Sunday, April 13, 2008

IP Phone Install

Yesterday at our local Twin Cities Asterisk User's Group ( ) we had the opportunity to do a real world, hands on, IP phone install at the client's business of the meeting organizer. What a great experience! The client is deploying 160, Polycom Soundpoint 301's at a newly acquired space within the same building.

In most cases, setting up an IP phone network is very straight forward. You can with DHCP and the default VLAN setting have the telephones actually download their configuration files from a local TFTP server. However, there was a bug in the boot-rom with these phones, so we had to do some manual configuration to get the system updated. The steps we took were.

  • Unpackage the IP phone
  • Boot the phone and select a static IP
  • Tell the phone the TFTP server to use.
  • Tell the phone the VLAN to use.
  • Reboot the phone and allow it to update itself.
  • Reboot the phone and reset it to DHCP.
  • Reboot the phone one final time and make sure it was assigned an IP correctly.
I actually had the opportunity over the past couple of day to help Eric do some of the line patching and installation of a plugs at the employee workstations. It was an awesome experience to get out in the field and work hands on with some new cutting edge IP phone technology. This install is using Asterisk on a 10 gigabit network. After we got the phone registered, our group played around with paging around 50 phone at the same time to see what sort of response from the Asterisk server. It turns out it didn't even break a sweat! Asterisk can scale very well in small to medium sized businesses. I'm looking forward to continuing to help Eric when I can with future projects, just to continue and round out my VOIP technology experience. I continue to see areas and new ideas of places where software can be used in these new IP based systems, but getting the chance to work, hands on with the phone and running hte lines is a lot of fun and something I have having a great time learning and working in.

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