Document Sample
WHITE PAPER - VOD Powered By Docstoc
					W H I T E PA P E R

          Extending VoIP to
          Remote Locations:
                 Life on the Edge
          Challenges and Solutions
                    QUINTUM TECHNOLOGIES

                                     Executive Summary
In the early days of VoIP, the central issue fac-    units with built-in modems - as well as fax
ing the industry was whether voice quality could     machines, intercoms and non-IP phones. All-IP
be effectively maintained using IP as the trans-     environments don't provide this support.
port. Technology vendors, service providers and
corporate network managers put a huge amount         PSTN connectivity
of effort into addressing this issue. As a result,   For inbound calls, local call and 911 access,
VoIP is now an attractive alternative to conven-     it's typically important to provide remote
tional analog voice and the PSTN.                    office with PSTN connectivity. This con-
                                                     nectivity must therefore be planned into
As real-world VoIP rollouts continue, however, a     any VoIP implementation - rather than con-
new set of challenges emerging. In particular,       sidered only as an after thought.
businesses are encountering a variety of unan-
ticipated problems as they deploy VoIP to            Management
remote locations. These problems include:            Centralized IT departments and service providers
                                                     need to be able to effectively manage VoIP infra-
Survivability                                        structure at remote locations. If they can't, voice
One advantage of an IP PBX or hosted                 service levels can easily be jeopardized.
PBX/Centrex solution is elimination of the need
to install a PBX in each remote location. But        This white paper outlines the remote office chal-
this kind of centralized architecture leaves         lenges that are coming to light as more and
phone service unacceptably vulnerable to net-        more companies implement VoIP across the
work failure.                                        enterprise. It also explains how these chal-
                                                     lenges can be overcome. By keeping these con-
Analog support                                       cepts in mind as they plan their VoIP deploy-
Remote offices often require support for a wide      ments, corporate IT departments and service
range of "legacy" analog devices such as postage     providers alike can avoid the pitfalls experi-
meters, security systems and HVAC monitoring         enced during the first wave of implementations.

                                                          Extending VoIP to
                                                          Remote Locations:
                                                          Challenges and Solutions
                                                          QUINTUM TECHNOLOGIES

How Quintum's Access Solutions Bring Service Providers and Enterprises Together
to Make the World Safe for VoIP

The survivability issue                                WANs). Even if these issues are overcome, sur-
It's a given that voice service is absolutely criti-   vivability remains a problem - because an out-
cal to every business. That's why so many com-         right failure in any device along the path
panies hesitated to deploy VoIP for so long.           between a business user's phone and the IP PBX
They were not going to entrust their voice serv-       will make it impossible for that user to make or
ice to any architecture that couldn't ensure reli-     receive a phone call.
able, consistent voice quality.
                                                       The survivability issue exists because VoIP envi-
Advances in VoIP technology and the continued          ronments are designed to share a single, central
evolution of underlying enterprise IP infrastruc-      IP PBX. This central IP PBX may be located at
ture have largely addressed those concerns.            corporate headquarters, or it may be located at
VoIP implementers can now have a high degree           a service provider's facility as part of a hosted IP
of confidence that their networks and their VoIP       PBX service or IP-based Centrex offering.
hardware can now deliver the quality-of-service        Either way, all of the intelligence required to
necessary for day-to-day business communications.      route and manage calls resides at a single device
                                                       - thereby creating multiple potential single
However, like any other networked application,         points-of-failure along the path between that
VoIP remains vulnerable to device failure. VoIP        device and remote users.
functionality in remote offices is particularly
vulnerable to failures that result in loss of          Any organization seeking to ensure the reliabil-
access to the central IP PBX. Such failures can        ity of VoIP service must thus confront the sur-
occur in any number of places: at the remote           vivability issue. Otherwise, the business will
office's point-of-access to the WAN, on the WAN        remain vulnerable to the loss of phone service at
itself, on the LAN where the IP PBX is located,        remote offices.
within the IP PBX, etc. If a problem at any of
these points disrupts connectivity between users       The analog support issue
in the remote office and the IP PBX, voice serv-       When organizations implement VoIP, they
ice ceases to exist - and the business obviously       are often so obsessed with ensuring the
suffers serious consequences.                          reliability and quality of basic phone/voice
                                                       service that they forget or minimize the
It is important to distinguish this survivability      importance of the many other business
issue from that of general voice quality. During       requirements that their analog telephony
the first wave of VoIP adoption, concerns about        infrastructure supports.
general voice quality arose from the variability
in IP network performance (i.e. the latency, jitter    First and foremost among these is typically the
and packet loss that are endemic to LANs and           analog fax machine. While many companies

