Archive for April, 2012

Optimize VoIP on your network with 3 easy clicks

It seems like it was just yesterday that we released a new product to our suite – the MS series Cloud managed switch. Many administrators deploy switches in a VoIP environment, so below are a few tips on how to configure a Meraki switch’s voice, QoS, and port mirroring features.

Voice VLAN

Using the power of  cloud-managed networks, it is extremely easy to configure a voice VLAN on the MS series switch. What is a voice VLAN, you may ask? Often times, you may not have enough ports to connect each employee’s workstation and VoIP phone to your network. For this reason, most VoIP phone manufacturers add an extra port for workstations to connect to. However, your infrastructure may have a separate VLAN for data that the phone is not automatically configured for. In this scenario, configuring a voice VLAN may be crucial as it allows the switch to communicate with the VoIP phones and properly tag voice data.

The option to configure a voice VLAN is available in the pop-up menu to update the port(s). In the Configure > Switch Ports page, choose the ports to which you’d like to assign a voice VLAN, and then click “Edit selected items” button on the upper left corner. The menu shown below will appear, and this example assumes VLAN 200 is the voice VLAN.

Figure 1: Assigning a voice VLAN

Once you have made the port configuration changes, the setup below will allow for your voice and data traffic to make it to their respective VLANs. In addition, the port will accept tagged frames and send LLDP advertisements that include voice VLAN and QoS information.

Figure 2: Typical voice and data port configuration

 

 

Quality of Service (QoS)
If your network is like most of today’s business networks, you have a need for QoS (802.1p). Luckily for you, configuring this with your MS Series switch is a total breeze. The Meraki MS Series switches support up to 6 queues per port for QoS and CoS prioritization via the DiffServ model.

Whether prioritizing for voice traffic or other high demand services that require low jitter (e.g., video conferencing), setting up QoS via the dashboard is hassle-free. In the Configure > Switch settings page, you will see the QoS section. Here specify switches to either trust incoming DSCP markings or set the DSCP to a particular code and class.

Figure 3: QoS configuration

Port mirroring

Port mirroring is very useful for network devices that require monitoring of network traffic, such as a VoIP recording solution or an IDS (intrusion detection system).

To enable port mirroring, navigate to the Configure > Switch settings page and locate the “Port Mirroring” section. In the example below, VoIP phones are connected to ports 4-10, and these ports are mirrored to port 22. This essentially makes a carbon copy of all data that traverses ports 4-10.

Figure 4: Port mirroring configuration

 

If you do not see these features on your dashboard, you may require a firmware upgrade. Please contact [email protected] to schedule the upgrade.

Don’t forget to check out our new features under the Help > New features page regularly. We are constantly adding more exciting features and we’re expanding and improving existing features!

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