We're considering a Cisco IPT deployment and just ran across a new PoE switch from Dell that is 33% of the cost of our already-discounted Cisco switches. I'm curious to find out what you all think: how colossally stupid would it be to run Cisco IPT on non-Cisco switches?
On a scale of one to ten, how bad of an idea is that? :-)
Not a Bad Idea at all ,I have seen Cisco IPT running on Huawei switches without any Issues,But things you should consider before opting for a Non cisco Switch are
The Dell switches do not support CDP, that I know of, but they do have L2 QoS and 802.3af power. They do not support Cisco pre-standard inline power, but that's not a problem because we wouldn't be using any Cisco phones that don't support 802.3af.
I think you should also consider the voice (aux) VLAN negotiation between the phone and the Switch. In an IPT deployment it is more secure if you have the phones running on a seperate VLAN than the data network plugged in behind the phones.
I'm sure I read somewhere that it was possible (at least for some phone types) to have a text file in the TFTP server that contained parameters for the phone...
Anyone know if I imagined this or not?
It would be useful in a lot of situations to have an alternate to the voice vlan command - such as a text file in the TFTP, or a subnet-specific DHCP option perhaps...
I would guess you could do that with the SIP loads, but I don't think it's possible with the SCCP, skinny loads.
Carefull though, it's tricky to go back to SCCP once you have loaded up the SIP version on the phone.
We have used a variety of Cisco and non-Cisco switches for cost reasons. I would recommend sticking with the Cisco switches. With the lower-end (cheaper) non-Cisco switches, we have not been able to put the Cisco phones into their own VLAN. The 79XX phones get their VLAN from the switch using CDP (Cisco Discovery Protocol). I have not found a way to hard code the VLAN on the phones. If the switch does not support CDP, the phone and attached PC are in the same VLAN. Even hard coding the IP address on the phones, while separating the voice and data sides into different subnets, keeps them in the same broadcast domain. A broadcast storm or virus can take out the phones. (With no SRST, because the phones cannot reach the router.)
Cisco have a new 500 series of switches that compete favorably with the third-party switches in price and will do all we need for the phones (POE, CDP, Voice and Data VLANs, etc.). The down side: they use a GUI rather than the standard IOS-style command line (so no easily stored config file), and if a password is forgotten (or the switch looses its config) it must be disconnected and rebuilt. Other than that, our tests and initial deployments have been good and we intend to use these switches instead of the third-party switches we had sometimes used.
I connected cisco ip phones to Extreme switches without any issue.
In fact it is possible to configure the port as a trunk and manualy set the "voice" vlan on the phone in the Admin VLAN ID field. This way you would still have separate voice and data vlans without the CDP.
So you set the switch port to use 802.1q/p tagging for the two VLANs with the data VLAN as the native or default VLAN, then unlock the configuration and set the Admin VLAN ID on the phone. I yield to the CCIE. ;D I see it even works when using DHCP. Thanks for the tip, Marina! It will be very useful! I still like these new 500 series switches for our SMB customers (we had been using some of the Netgear devices with fibre uplinks). I have been doing a lot of manual phone configuration. :(
I totally agree with you about the new 500 series. Unfortunatly sometimes we need to survive in the existing network infrastructure.
Nothing to do with the CCIE, 5 years with israeli customers and you learn to do it the way THEY like ;-)