                                                            Extending VoIP to
                                                            Remote Locations:
                                                            Challenges and Solutions
                                                            QUINTUM TECHNOLOGIES

How Quintum's Access Solutions Bring Service Providers and Enterprises Together
to Make the World Safe for VoIP

have adopted digital fax machines and/or the         accommodated if the VoIP implementation is to
use of scan-and-attach email solutions to trans-     be completed without disruption to the business.
mit hard-copy documents, the analog fax
machine remains a staple of business communi-        The PSTN connectivity issue
cation. It is thus essential that any VoIP imple-    In addition to supporting analog devices in remote
mentation plan accommodate this entrenched           offices, corporate VoIP implementations must also
day-to-day business tool.                            typically factor in the need for analog PSTN con-
                                                     nectivity to the outside world. This connectivity is
However, there are also often many other devices     required for access to 911 emergency services, for a
that rely on the availability of an analog network   local presence to receive inbound calls, and for
connection. These include postage meters, secu-      allowing outbound local calls. In some cases, it may
rity systems, and environment control systems        also be appropriate as a failover measure in the
that use built-in modems to communicate with a       event of a WAN failure.
central command console and/or an outside mon-
itoring service. They also may include intercom      However, it is again not unusual for these
and/or PA systems that have to interface with        requirements to be neglected amid more domi-
users' desk phones.                                  nant concerns about optimally engineering
                                                     intra-enterprise voice over the IP network. So
There are several reasons that these analog          PSTN connectivity often emerges as an after-
devices can be more commonly found in remote         thought.
offices than in corporate headquarters. For
example, companies that centralize their facili-     Unfortunately, this after-the-fact approach to
ties management operations will use such devices     the necessity of the PSTN can result in overly
to monitor conditions in remote offices - even       expensive and/or ill-conceived solutions. So,
though no such devices are used in the company's     although PSTN utilization may not represent a
headquarters. Also, the kinds of warehouses and      major piece of the total enterprise telephony pie,
manufacturing plants that use intercoms are typ-     it can create disproportionate costs and prob-
ically remote, rather than co-located with head-     lems if not adequately considered beforehand.
quarters. And remote offices may lag technologi-
cally behind a main corporate office.                The management issue
                                                     Finally, it is essential for VoIP implementers to
That's why companies should rigorously invento-      fully take into account the need for effective
ry analog devices across the enterprise before       management of VoIP infrastructure at remote
committing to a VoIP implementation plan. And        offices. Most IT organizations have tools in
those analog devices must be appropriately           place for monitoring IP network infrastructure

                                                          Extending VoIP to
                                                          Remote Locations:
                                                          Challenges and Solutions
                                                          QUINTUM TECHNOLOGIES

How Quintum's Access Solutions Bring Service Providers and Enterprises Together
to Make the World Safe for VoIP

in remote office. However, this is not sufficient   promising IT security. It also requires fulfillvis-
for ensuring the ongoing health of voice service    ibility into remote VoIP devices. An effective
across the data network, because IT staff at        ment of the other usual requirements for remote
headquarters must be able to do more than just      device management - including scalability, relia-
assess whether or not there is a congestion prob-   bility and ease-of-use.
lem or switch malfunction on some remote net-
work segment. They must also be able to             Also, many IP PBX vendors require the installation
remotely and granularly monitor, diagnose and       of servers in branch offices. These servers act as
configure specific attributes of VoIP-enabling      sort of "mini-PBXs" and therefore require more
devices themselves.                                 than a nominal amount of administration. This
                                                    adds to overall cost of ownership and introduces
This is sometimes made difficult by the use of      another potential source of service problems - since
NAT (network address translation) on remote         technicians may neglect to perform certain tasks or
office firewalls - which can impede access and      perform them incorrectly.

