Switching to VoIP
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: June 2005
Pages: 504

More and more businesses today have their receive phone service through Internet instead of local phone company lines. Many businesses are also using their internal local and wide-area network infrastructure to replace legacy enterprise telephone networks. This migration to a single network carrying voice and data is called convergence, and it's revolutionizing the world of telecommunications by slashing costs and empowering users. The technology of families driving this convergence is called VoIP, or Voice over IP.

VoIP has advanced Internet-based telephony to a viable solution, piquing the interest of companies small and large. The primary reason for migrating to VoIP is cost, as it equalizes the costs of long distance calls, local calls, and e-mails to fractions of a penny per use. But the real enterprise turn-on is how VoIP empowers businesses to mold and customize telecom and datacom solutions using a single, cohesive networking platform. These business drivers are so compelling that legacy telephony is going the way of the dinosaur, yielding to Voice over IP as the dominant enterprise communications paradigm.

Developed from real-world experience by a senior developer, O'Reilly's Switching to VoIP provides solutions for the most common VoIP migration challenges. So if you're a network professional who is migrating from a traditional telephony system to a modern, feature-rich network, this book is a must-have. You'll discover the strengths and weaknesses of circuit-switched and packet-switched networks, how VoIP systems impact network infrastructure, as well as solutions for common challenges involved with IP voice migrations. Among the challenges discussed and projects presented:

  • building a softPBX
  • configuring IP phones
  • ensuring quality of service
  • scalability
  • standards-compliance
  • topological considerations
  • coordinating a complete system ?switchover?
  • migrating applications like voicemail and directory services
  • retro-interfacing to traditional telephony
  • supporting mobile users
  • security and survivability
  • dealing with the challenges of NAT

To help you grasp the core principles at work, Switching to VoIP uses a combination of strategy and hands-on "how-to" that introduce VoIP routers and media gateways, various makes of IP telephone equipment, legacy analog phones, IPTables and Linux firewalls, and the Asterisk open source PBX software by Digium. You'll learn how to build an IP-based or legacy-compatible phone system and voicemail system complete with e-mail integration while becoming familiar with VoIP protocols and devices. Switching to VoIP remains vendor-neutral and advocates standards, not brands. Some of the standards explored include:

  • SIP
  • H.323, SCCP, and IAX
  • Voice codecs
  • 802.3af
  • Type of Service, IP precedence, DiffServ, and RSVP
  • 802.1a/b/g WLAN

If VoIP has your attention, like so many others, then Switching to VoIP will help you build your own system, install it, and begin making calls. It's the only thing left between you and a modern telecom network.

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5.0

Essential

By Dave Rowtree

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Switching to VoIP:

This is pretty much essential reading for our new staff over in the UK. It first gives a good overview of VoIP in general for home and business, then develops how to use Linux as a PBX. It also covers in detail how to replace the voice circuit and call signaling to VoIP.

There are a few chapters on potential troubles with a troubleshooting guide (the most referenced pages in our copy!)

The references are slightly out of date, although this is more an indication of the fast moving nature of the business. IT includes the usual suspects of Skype, MSN and iChat, although no mention of GoogleTalk.

Throughout the book it stresses conversations are part of what humans do to feel human, and how we communicate can be transferred to VoIP principles

-Tom Payne, Maintel - Phone system maintenance & installation (http://www.maintel.co.uk/)

 
5.0

A very well rounded VoIP book

By Chris Josephes

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Switching to VoIP:

Switching To VoIP provides a well rounded introduction to voice over IP services. It covers the protocols, the hardware and software requirements, and how to configure the phone environments. The book is literally a

how-to rollout guide. You can either read up on the technology, or follow along with the provided examples.

It does a good job of introducing VoIP by comparing the common analog and digital PBX systems in most offices. The author shows off an impressive knowledge of non-IP telephony environements, so he can relate to how your

environment might be set up, and how it can be migrated to VoIP.

Switching is vendor neutral on hardware and software. It lists comparisons on commercial VoIP environments like Cisco, Nortel, and Avaya. It also provides a list of VoIP service providers, which you will need to make your VoIP network accessable to the world.

And if you don't have a VoIP network, you can quickly build one for next to nothing. The Asterick open source VoIP software is heavily featured throughout the book. You can download it and build a test (or production, for that matter) VoIP network. The book gives information

on software setup, network configuration, network security, and QoS troubleshooting.

I was pretty impressed with this book. It's probably going to be one

of those O'Reilly tomes that I keep on the immediate reach shelf of my office. I was thoroughly impressed with the author's knowledge of the subject matter and his clear writing style.

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