Velocity Reviews - Computer Hardware Reviews

Velocity Reviews > Newsgroups > Computing > UK VOIP > Does IP telephony suck?

Reply
Thread Tools

Does IP telephony suck?

 
 
Klunk
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-16-2008
Always been a fan of Voip. Use it at home myself via Sipgate.

I did have to laugh how the IT business I work at was brought to its
knees by an IP telephony outage this week.

A small call centre with about 50 staff running a Shoretel system ground
to a halt when the phone system fell over. They blamed the BT ISDN 30
link, but that was still up and OK. They blamed the licencing running
out, but that was not it. No, some guy had plugged a laptop with a fixed
IP address into a RJ45 jack. Sadly, the fixed IP address only matched the
Shoretel server and confused it.

To compound the matter, someone then tried to restart the server and it
locked up in sheer confusion.

2 days later and the phones are back on, but how fantastic is that to
have an IT call centre brought to its knees with such a simple outage.

Best of all, there was not even so much as a PSTN phone in the place to
plug into the DSL/FAX line to get out of the shite. Magic.



--
powered by Linux - bastardized by Window$ -
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
alexd
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-16-2008
On Sat, 16 Aug 2008 13:14:00 +0000, Klunk wrote:

> 2 days later and the phones are back on, but how fantastic is that to
> have an IT call centre brought to its knees with such a simple outage.


Serves 'em right for not using Asterisk

--
<http://ale.cx/> (AIM:troffasky) ((E-Mail Removed))
15:19:11 up 35 days, 17:56, 2 users, load average: 0.09, 0.10, 0.05
Convergence, n: The act of using separate DSL circuits for voice and data
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Gordon Henderson
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-16-2008
In article <48a6d297$0$26082$(E-Mail Removed)>,
Klunk <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Always been a fan of Voip. Use it at home myself via Sipgate.
>
>I did have to laugh how the IT business I work at was brought to its
>knees by an IP telephony outage this week.
>
>A small call centre with about 50 staff running a Shoretel system ground
>to a halt when the phone system fell over. They blamed the BT ISDN 30
>link, but that was still up and OK. They blamed the licencing running
>out, but that was not it. No, some guy had plugged a laptop with a fixed
>IP address into a RJ45 jack. Sadly, the fixed IP address only matched the
>Shoretel server and confused it.
>
>To compound the matter, someone then tried to restart the server and it
>locked up in sheer confusion.
>
>2 days later and the phones are back on, but how fantastic is that to
>have an IT call centre brought to its knees with such a simple outage.
>
>Best of all, there was not even so much as a PSTN phone in the place to
>plug into the DSL/FAX line to get out of the shite. Magic.


Anyone can plug in a PC with a duplicated IP address and it'll cause
havoc with the other device - be it a server of a PBX, but a clued-up
network/IT admin should be able spot it very quickly.

So you can hanrdly blame IP telephony for the outage.

This is so trivial to work around too - in any sort of business where
the phone system uses IP internaly - VLANs, separate physical networks,
locking devices to network ports, you name it, it's all possible. If
phones are that important to them then why aren't they spending the
money (and time) to make it robust?

Gordon
 
Reply With Quote
 
Gordon Henderson
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-16-2008
In article <48a6e359$0$629$(E-Mail Removed)>,
alexd <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>On Sat, 16 Aug 2008 13:14:00 +0000, Klunk wrote:
>
>> 2 days later and the phones are back on, but how fantastic is that to
>> have an IT call centre brought to its knees with such a simple outage.

>
>Serves 'em right for not using Asterisk


Asterisk wouldn't help, but the underlying Linux would certinaly start
to spew forth whinges about a duplicate IP address on the network...

Gordon
 
Reply With Quote
 
Klunk
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-16-2008
On Sat, 16 Aug 2008 14:32:34 +0000, Gordon Henderson passed an empty day
by writing:

> In article <48a6e359$0$629$(E-Mail Removed)>, alexd
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>On Sat, 16 Aug 2008 13:14:00 +0000, Klunk wrote:
>>
>>> 2 days later and the phones are back on, but how fantastic is that to
>>> have an IT call centre brought to its knees with such a simple outage.

