Bandwidth management for VoIP
VoIP Networks and Bandwidth
The performance of VoIP networks is heavily dependent upon proper configuration and the correct infrastructure. Unlike the telephone system where everything has already been configured beforehand, there's no standardized way of setting up VoIP. The PSTN system uses circuit switching technology which though wasteful, excels at maintaining its level of performance. This is because it preserves an entire line for itself. Packet switching technology however, as used in VoIP suffers as a consequence of not getting enough bandwidth. And since VoIP is a real-time protocol, even minute delays are acutely recognizable.
Accordingly, businesses need to ensure that they provide enough space for VoIP to operate. They can achieve this in a variety of ways including router level configurations giving preference to VoIP traffic over others. As we shall see, there are other management strategies including the segregation of VoIP traffic which will manually provide all the bandwidth it would ever need for clear operation. Such a system is called a virtual LAN and is recommended as a best business practice in the VoIP industry. Let's take a look at how it works and why such a bandwidth management tool is so powerful.
Setting up Virtual LANs
Virtual LANs or VLANs as they are called are a kind of artificial mini network within the real physical network in which all computers operate. It's an artificial modification which specifies that certain types of traffic, or traffic through certain ports is to be treated as a distinct network itself.
The benefit of doing this in It allows us to apply QoS standards and unique management rules to a particular type of traffic. VoIP is one type of traffic that truly benefits from such efforts. For example, instructing routers to give preferential treatment to VoIP incurs almost no cost to other types of traffic such as webpages and even media heavy resources like YouTube. However, it makes a big difference to the users of VoIP systems for whom even delays of mere tens of milliseconds is very noticeable.
It's trivial for network administrators to set up such a VLAN avoid traffic they can specify a certain bandwidth which must always be present avoid to operate correctly. This means that no matter how high the usage is for other applications, VoIP and always have sufficient bandwidth to operate correctly.
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