Companies installing VOIP may get the quality of service and capacity of their networks right, but are likely to overlook the knock-on effects on supporting identity infrastructure such as DHCP and DNS, according to Infoblox.
"Fifty percent of VOIP deployments have problems because of DNS [which resolves IP addresses] and DHCP [which issues IP addresses on the LAN]," said Rick Kagan, vice president of marketing at Infoblox. Giving VOIP phones to all users effectively doubles the demand on both of these services, and breaks in service to a phone running real-time communications, will be more noticeable than to a PC.
Infoblox, which sells "identity appliances" that accelerate infrastructure services, has added a package for those adding VOIP to their networks, that increases the speed and reliability of DHCP and DNS using dedicated hardware.
The service also runs distributed TFTP file transfers, to speed software updates to equipment such as IP phones. "If you need firmware updates to fifty phones, it pushes the update to the grid, and then the phones get updates over the LAN, not the WAN," he said. Without the service, all downloads would happen over the WAN, and require manual intervention, he said.
Infoblox has advocated a move to more reliable identity services on the network (for example in this article, Gear up for DNS resolutions) for some time, but SIP-based IP phones underlines the way identity is being drawn into business IP networks, said Kagan.