VOICECON - Free VOIP management tools

New tools aim to simplify the setup of IP desktop phones and carrier VOIP services

Two network infrastructure vendors launched free management software tools at the VoiceCon show this week, with the aim of simplifying the setup of IP desktop phones and carrier VOIP services.

LAN-switch vendor Extreme Networks launched its Handset Provisioning Module software for its switches, which lets the devices detect and configure IP phones from its VOIP partner Avaya, as well as phones from Cisco, Mitel, Nortel and Shoretel.

Meanwhile, VOIP firewall vendor Ingate has a new management software it says will help businesses connect their IP PBXs and Ingate gear to a carrier's SIP-trunking service.

Both software packages are available as free downloads.

Extreme's Handset Provisioning Module is an extension to its ExtremeXOS switch operating system, which runs on its BlackDiamond enterprise core routers and Summit stackable switches. The provisioning software uses the IEEE standard Link Layer Discovery Protocol to detect IP phones connected to switch/router ports. Once detected, the software allocates the correct bandwidth and Power over Ethernet settings (if applicable), and applies QoS and VLAN configurations to the phone. Extreme says its software lets IT staff set IP desktop phones more quickly and streamlines the process of moving or changing the configuration of VOIP network.

Ingate's Sip Trunking Configuration Tool is designed specifically for users of the Ingate Firewall or SIParator session border controller device. The software allows users to easily configure the Ingate gear to work with a SIP-based VOIP service (known as a SIP-trunking service) from an Internet telephony service provider.

SIP-trunking services are the IP equivalent of digital voice trunks, which connect most corporate PBXs to carrier phone networks. SIP trunking connects an IP PBX, or IP-enabed PBX directly to the carriers SIP-based VOIP network, and provides lower-cost long distance and more service flexibility, providers say.