The Influence of Network Convergence on VoIP
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Voice traffic operating within a shared packetized data network must meet the stringent expectations set forth by its circuit switched predecessor. Increases in network throughput, decreases in end-to-end latency, jitter and the prioritization of traffic have collectively made packetized voice a viable and virulent reality. Comprised of an assortment of intelligent interconnected devices, the data network provides many notable advantages over its circuit switch predecessor. Some of the very features that make packetized voice so appealing, and cost effective, introduce complications and undo complexities to networks both small and large. One such feature, redundancy, aims to eliminate single points of failure but requires the introduction of purpose built protocols to ensure that the network remains loop free, an undesirable condition that can renders the network inoperable. It is these very technologies, and their impact to packetized voice performance, on the data network, which was the focus of this study. The influence of network convergence on voice applications was assessed using synthetic voice traffic, over virtual and physical topologies, representative of Enterprise LAN topographic components. VoIP performance assessments were conducted, evaluating commonly used OSI layer-2 (e.g. Spanning Tree, Rapid Spanning Tree), and layer-3 (RIP, OSPF, and EIGRP) LAN protocols.