Things to consider regarding your network
Provide guidance when considering deployment or upgrading your network appliances and infrastructure for VoIP and UCaaS.
There are many other considerations when it comes to networking and current networking solutions, the information in this article is intended to help you address your requirements with your provider or team.
We have set-up guides for most network equipment, and we recommend that you check with the support team of your selected equipment and internet service provider if you have concerns. Our support team will be here to help when you need us as well.
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What network equipment will work best with 8x8 services on my network?
Any consumer grade or higher network devices manufactured within the last 3 years should have no issues handling VoIP and UCaaS.
Our X Series Technical Requirements article provides all the necessary settings needed to be configured or applied on any network.
Things To Consider
Internet Service Provider Type
There are many online tools to help you check if your internet service is fast enough to UCaaS. We also have one here.
While you may not always experience any issues while browsing the internet or streaming videos and music, it does not mean your ISP and your service is sufficient for UCaaS. Unlike streaming and web browsing, which utilizes your download bandwidth; with UCaaS, you are also utilizing your upload bandwidth. Not all ISPs provide the same quality service and speed when it comes to your upload bandwidth. Always consider the number of users and the internet-related activities throughout the work day when selecting the internet service type for your organization.
When using equipment issued by your ISP, these devices are typically optimized for convenience and not for performance. Reducing the number of configurable options to ensure minimal support is required. Our recommendation is to request or purchase a stand alone modem and a separate firewall or router if you plan to use physical endpoints with your service. Simply disabling SIP-ALG helps resolve majority of issues your users may be experiencing.
When choosing the firewall for your organization, it is not necessary to select a brand or model that is advertised for VoIP. These solutions are typically for when you manage your own PBX on-site. 8x8 is a cloud hosted platform, our networks are already optimized to handle large amounts of UCaaS traffic. In most cases our device specific guides may even ask that you disable those features.
These devices have come a long way. From merely "adding" ports to your network. You are now able to power devices via PoE; create intricate sets of rules to optimize your network, including direct specific types of traffic via QoS or ACL. While we cannot place a hard and fast rule on how you should deploy a switch on your network, we only ask that any NAT capabilities should be turned off on the voice VLAN when segmenting traffic between data and your physical phone networks.
Wifi Networks and Access Points
Having "fast internet connection" does not always carry over to your wireless network. There are many new specifications and standards with wireless networking but the guidelines remain the same; wireless bandwidth, throughput, and latency are affected by the environment. Materials of walls and ceilings, distance from access points, and amount of clients connected to one access point or wifi networks greatly affect each other. If you are experiencing challenges with call or meeting quality for users on Wifi, consider adding more access points or increasing the bandwidth allocation for the wireless network.
Fabric Connections, VPN, MPLS, SDWAN, Site 2 Site Tunnels
Any type of service or methodology that would direct all your traffic to a specific destination before it's routed to its intended destination is supported by 8x8. Speak to your Sales Engineer if you have any questions about your current design, or if you are redesigning. There are some considerations and "gotchas" that should be worked through to ensure the proper design is in place to provide the best performance.
For best practices and Recommendations see our guides
Terms used in this article: (in order of usage)
VoIP - Voice Over IP
UCaaS - Unified Communications as a Service
ISP - Internet Service Provider
SIP - ALG - Session Initiation Protocol Application Layer Gateway
PoE - Power over Ethernet
QoS - Quality of Service
NAT - Network Address Translation
ACL - Access Control List
VLAN - Virtual Local Area Network
VPN - Virtual Private Network
MPLS - Multiprotocol Label Switching
SDWAN - Software-Defined Wide Area Network
SPI - Stateful Packet Inspection
DPI - Deep Packet Inspection