                                                         Extending VoIP to
                                                         Remote Locations:
                                                         Challenges and Solutions
                                                         QUINTUM TECHNOLOGIES

How Quintum's Access Solutions Bring Service Providers and Enterprises Together
to Make the World Safe for VoIP

        Quintum's Solutions For Extending VoIP to Remote Locations

Addressing remote-office VoIP issues with       switch. This allows basic essential calling
Quintum switching solutions                     functions to continue even if the connection
Quintum's Tenor VoIP switching solutions are    to a central or hosted IP PBX is lost. This
specifically designed to address all of these   proxy agent provides sufficient routing
crucial remote-office implementation issues.    intelligence to provide users with dial-tone
Their features and functionality, which have    to the desktop and allow basic calling capa-
been driven by years of real-world VoIP         bilities and features - although some of the
deployment success, ensure that even inexpe-    more sophisticated functions provided by
rienced VoIP planners can meet their com-       the PBX (such as conferencing) may be
pany's business needs - including those that    temporarily unavailable.
can unexpectedly crop up when extending
VoIP services to remote offices.                Quintum switches also provide hot failover
                                                to the PSTN in the event that the IP net-
Survivability                                   work can no longer support adequate voice
Quintum's switching platform safeguards         quality.     This transparent, automatic
voice service availability by embedding a       failover offers still another level of protec-
SIP proxy agent in the remote-office            tion of essential voice services.

                                Headquarters                            Branch Office
 The local SIP Proxy
 embedded in the                                                               IP Phones
 Tenor S provides sur-
 vivability of the voice
 network. Connectivity
 for intra-office calls,
 inter-office calls, local
                             IP Phones
 calls, and 911 are
 maintained even in
 the event of an IP                                                      Analog
 failure.                                                                Devices
                                                IP Network


                                                    Extending VoIP to
                                                    Remote Locations:
                                                    Challenges and Solutions
                                                    QUINTUM TECHNOLOGIES

How Quintum's Access Solutions Bring Service Providers and Enterprises Together
to Make the World Safe for VoIP

Analog support
Quintum switches can be readily configured to                  packetize this traffic so it can be transported
provide as many analog ports as required to sup-               over the enterprise network - ensuring that con-
port "legacy" communications devices - includ-                 vergence initiatives incorporate the full range of
ing fax machines, non-IP phones, and the vari-                 any company's communication needs across all
ous types of modem-enabled systems in common                   remote locations.
use today. The switches readily and efficiently

                                                                              Branch Office

                       IP PBX

                                                                                Traditional PBX

                                                  IP Network

                            Tenor Integrates Legacy PBXs into an IP-PBX Network
                                                                              Branch Office

                       IP PBX

                                                   IP Network

                            Tenor Enables Migration to the Survivable Branch Office

     The Tenor can be deployed to connect a traditional PBX in a branch office to the IP-PBX, then at a later date when
     the traditional PBX is removed and IP-phones are deployed the Tenor remains as the branch office gateway.

                                                                     Extending VoIP to
                                                                     Remote Locations:
                                                                     Challenges and Solutions
                                                                     QUINTUM TECHNOLOGIES

How Quintum's Access Solutions Bring Service Providers and Enterprises Together
to Make the World Safe for VoIP

PSTN connectivity
In addition to providing an "on-ramp" onto the IP                calls to be made and received via the local loop.
network for analog devices, Quintum switches                     Plus, as noted above, this PSTN connectivity pro-
provide an "off-ramp" for packetized voice onto                  vides a ready failover capability in the event of
the PSTN. This ensures the ability of every user                 IP network problems.
to access 911 emergency services. It also allows

                                                                                        Branch Office
                  Headquarters                                                                 IP Phones



                                                  IP Network


  Tenor can interface new IP-PBXs to provide intelligent connectivity for legacy voice equipment and connectivity to the PSTN.

