Wednesday, November 04, 2009

How To Make Ethernet Work For Your Voice / Data Network Bandwidth Needs

I think the answer is simple. The vast majority of networks, equipment, systems, and knowledge available in the market place is based on Ethernet technology. The advantages of this technology clearly outweighs all others.

In my experience very few new networks are built. Expansion is created by upgrades, overlays, or enhancements to existing network in a phased way. As they are all Business Critical and the risk of changing too much at one time is too great.

You are going to use your local LAN/WAN infrastructure - 100%. You are going to run voice, video, and data on your network - 100%.

The obvious is that you are going to have to use Gigabit Ethernet. You will have to make use of static ip addressing and route calls, watching out for switches. DHCP and VLAN's can also work, but not as effective as static.

Make sure of your VoIPp server concurrent call capability (if you have VoIP) - a 75 concurrent call server can accomodate approximately 400 users without calls being dropped.

Also check the channels available on your VoIP server for inbound and outbound calls. For example, if you are going to use your system between branches, your inbound calls should have the same amount of channels available ... or more .... than your outbound calls.

This is crucial, say you setup your system for a 30 outbound and 45 inbound configuration. If you make an important outbound call and you are the 31st outbound caller .... and someone calls a colleage at another branch location ... your outbound call will be cut if there are already 45 inbound calls in process. This occurs because your system has been setup for mainly inter-branch calling.

Video gulps up bandwidth and you must make sure on the amount of bandwith utilized by every single video device. Then you should calculate a dropout percentage. What I mean by this is .... if 20 people make a video conference call at the same time, will they have enough bandwidth or not.

Between branches I definitely reccomend MPLS for the fact that you can run multiple technologies on the same bandwidth.

The solution obviously should accomodate your current DS3 or OC3 infrastructure. If your current infrastructure can't handle the above, you must upgrade.

For more help in designing an ethernet based network for your business .... I recommend taking advantage of the services available here:

Ethernet Network Solution

Their assistance is free and and they often can find special deals from providers in your specific location.

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