If you spend a great deal of time deploying VoIP systems or building IP networks for various customers, you quickly learn to appreciate things that just seem to work. What I mean by that is, there’s no crossing your fingers, or sacrificing a virgin to have a piece of equipment work the way it’s actually supposed to.

If you’ve been reading some of my posts or have seen the videos that I have been in, then all of you know that I am a bit of an ADTRAN fanboy. I like ADTRAN the same way that I like my 22-year-old Swiss Army KnifeⓇ. It’s reliable, well-made, fits in your pocket, and will always get the job done. With that, let me re-introduce you to the ADTRAN NetVanta 1531P. For my first introduction to the NetVanta 1531P, check out my unboxing video here. Also see the configuration video below:

A key aspect that I’d like to spotlight on this switch is ADTRAN’s “VoIP Setup Wizard” feature. Setting up the LAN for voice is challenging, because of the complexity involved with configuring various settings such as Quality of Service (QoS), V-LANs, Class-of-Service (CoS), uplink ports, among others. With ADTRAN’s VoIP Setup Wizard, the whole process is automated to just two-clicks and your LAN is setup for voice. This is ideal if you have a voice over IP phone system or are thinking of switching to VoIP, which allows for fast VoIP deployments. ADTRAN offers a number of “voice aware” features that simplify setup and management of your voice deployments.

The NetVanta 1531P won’t actually fit in your pocket (unless you still wear Jenco jeans) but it has a fantastic form factor that allows you to mount or set it just about anywhere in your organization. Yes, it is a small capacity switch with 12 ports, which means it’s meant for small deployments of VoIP phones or wireless access points, but I’ve found that it really shines as a test or provisioning bench switch. The 1531P can function as a DHCP server, which is not a feature readily found in the lesser “prosumer” class of switch in the same-ish price point (under $600). This is important because you can serve IP addresses to IP phones without the need for a dedicated piece of equipment such as a router or server. You can of course consequently serve DHCP options, such as option 66, to point phones to a specific TFTP server. A customer’s environment can easily be replicated by creating an additional VLAN with their specific IP address scheme, default gateway, and DNS information allowing you to configure both phones and even an IP PBX to be shipped pre-configured, which is the actual method used by VoIP Supply for provisioning services.

1531p

Okay, how about some more details? Well, it’s a small, lightweight, fanless, PoE switch, and it’s a layer 3 device. Actually, layer 3 light as described by ADTRAN, which means it can perform static routing (VLAN to VLAN) but is limited to how many static routes you can use (16). It cannot perform dynamic routing like the NetVanta 1544 for example, but there are some pretty big differences in the price point when making that comparison (by a few thousand). The NetVanta 1531P sports 8 PoE and PoE+ ports which produce up to 30 watts per port (PoE+) with a maximum PoE budget of 65watts. In terms of IP phones, it’s plenty to support 8 PoE powered phones as they aren’t as demanding as wireless access points, but do your research and make sure you are accounting for all devices needing power. There are an additional 4 ports on the 1531P, two are non-PoE Ethernet, and two SFP, all of which are 1 Gbps. There is a console port accessible via a DB-9 RS-232 port that connects you to a very familiar command line interface. If you have any command line experience with Cisco, then you’ll feel right at home with ADTRAN as the syntax is nearly identical. Of course, you can SSH for the same experience, but you are also provided a web-based interface which means you’ll almost never have to SSH or console into the switch if you are a little rusty on your command line witchcraft. For a complete list of the NetVanta 1531P check out the datasheet.

adtran-logoADTRAN’s standard web interface that you find with all of their NetVanta and most TotalAccess products provides you with an efficient avenue to administer your switch. It isn’t overly garnished with tacky graphics or is so convoluted that it becomes a frustrating experience if you don’t already know the ins and outs. The web interface is, just right, and leaves out virtually nothing. There are some tasks that are moderately quicker via the command line, but as stated before, the user interface can accomplish all of the most common switch administrative tasks without needing to use the command line. It also doesn’t change its appearance, ever. Changes or added features are subtle and go almost unnoticed if you didn’t read the latest firmware release. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I tend to place value on consistency and general standardization. Speaking of firmware, it’s free, for the life of the product. Yes, I said FREE. Firmware can be downloaded from ADTRAN after you create a login with them, which is also at no cost to you.

If you think you have a need for a small layer 3 switch that can provide PoE to IP phones or any other compatible device, give VoIP Supply a call. The ADTRAN NetVanta 1531P goes to the top of my recommendations list for battle proven, reliable, and feature-rich equipment.