                                                                        Extending VoIP to
                                                                        Remote Locations:
                                                                        Challenges and Solutions
                                                                        QUINTUM TECHNOLOGIES

Quintum provides a Remote Management                       In addition, the Tenor switches themselves don't
Session Server (RMSS) that allows IT teams to              require nearly the same amount of care and
easily and securely manage distributed Tenor               attention as the typical IP PBX vendor's remote-
VoIP switches from a single, intuitive applica-            office server. Once they are configured, they
tion. The RMSS provides the complete system                pass signaling through to the central IP PBX
configuration, performance monitoring, diag-               and are therefore transparent to IP end-points -
nostics, troubleshooting and remote upgrade                so new phones can be installed by simply point-
functionality needed to maintain and optimize              ing them at the switch. This greatly reduces
the health of VoIP services - including switch-            remote office management workloads.
es behind NAT firewalls. Switches can be
remotely managed via telnet, FTP or                        Just as important as these individual attributes
Quintum's own graphical Tenor Management                   is the fact that Tenor switches provide surviv-
Console. All communications between RMSS                   ability, analog support and PSTN connectivity in
and remote switches are encrypted to ensure                a single, self-contained package. Alternative
network security. And each switch can be reg-              solutions typically require some combination of
istered with two separate RMSS Application                 a switch, a gateway device, and/or a dedicated
Servers to provide redundancy.                             server. Such multi-device approaches increase

                                                                           Configuration and
                     PBX                                                  Network Management


                IP Phones
                 & Clients                                    IP

                                                                               Session Server

           RMSS sits on the public, or service provider, network and acts as a bridge between the
           Tenor and the management tools, allowing Network Administrators/Customer Support to
           manage access gateways anywhere.

                                                                   Extending VoIP to
                                                                   Remote Locations:
                                                                   Challenges and Solutions
                                                                   QUINTUM TECHNOLOGIES

both capital costs and ongoing management              VoIP can offer significant telecom cost savings,
workloads. With Quintum's Tenor switches,              the convenience of managing one network
installation and ownership are both simple and         instead of two, simplified provisioning of services
cost-efficient. This is a vital consideration for IT   to remote locations, and the ability to deploy a
organizations that have limited resources and          new generation of converged applications. But
many pressing challenges to face besides VoIP          it can also create all kinds of problems for IT
implementation.                                        project teams, especially as they extend VoIP to
                                                       remote offices. Quintum's Tenor switching solu-
The benefits of Quintum's survivable approach          tions prevent these problems simply and econom-
to remote office VoIP include:                         ically - enabling businesses to reap maximum
• Optimized reliability of voice service to            returns on their convergence investments and
  all locations                                        avoid the hassles that have plagued enterprise
• Lower capital provisioning costs                     VoIP roll-outs.
• Lower long-term technology ownership costs
• Undisrupted end-user work environments
• Elimination of VoIP project "surprises"
• Secure protection of network infrastructure
• Flexible support of changing remote office

                                                            Extending VoIP to
                                                            Remote Locations:
                                                            Challenges and Solutions
                                                            QUINTUM TECHNOLOGIES

                                          About Quintum

Headquartered in Eatontown, NJ, Quintum                According to In-Stat, Quintum has the second-
delivers VoIP solutions that bring the reliabil-       largest marketshare in the low density VoIP mar-
ity and voice clarity of public telephone net-         ket. The company was picked by Forbes for its "Top
works to Internet telephony. Quintum's intelli-        Ten To Watch in 2005" list of top privately-held
gent VoIP access solutions integrate easily into       technology companies and was ranked number 205
existing PBX and IP infrastructures, making            on the INC. 500 list of fastest growing private com-
them the ideal choice for service providers and        panies. Quintum is also a Nortel Developer Partner
enterprise alike.                                      and an Avaya DevConnect Partner.

Quintum sells its switches worldwide through its direct sales force and a network of resellers and
distributors. For more information, call 1-877-SPEAK IP (1-877-773-2547), 1-732-460-9000 outside the US,
or visit us online at www.quintum.com.

                                                            Extending VoIP to
                                                            Remote Locations:
                                                            Challenges and Solutions
                                                            QUINTUM TECHNOLOGIES

Shared By: