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Prepare Your Network For VoIP

The Promise: New enhancements to switching and routing software and hardware aim to eliminate or reduce the time the network spends recovering from failures.

The Players: Every major infrastructure vendor is actively engaged in improving their product sets to accommodate VoIP and, increasingly, other critical applications, such as video. These vendors include Alcatel, Cisco, Enterasys, Extreme, HP, Nortel Networks, and 3Com.

The Prospects: The enhancements being made to layer-2 and layer-3 protocols can dramatically reduce downtime, but 100 percent recovery without impacting voice calls is still impossible. Callers will hear audio distortion during the call whenever the network recovers from a failure.


Infrastructure providers would like you to believe that data networks are ready to deliver the reliability needed to run non-stop VoIP. The vendors are investing marketing dollars to cement that fact in the minds of IT managers. Over the past three months, they've also made technological investments, introducing new software and hardware features to back up those claims.

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