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New Member

Unified Communications help required !

Hi guys,

I am new to the field of unified comms and cisco in general... and im in general confused about all the equipment that would be required for a small to medium sized business such as ours..

we have 100 users at HQ and 2 branch offices and a few remote users.

We need VOIP , wireless access, conferencing facilities etc at the HQ and hopefully connectivity through VPN connections to the remote sites.

Can anyone suggest the hardware i should be looking at ?

I was thinking of a Cisco 3845 series router.. dunno which modules i'd need. and Cat 500 PoE switches and maybe some wireless access points... what else do i need?

Would appreciate any help on this... will def give a high rating to the user who is able to hit the nail right onto the target :)

Hall of Fame Super Gold

Re: Unified Communications help required !


A 3845 or even a 3825 will surely do what you need. There is a feature called "CCME" by which the IP phones, cisco or other brand, will work like a feature-rich PBX without additional components. In the branch offices you can use smaller router like the 2801 with the same CCME feature.

For the switches, the smaller model that cisco makes, with PoE support is the CE-500, unfortunately these switches don't enjoy much of a reputation among professionals.

The 2960 models are only layer 2 switches, this is not a problem in itself, but they have no POE that is very important in IP telephony to eliminate the ugly power bricks that are so cluttering for the desk.

The next models that supports PoWE are the 3560, then the 3750 that is stackable with an highspeed backbone. There is also a version of the 3750 with 48 ports and PoE that fits inside the router in case you like a super-integrated solution.

The wireless part should be discussed separately because it's a matter in itself, but for starting you can put a wireless module in the router itself and if it not too buried in the building will start with some coverage already.

The most important thing is that you locate a cisco partner that is honest and straightforward in making the design with you. Then if you have questions you can always come back in this forum.

Hope this helps, please rate post if it does!

New Member

Re: Unified Communications help required !

Thanks alot for your reply its been very informative.. but can i ask u a few more q's ?

if i get a 3845 and install the CCME module,

is this the only module required, what about PVDM? would i need any other applications running to get my IP telephony up n running?

Where will the cisco call manager and the other Apps run ?

I agree CE 500 switches are not that great, ive installed a few of those at client sites only coz they didnt want to spend much.. i'd always suggest going in for a 3560 :-D love them !

I forgot to add.. we are converting from a PBX system to this.. so would i require a different module to connect my PSTN lines and my ADSL lines ? im sure for ADSL i'll need one of the WIC's..

Hall of Fame Super Gold

Re: Unified Communications help required !


The CCME is an IOS software feature and not hardware. When you order the router, you can choose a bundle that come with the CCME license and a PVDM2. For the 3845 they give you a PVDM2-64 that is enough for 2 T1 PRI for example.

In other words there is no need for callmanager or anything else. Everything is contained in the router. The features are comparable and in some case superior to those of the full CCM. Look at:

Now, how your PBX is connected to PSTN? To do the project real real nice, the best thing is ISDN PRI, but even T1 CAS is acceptable to start with. Avoid analog lines if possible.

The WIC for ADSL is now called HWIC-1ADSL ad support all the new high-speeds standards.

Thanks for the nice rating and good luck!

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