My office has two internet connections and two routers and two networks. One network is used for the Internet connect and has great speeds. The second network runs our IP phones and is a backup internet connection - the speed is slow and is reserved for backup internet and IP phones only because the phones don't work well when we use them with the internet on that network at the same time.

I want to combine the two networks to minimise the cabling, make maintenance easier and reduce the fail points in our networks. There are some requirements though. I need to ensure the Internet will be drawn from the Internet router and the IP phones will go via the IP phone router and I'd prefer to do it with hardware over software like Speedify so I can ensure it will work regardless of the device connected to the network and regardless of the setup of each device.

It's like bridging via Windows network settings but I need to have control over how things are dealt with.

Devices that connect to both networks include, HP printers, Mac and Windows computers, Cisco IP phones, iOS and Android devices and smart TVs

  • 1
    OK, this sort of thing is done all the time. What is your question?
    – Ron Maupin
    May 23 '16 at 1:05
  • It sounds like you will want to learn all you can about VLANs, if you're not already familiar with them. May 23 '16 at 13:43
  • As Ron Maupin mentioned, this is done a lot. You should engage a battle-tested Network Engineer to design/test/deploy/monitor/optimise your future scalable network environment. A well designed network environment generates $$$ for your business due to 99.9999% uptime.
    – user4565
    May 24 '16 at 19:38
  • 1
    bridging in Windows is off topic here... ServerFault does Windows May 24 '16 at 20:19

This should have been setup when the IP phones went in. The switch(es) should have been upgraded to support POE+ and IP endpoints should be daisy-chained off of IP phones when possible to reduce the required number of switchports. As for having a dedicated circuit for SIP/PSTN connectivity that is no problem simply configure the routing accordingly. You do not want your phone system degraded in case of primary Internet circuit outage so in no case do you want to failover to your SIP/PSTN circuit. You should get an additional 4g LTE card in your router to act as backup Internet. Configure routing accordingly.

The LAN (switches) can switch voice and data with no impact on the voice system. The system may, however, be degraded in terms of outside calls if you failover Internet to your PSTN circtuit.

  • We are looking into a switch that has PoE+ and VLAN support
    – Trent
    May 30 '16 at 2:29

I would recommend looking into how to implement QoS with your equipment so that the phone traffic has priority over the regular data traffic. Once that is in place, there are a number of ways to pick an internet link. One of the easiest is to find a reliable internet IP to ping (think Google/Level3 DNS server or something), set a static default route out one ISP based on the reachability of that DNS server, and a second static default route out your secondary ISP with a higher administrative distance. This would make the first ISP primary and fail over to the second.

Other ways involve using some form of WAN load balancing. There are a number of vendors who provide hardware (usually firewalls) that can take advantage of multiple ISPs. These can often function in highly available pairs, so that you have two physical firewalls acting as one logical one, leaving your traffic available if one fails.

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