>>
>>Serves 'em right for not using Asterisk

>
> Asterisk wouldn't help, but the underlying Linux would certinaly start
> to spew forth whinges about a duplicate IP address on the network...
>
> Gordon


I don't know a fantastic amount about this Shoretel thing, but I'd love
to know what the underlying OS is on it. I would have thought it would
have been Linux based myself, but that is just a guess.



--
powered by Linux - bastardized by Window$ -
(E-Mail Removed)
 
Reply With Quote
 
Chris Davies
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-16-2008
Klunk <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Always been a fan of Voip. Use it at home myself via Sipgate.


Good story. Shame you multiposted instead of crossposting.
Chris
 
Reply With Quote
 
Gordon Henderson
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-16-2008
In article <48a6ec32$0$2920$(E-Mail Removed)>,
Klunk <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>On Sat, 16 Aug 2008 14:32:34 +0000, Gordon Henderson passed an empty day
>by writing:
>
>> In article <48a6e359$0$629$(E-Mail Removed)>, alexd
>> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>>On Sat, 16 Aug 2008 13:14:00 +0000, Klunk wrote:
>>>
>>>> 2 days later and the phones are back on, but how fantastic is that to
>>>> have an IT call centre brought to its knees with such a simple outage.
>>>
>>>Serves 'em right for not using Asterisk

>>
>> Asterisk wouldn't help, but the underlying Linux would certinaly start
>> to spew forth whinges about a duplicate IP address on the network...
>>
>> Gordon

>
>I don't know a fantastic amount about this Shoretel thing, but I'd love
>to know what the underlying OS is on it. I would have thought it would
>have been Linux based myself, but that is just a guess.


I'd be surprised if it was... My experience of the competition is that
they're all very much proprietary and scared pooless of Linux and
Asterisk... (especially in the sub 200 seat scenario)

(He says, having just had a customer replace their Avaya system with one
of his own PBXs

Gordon
 
Reply With Quote
 
Klunk
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-16-2008
On Sat, 16 Aug 2008 16:20:50 +0000, Gordon Henderson passed an empty day
by writing:

> In article <48a6ec32$0$2920$(E-Mail Removed)>, Klunk
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>On Sat, 16 Aug 2008 14:32:34 +0000, Gordon Henderson passed an empty day
>>by writing:
>>
>>> In article <48a6e359$0$629$(E-Mail Removed)>, alexd
>>> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>>>On Sat, 16 Aug 2008 13:14:00 +0000, Klunk wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> 2 days later and the phones are back on, but how fantastic is that
>>>>> to have an IT call centre brought to its knees with such a simple
>>>>> outage.
>>>>
>>>>Serves 'em right for not using Asterisk
>>>
>>> Asterisk wouldn't help, but the underlying Linux would certinaly start
>>> to spew forth whinges about a duplicate IP address on the network...
>>>
>>> Gordon

>>
>>I don't know a fantastic amount about this Shoretel thing, but I'd love
>>to know what the underlying OS is on it. I would have thought it would
>>have been Linux based myself, but that is just a guess.

>
> I'd be surprised if it was... My experience of the competition is that
> they're all very much proprietary and scared pooless of Linux and
> Asterisk... (especially in the sub 200 seat scenario)
>
> (He says, having just had a customer replace their Avaya system with one
> of his own PBXs
>
> Gordon


Thanks Gordon. The reason I ask is I am sure that one of the anti-linux
brigade will pipe up and blame the OS.

What is the general gist of things with all of these IP systems? They are
mostly proprietary then?

Ive just started to 'consider' the phone system in the place after years
of working with BT on 'the other side' of the ISDN30's. I'm trying to
'get' the concept bit of it - perhaps you can help?

The desktop phones are all RJ45 in & out so I am guessing that (1) they
are these things called 'ip phones' and (2) they are getting their power
from the RJ45's too.

