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While we haven't implemented VOIP yet, we've been kicking around the idea for a while, and have heard the following from various sources: - Emergency service (including 911 calling) makes it harder to use VOIP, so most folks stick with a hybrid voip / pots setup. You deploy voip to the offices, but there's usually at least a single standard phone somewhere on the floor that is reachable for emergencies. - It's expensive to run battery backups in all your IDFs. Most folks either don't bother, or have a centralized emergency power circuit for critical items. - We have only been buying POE+ modules for our switches in the last few years, as preparation for wireless and VOIP deployment in the future - If you have 802.1x then it's fine to share the port (PC/phone), but some folks don't like running VLAN trunks to endpoints for security reasons. Some switches (like newer Ciscos) can do VOIP trunking without the port actually being a trunk per se, if I recall correctly. One thing I am curious about is what the legal ramifications are for moving to VOIP communications. Has anyone had any experience in this regard? "Normal" phone systems have well established legal rules about what can and cannot be done as far as monitoring, and gathering information for law enforcement. However, when you go to VOIP, suddenly the conversations are data, just like email and files. Are there differences in how VOIP and analog calls are handled as far as legal challenges for public institutions? Dan Scherck The Evergreen State College


We are at roughly 35% of our ~1,600 phones that are VoIP. They are powered by a mix of injectors (only a handful where we do not have PoE in the access router or Mid-span), Mid-span (Power DSine - very nice), and native PoE in the access routers. We are in the process of refreshing our older access routers and the new ones all have native PoE. All of our IDF's have an on-line UPS but, as others have noted, a power outage of any length takes workstations down and will usually cause the building to be evacuated as well. Regarding using the 2 port switch on the phones, we have phased out all of our fast Ethernet phones so patch the users workstation into the phone and have not had any issues doing that. Richard Applebee Network Architect V (909) 469-5662 F (909) 706-3460 Western University of Health Sciences
Keep in mind that building code requires that there be emergency phones in elevators.  Even if building power goes out, you're still responsible for providing that service.  Also consider emergency call boxes that may be using your existing telephony setup.  Simply saying "oh, they'll all go home" doesn't work. 

Another consideration is the migration of E911 service from your (assumed) existing PBX.  Coordinate with your public safety department to determine the level of detail they'd like/need when identifying call location.  (That's all assuming 911 calls are routed or copied to your DPS dispatch office.)  This was and continues to be the biggest pain in my butt to manage long-term.

All of this falls within "life safety" considerations.  That said, I've found it is possible to leverage that level of importance to assist with the associated budgetary needs.

- Pat Patrick N. Gorsuch Manager, Networks and Information Security Gallaudet University 202-651-5070 On 5/30/2013 1:14 PM, Peter P Morrissey wrote:
Regarding UPSs I think the answer is the same answer for what people without VOIP do when it rus out. Leave. There are no computers at that point which means most people can't do their jobs anyway. We are starting a Lync voice pilot when 2013 goes production and would also be interested in thoughts on the USB phones as Polycom offers a cheap phone that does this. We've been installing Poe in our switches for a long time due to wireless and CCTV cameras and I would hate to have to manage an extra set of mid span equipment. Pete Morrissey ________________________________________
Here most VOIP phone locations share the data drop with the computer and all phones are 1GE so computer connections are not downgraded. The edge switch separates voip to a different vlan and limits the port to one computer, eliminating personal switches. The switches are all POE with UPS power so we do not power VOIP phones locally at the desk. Generator circuits were installed where available, but for the majority battery expansion was added to the UPS in order to get a minimum of 30 minutes. After that, buildings will clear out on their own. To answer the last few questions... Every department has a FAX line that has yet to be converted so these can be used during a VOIP failure, but cell phones will likely take care of emergencies even if VOP is operational. As for data, all calls are encrypted. Elevators and emergency phones go directly to security already. The public system is moving to voip too. The local cable carrier has offered voip service for a few years now and the incumbent Telco started upgrading to FTTH and voip three years ago - 80Mbps down and 30M up is great! Oh yes, the phone did ring a couple of times during the past week. Peter E. University of New Brunswick Information Technology Services