/wiser bet to have more than one loop per drop. That's hard to correct after the fact, but when designing an office, you'd be a fool not to.

You make it sound like copper costs thousands per year just to keep it conducting. That's absurd. 99% of the costs are in the initial installation -- and that's pretty low, actually, compared to the cost of switches, ip phones, etc. Once installed, it's almost zero maintenance. How often do *you* have to re-punch a patch pannel or replace a keystone? In my current office, I've not touched any of it since it was installed ~5 years ago; previous office is the same story. That's been the case going back 20 years -- since we stopped using 10Base-2 that is. I have seen damaged jacks due to improper crimps, and idiots plugging rj11's into rj45's (etc.) To that I say, if you don't break it, you won't need to fix it.

poe-capable switches are dropping in price.

POE switches are f'ing expensive; much more expensive than a non-poe switch. And I suspect they always will be, simply because they can. They're a niche item. Those who really need them will pay the extortion. I refuse to do so, and instead use midspan power modules. (which cost about as much as an unmanaged, non-poe switch. esp. if you get them on eBay.)

As for troubleshooting... time-to-repair urgency depends on the environment. A phone in an air traffic control tower... that's a zero down time thing. A receptionist phone at a car dealership, to them it'd be Very Important(tm) but on the whole isn't critical; I'd put it at the top of my todo list below any other fires. It should be fixed by the end of the day. The receptionist phone at a doctor's office, however, is a bit more important -- people cannot book appointments, just showing up leads to a big mess... And in my office, if a software developers phone isn't working, well it's likely been broken for days before they even noticed, so a few more days won't matter. And what does it take to fix... in 99.9% of the cases with the VoIP phones (SNOM), they've lost their configuration. The remaining 0.1% is a "wiggle the cable" fix.

Many of the enterprises I've known don't like "new" and "current" technologies. They prefer "what we know" and "what works", and that generally means buying several year old devices to match what they already have. They can get very pissy when they cannot have it, too.

Continuing to support POTS is an interesting balancing act. Does a VG224 cost more than upgraded cabling, VoIP phones, and UC licenses? Probablly not. Do you really need a VoIP phone everywhere there's an analog phone? Again, probablly not. (fax machines, postal meters, conference phones, dorm rooms, etc.)

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to jmich

Oh my, I think I started a holy war.

As for network congestion, VOIP uses almost no bandwidth. Voice is very low-bandwidth compared to everything else we do these days.

As for dorm rooms, don't get me started on that one. My school still has lines in the dorm rooms, and they supposedly can't get rid of them because of "911" capability. Whoever wrote that rule apparently hasn't actually been to a dorm. About 1% of rooms actually have a phone, everyone else is cell-only. I wish they'd spend the money on cellular repeaters or sites in some of the core campus buildings, would be a lot more useful.

Other than for video, I see us at the point where this is no reason for anything not to be fully IP. With IP, it's also a lot easier to move extensions around, you don't have to have the telephone guy come out and repatch lines around, you just move them.



tubbynet
reminds me of the danse russe
Premium,MVM
join:2008-01-16
Chandler, AZ
kudos:1
reply to cramer

said by cramer:

If we're talking about the same thing, Cisco's "converged network" is a data vlan and voice vlan, so still isolated logical networks.

not necessarily. the phone can apply 802.1p bits to the actual frame and i can map this into dscp at the access port layer and perform queuing and buffering on these bits -- separate voice and data vlans (while cisco 'best practice'(tm)) aren't necessarily a requirement for proper voice implementation, however, the network is still converged.