It hooks up to a proprietary server that then attaches to the ISDN30 dual
fibre. My guess is that the incoming ISDN30 is made up of a number of
trunks and DDI's that interface with this unit and are charged as per
normal call rates? Or are these likely to be provisioned by a VOIP
provider over the ISDN30? I'm a bit confused on the scenarios possible
here. (You have to remember - ex-bt, fed on crap, taught on copper, never
told anything remotely useful in case we leave).

I've heard the phrased 'hosted' a great deal and I'm guessing at a simple
level this is the kind of thing that Sipgate offer where they have their
own VOIP server and the EU simply connects into it via a WAN/DSL
connection? I stretch my guess to assume that with the in-house Shoretel,
that this becomes a PBX 'host' if you like and is therefore not a hosted
solution?

Any of the VOIP gurus who want to correct any of that to reality will
receive a virtual cup of tea



--
powered by Linux - bastardized by Window$ -
(E-Mail Removed)
 
Reply With Quote
 
Arse Cork OK
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-16-2008
On Sat, 16 Aug 2008 16:24:11 +0100, Chris Davies wrote:

> Klunk <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> Always been a fan of Voip. Use it at home myself via Sipgate.

>
> Good story. Shame you multiposted instead of crossposting. Chris


I was wondering when of the belligerent net pervert policemen would
notice that. Well done

Here is your award

----------------------PRINT------------------------------
Golden Arsehole Award
---------------------
Awarded Saturday the 16th of August to Chris Davis who
exceeded the ability of Columbo when he noticed that:

something was multi-posted
instead of crossposted.

Such sterling work, observation and ability to communicate
the errors made by others can only be accomplished by
perfect people, or those commonly referred to by ordinary
people - who are prone to error- as 'F**KING ARSEHOLES'
----------------------------------------------------------

I think you can take that to mean 'F*ck off' in case you
were wondering

 
Reply With Quote
 
Gordon Henderson
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-16-2008
In article <48a70e1c$0$2523$(E-Mail Removed)>,
Klunk <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>On Sat, 16 Aug 2008 16:20:50 +0000, Gordon Henderson passed an empty day
>by writing:


>>>I don't know a fantastic amount about this Shoretel thing, but I'd love
>>>to know what the underlying OS is on it. I would have thought it would
>>>have been Linux based myself, but that is just a guess.

>>
>> I'd be surprised if it was... My experience of the competition is that
>> they're all very much proprietary and scared pooless of Linux and
>> Asterisk... (especially in the sub 200 seat scenario)
>>
>> (He says, having just had a customer replace their Avaya system with one
>> of his own PBXs
>>
>> Gordon

>
>Thanks Gordon. The reason I ask is I am sure that one of the anti-linux
>brigade will pipe up and blame the OS.


There's nothing an OS can do if another device on the same network decides
to use it's IP address... And even detecting it on the compromised host
can be tricky. Things will get really confusing really fast unless you
can detect it. That's where a good sysadmin comes in...

>What is the general gist of things with all of these IP systems? They are
>mostly proprietary then?


Yes, mostly. Even some of the ones based on open source solutions keep
their own internal bits private...

If they build the hardware, write the software then they know *exactly*
what the system is capable of - especially in terms of number of
extensions, concurrent calls and so on. That's no bad thing, generally.

A recurring question on some of the asterisk lists is "how big a server
do I need?" and quite simply unless you've a lot of knowledge about the
inner "guts" of the box, it's hard to say... Even then, are you using
stock Linux kernels and distributions or custom?

(And it's something I've spent a lot of time with my own boxes, so I
know their limitations!)

>Ive just started to 'consider' the phone system in the place after years
>of working with BT on 'the other side' of the ISDN30's. I'm trying to
>'get' the concept bit of it - perhaps you can help?


Sure...

>The desktop phones are all RJ45 in & out so I am guessing that (1) they
>are these things called 'ip phones' and (2) they are getting their power
>from the RJ45's too.


Not necessarily. They'll get power for sure, but they might not be IP.
(They might be using the connectors because that makes it easy to work
with an existing structured cabling in a building)

Or they might be IP, but using their own proprietary protocol. It's
all about vendor lock-in. Why make your PBX compatible with other
manufacturers phones? You'll lose money that way, see...

Try googling the phone model number for your systems...