ADTRAN’s NetVanta switches include a full line of powerful, business-class Ethernet switching solutions perfect for SMBs and enterprises. The NetVanta Ethernet switching portfolio is ideal for VoIP by allowing voice services to be deployed across any type of cabling while providing a robust feature set to speed implementation and enable remote management of the network.

adtranHere are the top ten reasons to switch to ADTRAN:

  1. Faster Implementation: VoIP setup wizard, auto-provisioning of IP phones, zero-touch phone set-up, and single script configuration of multiple switches.
  2. Faster Troubleshooting: On-demand VoIP report, network forensics, and cable diagnostics tools.
  3. Connectivity over any Grade Cabling: ActivReach-enabled NetVanta Switches support Ethernet connectivity over CAT5, CAT3 or legacy copper up to 1,600ft.
  4. Greater Security: Port scheduler disables ports and powers down devices during non-business hours, Denial of Service (DoS) protection, AOS Security Audit tool assists in the Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) compliance.
  5. Increased Uplink Bandwidth: Up to 80 Gbps for inter-switch connectivity, utilizing four uplink ports that support 1, 2.5 or 10 Gbps uplinks.
  6. Cloud-Ready: Automate switch on-boarding, firmware upgrades or back-ups (single switch or entire network) with ADTRAN’s ProCloud could managed services.
  7. Enhanced PoE Budget: Higher PoE budget (standard 370 W) on all NetVanta 24- and 48-port PoE switches and NetVanta GigE PoE switches provide up to 25.5W of PoE for HD video-conference IP-phones.
  8. Power Redundancy: PoE power redundancy up to 370 W (Select NetVanta switches) utilizing an external NV1131 RPS/EPS unit, minimizing disruptions due to power outages.
  9. Industry Leading Warranties and Support: Comprehensive limited lifetime warranty on all NetVanta switches, included software updates and upgrades as well as advance hardware replacement and 24×7 phone support for the duration of the warranty.
  10. Complete Portfolio: Comprehensive portfolio of 12-, 24- and 48- port managed Fast Ethernet, Gigabit, Fiber, ActivChassis and ActivReach switches with optional PoE.
What's Happening with ADTRAN at ITEXPO East 2014 in Miami?
ADTRAN to make exciting announcement at ITEXPO 2014 in Miami. Stay tuned…

Up until next week we’re highlighting our partners who are exhibiting at ITEXPO Miami 2014 to learn what’s new at this year’s show.

ITEXPO, running from January 28th through January 31st, is a business technology event and tradeshow for VoIP, Unified Communications, Cloud services, phone apps, and more.

3 Questions with ADTRAN About ITEXPO

We spoke with Andy Walston, Inside Channel Account Manager for ADTRAN, about what to expect at this year’s ITEXPO.

VoIP Supply:  For those who aren’t familiar with your company, can you tell us a little bit about ADTRAN?

ADTRAN:  ADTRAN, Inc. is a leading global provider of networking and communications equipment, with a portfolio of intelligent solutions deployed by some of the world’s largest service providers, distributed enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses. ADTRAN solutions enable voice, data, video and Internet communications across copper, fiber and wireless network infrastructures.

VS:  What products will you be featuring at this year’s IT EXPO and will you be unveiling anything new?

ADTRAN:  We will be making an exciting announcement at IT Expo, but we really are trying to keep it under wraps until next Wednesday.

Products showcased at IT Expo will include:

  • Virtual Wireless LAN,
  • Unified Communications,
  • IP PBX and Converged IP Telephony systems,
  • Business-class SIP phones,
  • IP business gateways,
  • Managed PoE and Gigabit switches,
  • Access routers,
  • and Wireless Access Points.

VS:  Where can people find you at ITEXPO?

ADTRAN:  Our booth is #300, located at the front of the show hall.

Adtran Cover photo

ADTRAN is a unique company; instead of replacing models, they simply make their existing models better.

ADTRAN’s most recent release is the third generation of the Total Access 900e IP Business Gateways. If you’re not very familiar with ADTRAN, stay tuned; for the people who are familiar with ADTRAN, rest assured all the old Total Access 900e features are still included, and then some.

Adtran TA 900e Series

Total Access 900e IP Business Gateways are known as carrier-class gateways. A traditional service provider such as AT&T or Verizon use TDM switches for their services, and to transform those signals into IP service, you’ll need a gateway with a T1 interface. Here is where ADTRAN comes in. The Total Access line had previously offered a T1 interface, FXS ports, and a single Ethernet interface which gave users IP capability to their existing legacy equipment, along with data connectivity and VoIP functions such as Voice Quality Monitoring and Quality of Service. ADTRAN also integrated a full featured IP router which provided the gateways with this data routing and Internet connectivity. Users could expect the gateway to perform stateful inspection firewall for security and have dynamic bandwidth allocation.

Now take all those features and add-on these:

  • 66% performance increase in router performance
  • Better enabled bandwidth for faster services at 100 Mbps
  • Multiple T1 interfaces: Quad T1/FT1 and RJ-48C and USB 2.0
  • 3 Ethernet interfaces: 1 Gigabit and 2 Fast
  • Hardware-based Network Address Translation (NAT) for IP address concealment and security
  • Supports 802.1q Virtual LAN (VLan) Trunking
  • Optional Enterprise Session Border Control (eSBC) with an additional upgrade
  • Optional outbound FXO lifeline for improved flexibility with hardware configuration

These are just a few of the dozens upon dozens of features of the Total Access 900e Gen 3 IP Business Gateways. Chris Thompson, director of product management for ADTRAN, stated in their press release: “As carrier experts continue to choose ADTRAN for their network, we have raised the bar on the performance and features of the Total Access 900e to address new applications and capabilities needed to take high-performance networks to the next level.”

ADTRAN does it right by maintaining a good product and updating the line when it’s beneficial to the customer. In a world of changing technology, it’s key to have a device that can manage the transition from aged-out analog equipment to VoIP hardware. The Total Access 900e Series can keep your fax machine running while supporting VoIP phones smoothly. If you’re looking for flexibility and scalability, Adtran might be the perfect route for you.