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Router, switch, and VLAN questions
Tags: hardware
Apr 2, 2020 at 5:15pm   •   3 replies  •  0 likes


I am a new customer and I could use some help understanding some things before I implement. Currently the company owns a Netgear GS324TP POE managed switch and a Linksys WRT3200ACM router. We just ordered 8 Polycom VVX phones, so there likely won't be more than 10 simultaneous calls, but I expect the company to grow and therefore I should plan for up to 20 simultaneous calls. I plan on connecting the desktops to the 2nd port on the phones. Other ports on the switch will connect about 7 printers and scanners.

I am led to believe that I should configure VLANS on the switch, one for tagged voip traffic, one for data traffic (desktops and printers) and one for wifi, plus the default VLAN for management.

I can configure the VLANS on the switch, but I'm not sure if the WRT3200ACM router can deal with VLANS. Does anyone have a recommendation for a proper router that I can configure the various DHCP interfaces on to accomodate the VLANS? I'm thinking of the Ubiquiti USG router. I saw an excellent Youtube video by someone that explained his setup pretty well. I'm not an expert with any of this and would be happy to pay an experienced network engineer to help me out by phone. I appreciate any advice you can offer.

3 Answers
answered on Oct 28, 2023 at 6:24pm  

Michael-Reed: Did you ever get clear information on this question? In my experience, small IP phone installation using hosted services (like RingCentral) seem to work OK without VLAN setups. The catch comes when you try to troubleshoot a particular problem. The tech support will start questioning you in general about how your network is set up and if they don't like the answers, you will not get much help. I recently had an installation going from one provider to RingCentral. The phones with the old provider generally worked fine with no special network settings. That provider never came up with network configuration guidelines except to quote the generic QOS/traffic/double-NAT jargon even though we used the network router/firewall that they recommended. We were on our own as to how to implement "good" settings. RingCentral provided thorough guidelines and some general recommendations from the support engineer, like: "phone VLAN, data VLAN, mgmt VLAN" separation. There were warnings about support if I didn't do it "their" way. The RC documents explain every possible way that you could set up your network and let you divine the best way on your own. It is still not clear to me if the phones actually read their VLAN tags in their software or put VLAN tags on outgoing ethernet packets or mark them with Layer 3 data. I found one very good document on the Sonicwall setup for the LAN-to-WAN path that includes DSCP mark-up. The phones boot and provision successfully and there are no obvious issues with voice quality. Beyond that, it looks like regular experimentation and recording of data is necessary to become proficient in my particular network setup. It's obvious that nearly all "engineers" are trained on Cisco gear for these topics but mostly shrug when confronted with questions about specific non-Cisco gear.

answered on Apr 2, 2020 at 6:00pm  
Thank you for such a quick reply.  So, having the desktops plugged into port 2 of the phone won't affect the quality?  I was under the impression that if I created separate vlans, I could tag the voice traffic on that port and not tag the other traffic, therefore the voice would get priority on that port.  But if you don''t think that will be a problem, that would simplify things for me.   Next question:  The things you recommended, the traffic shaping and QoS, those are done on the router, the switch, or both?
I will research at your links in the meantime.  Thanks again.

answered on Apr 3, 2020 at 4:29am  
Michael, I really don't think VLANs are necessary.  I base that on having several clients, as small as 10 phones at a single location to a school system with 100+ phones at four geographic locations, and none of then have a VLAN. Traffic shaping, QoS, Prioritizing traffic (everybody & every manufacturer has a different name for it) is what I recommend you research and apply. 

answered on Jul 29, 2020 at 9:44pm  
One more question that Netgear wasn't able to answer.  The switch has an "auto-voip" feature that can be enabled on each port.  If I have desktops connected tot he phone, and if I turn on auto-voip on that port, what would it do?  Any idea?


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