Even some phones from the legacy companies, while advertised as SIP
compatible, sometimes aren't, so have some weird issues that makes them
hard to interface with anything other than the same manufacturers
PBXs...

I don't make phones, so I don't care what gets plugged in to my PBXs,
although because there are now dozens of independent phone manufacturers
all making their phones SIP compatible, each with dozens more models,
I can't test them all, so will only supply a small subset...

>It hooks up to a proprietary server that then attaches to the ISDN30 dual
>fibre. My guess is that the incoming ISDN30 is made up of a number of
>trunks and DDI's that interface with this unit and are charged as per
>normal call rates? Or are these likely to be provisioned by a VOIP
>provider over the ISDN30? I'm a bit confused on the scenarios possible
>here. (You have to remember - ex-bt, fed on crap, taught on copper, never
>told anything remotely useful in case we leave).


ISDN30 - at it's simplest is a 2Mb digital data line capable of handling
up to 30 concurrent calls (channels). You start with 8 and pay BT more
for each channel you enable. You get the line from BT, and really, here
we don't care what the underlying technology is - copper or fibre -
ISDN30 can work over both - we just care about the patch lead from the
BT box to our PBX. So you have 30 channels (or calls), and any number
of DDI numbers - 100's if need-be. Having more desk phones than channels
is quite normal - unless you're in a busy call centre!

(There's a whole field of mathematics to work out the number of channels
you need vs. the number of people vs. number of minutes on the phone
each day vs. the probability of running out of lines - look up Erlang)

The 'data' over the ISDN30 is traditional legacy stuff. Each channel
is a fixed chunk of 64,000 bits/sec. (8000 samples of 8 bits a second)
Multiply that by 30 and you're a bit short of 2M, but there's space left
over for signalling (sending the phone number down, etc.)


>I've heard the phrased 'hosted' a great deal and I'm guessing at a simple
>level this is the kind of thing that Sipgate offer where they have their
>own VOIP server and the EU simply connects into it via a WAN/DSL
>connection?


At it's simplest level, yes - although Sipgate are really doing it on a
single-line basis - no "desk to desk" facilities.

A lot of people really are pushing hosted solutions (probably becuae
they've spent a lot of money on them The legacy (BT) world equivalent
is "Centrex", but although I run such a service myself, I don't really
push it. Not convinced it's good for anything more than a small office
of 1-4 people, or lots of distributed small offices....

> I stretch my guess to assume that with the in-house Shoretel,
>that this becomes a PBX 'host' if you like and is therefore not a hosted
>solution?


Yes. ISDN30 in, phones on desks out with the Shoretel PBX acting as a big
switch plumbing it all together. Maybe with extra features like voicemail,
call recording and so on. That's what a PBX is.

>Any of the VOIP gurus who want to correct any of that to reality will
>receive a virtual cup of tea


Heh..


VoIP is out there and it works, and it works well - given the limitations
of the UK broadband network - however I think there's still a lot
of mis-information out there (and some cowboys )-: I've met people
who tell me that VoIP is rubbish, but then they're paying 9.99 for a
rubbish ISP... You get what you pay for! And there's a lot of "legacy"
about.... The crippling contracts that the dinosaur manufacturers sign
their clients into mean that it's almost impossible for them to break
out if/when they do want to go VoIP or their existing vendor will charge
them an arm and 2 legs to enable a *single* SIP interface on the PBX to
enable a home worker, or charge per channel to connect 2 PBXs together
to link offices up... There's 60 years of FUD to try to unravel before
VoIP will become more readily acceptable...


Gordon
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
IP Telephony CCIE required Janik Cisco 1 04-25-2004 08:09 AM
Device for IP telephony , SIP telephony or VoIP Sam VOIP 7 04-10-2004 09:11 PM
free online books on CCNA , CCMP, CCIE , VoIp , IP Telephony jon Cisco 0 02-25-2004 05:12 AM
Call Manager Telephony Features Buddy Conner Cisco 3 01-27-2004 04:20 AM
TELEPHONY-CISCO/ LONG TERM CONTRACT/ OH Tom Gugger Cisco 0 12-09-2003 03:52 PM



Advertisments