You make it sound like copper costs thousands per year just to keep it conducting. That's absurd.

in a small office, yes. however, i've done a lot of work the past two years in medical acute care facilities. because these locations had a lot of modular space for users (i.e. large open floors in the admin areas where cubes were moved/rearranged/added/removed on a nearly quarterly basis and operating rooms that required different equipment during different procedures), the copper plant takes a large beating. while the cost to actually 'fix' the plant is small, because of the requirement for these drops to be live and certified, more often than not, a cabling vendor is kept on retainer for t&m small projects which do range into the thousands of dollars, but is not large enough of an income to justify keeping a certified cabling tech on staff on a full time basis.
when this is coupled with a mixture of previous cabling vendors who have used cut-rate/generic/off-brand materials, users/movers abusing wall jacks during moves of equipment, lazy/careless helpdesk/field services techs performing macd work in the actual idf location, and overall environmental conditions, the cost to maintain infrastructure (while a small chunk of the actual 'it infrastructure' budget) can still take a sizeable about of opex to keep functioning. this is only exacerbated when you have separate physical plants for voice and data (which is how i took your original statement).

POE switches are f'ing expensive; much more expensive than a non-poe switch. And I suspect they always will be, simply because they can.

no. poe switches will be more expensive because they provide additional features that regular switches don't.
a bmw m3 costs more than a ford fiesta -- not because "bmw can" -- but because there are additional features in the m3 that aren't there in the fiesta.

They're a niche item. Those who really need them will pay the extortion. I refuse to do so, and instead use midspan power modules. (which cost about as much as an unmanaged, non-poe switch. esp. if you get them on eBay.)

diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks. i've used midspans in some installations that couldn't justify the cost of the switch. however, for most large commercial and enterprise installations, its a non-starter -- the switch must support poe. when you buy in large enough quantities, you can play ball with cisco and/or your cisco partner, believe me. i've worked with customers who have received over 50% off on hardware and support services when purchasing in large quantities.

Many of the enterprises I've known don't like "new" and "current" technologies. They prefer "what we know" and "what works", and that generally means buying several year old devices to match what they already have. They can get very pissy when they cannot have it, too.

your experience has been the exact opposite of mine. when presented the cost of ownership, the roi, and the enhanced features, corporations have jumped on emerging technologies like nexus datacenter switching, ucs for their virtualized compute loads, and upoe-capable poe switches to run their vdi and collaboration devices.

q.
--
"...if I in my north room dance naked, grotesquely before my mirror waving my shirt round my head and singing softly to myself..."


TomS_
Git-r-done
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-19
London, UK
kudos:5
reply to jmich

I +1 tubbynet.

Every VoIP deployment Ive seen, the PC/laptop at the desk has been piggy backed off the back. VoIP may be expensive to roll out, but to separate voice and data networks makes it even *more* expensive. And most corporate environments are still running 100mbit to the desktop (based on my experience). A few spreadsheets and Word documents here and there hardley warrant gig to the desktop. In video/audio production I can imagine this would be very different. Its a highly subjective specification and theres no blanket rule to apply.

As for an extra point of failure, I suspect the response from most corporate IT departments will be "meh big deal". If a phone fails, its easy enough to replace it, and only a single employee affected. Most likely the employee will call the helpdesk from the phone next to them for assistance anyway, and they will tell them to pick up a phone from an empty desk and plug it in while they send a replacement, or to unplug the cable from the phone and directly into their PC/laptop, or to move to another desk (if the org operates a hot desk type environment.) If thats too difficult, they will send someone to do it, potentially with a replacement phone.

If a phone dieing and taking out an employee was determined to be critical enough, they'd likely separate the two for that precise reason. I can imagine in finance and perhaps health operations this might be the case - either the consequences are too great, or too pricey (or maybe both!) such that the extra cost can be justified.

But in a vanilla corporate office full of corporate drones, I imagine that any single employee is not considered valuable enough to warrant duplicate infrastructure to separate the two types of traffic.

And FWIW I have been operating wirelessly at work for about the last 3 years, so only my phone needed a wired connection anyway, splitting data out to a separate network - but I could always plug into the back of my phone (did this ocasionally when I needed to transfer a large file). This kept my wired ethernet port mostly free for connectivity to the lab etc.


BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Isn't the PoE switch auto-sensing so that they could safely plug the line going to the phone into the back of the PC if the phone went south?


cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:8

It's supposed to be -- modern systems should follow the 802.3xx standards. If you're doing a voice/data vlan setup, and data isn't on a non-tagged vlan, then it doesn't work out so well.

I'm tired of debating best practices, and disaster recovery theories.
The cost of stringing two loops vs. just one, is very cheap insurrance against a great many problems and possible futures. When you're walking into an existing structure, you make do with what's there. If you have a blank canvas, you'd be a fool to paint yourself into such a corner just to save a few dollars upfront.


cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:8
reply to tubbynet

in a small office, yes. however, i've done a lot of work the past two years in medical acute care facilities...

You're rebuilding your house four times a year and you want to complain about the cost of the plumbing??? Here, they're creating a massive problem that should never be. I guess their cube walls don't have modular data cabling to match the modular power distribution.

(take a page from Vegas... a raised floor allows for redesigned layouts at substantially reduced costs. For Vegas, it complicates security a wee bit, but that's a small price for not having to jackhammer and re-pour floors to move cable runs.)

[edit: I recall a company making modular cube flooring to carry data and power. Makes this sort of situation a non-problem.]

no. poe switches will be more expensive because they provide additional features that regular switches don't.

Manufacturers charge much more for integrated PoE switches because they know people will pay it. (simple economics.) Yes, there's more in there, but certainly not *thousands* more. If I can buy new midspan modules for hundreds, why is the same technology built into the switch suddenly worth 10x as much? 50% off is still 50% screwed over.


battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to BiggA

Yes.



battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to cramer

On the new build outs I always tell my customers to drop to cables per user. Even if they don't terminate the second at least get the cable there for future use.

In a retro deployment 99.999% of the time the customer isn't going to pay for the second drop unless it's absolutely needed. To be honest I don't blame them.



battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to BiggA

I've got an upcoming deployment were I am going to use 5 IAD-2431-24FXS and a dozen IP phones. Even though I have the owner running 2 Cat5e to each room there is absolutely no need for IP phones in each room.

There are some situations where IP phones are not just needed. I suspect that he also has a similar situation.



Edrick
I aspire to tell the story of a lifetime
Premium
join:2004-09-11
Woburn, MA
reply to jmich

Everyone sees different things, all the VoIP setups I've seen have segmented the phones from the data, when it comes to having the availability to do so. Obviously some cases there's existing cable and that's not possible.



TomS_
Git-r-done
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-19
London, UK
kudos:5
reply to jmich

Why burn twice as many switch ports when you dont have to?

Switch ports may be cheaper than router ports, but they still have a cost, and youre only trying to save yourself from a situation that *might* be a problem which if it does occur can be rectified easily enough.

:-P


BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Good point. You may as well use the phone hardware you're paying for.



blohner

join:2002-06-26
Cortlandt Manor, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Google Voice
·Optimum Online
reply to jmich

I see no reason to separate voice from data in a lot of instances: It simply doubles the risk of network failure: In most cube settings how can someone do a job with a phone if the network is down? I certainly couldn't... (Give me a network only and I am 80% productive. Give me a phone only and I am 0% productive)....
--
I am addicted to speed --- Boost + speed that is ---



Edrick
I aspire to tell the story of a lifetime
Premium
join:2004-09-11
Woburn, MA

said by blohner:

I see no reason to separate voice from data in a lot of instances: It simply doubles the risk of network failure: In most cube settings how can someone do a job with a phone if the network is down? I certainly couldn't... (Give me a network only and I am 80% productive. Give me a phone only and I am 0% productive)....

How does it double the risk of failure? If your phone network goes down you at least still have data, if your data network goes down you at least still have phone.
--
Edrick Smith
Independent Film & Broadcast Producer
»edricksmith.com