Cisco says government users are early adopters of IP phones

Cisco says government users are early adopters of IP phones

CallManager 3.0 can cluster up to five convergence servers and can support up to 10,000 users

By William Jackson

GCN Staff

Cisco Systems Inc.'s Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data (AVVID) products now include IP telephones, call management software, a multimedia server, and interface cards and modules for Catalyst 6000 switches.

The San Jose, Calif., company has shipped 250,000 voice over IP ports on its switches and sold 50,000 IP telephones last year, half of them in the final three months, senior marketing director Martin DeBeer said. He said government agencies are among the early adopters of IP phones.

Formerly known as

The Cisco IP Phone 7960 can draw all necessary power from an Ethernet switch to carry phone and fax traffic via IP.

The Media Convergence Server 7835, a relabeled Compaq Computer Corp. 733-MHz Pentium III system, comes with 512M of RAM, dual 18.2G SCSI drives and optional dual processors. Each server can handle up to 2,500 users.

Cisco's CallManager 3.0 call management software clusters up to five of the convergence servers for scalability and high availability. Each server cluster can support up to 10,000 users. CallManager 3.0 runs under Microsoft Windows 2000, which Cisco has found to be more stable than Windows NT, DeBeer said.

Cisco also announced a 24-port analog gateway for conventional phone and fax systems, as well as an eight-port T1 gateway. All slot into any Catalyst 6000 switch.

The company's high-end IP Phone 7960 has a 5-inch display. It can query a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol directory as well as its own address book. The display shows lists of voice mail messages. The phone also can access predetermined Web sites. Two integrated 10/100-Mbps Ethernet ports allow hooking up to a server and plugging into a PC.

The entry-level IP Phone 7910 has features comparable to those in a standard display phone.

Phantom alert

Phone discovery technology is included in a 48-port Inline Power 10/100-Mbps line card for Catalyst 6000 switches. The card automatically recognizes an IP phone when plugged in and supplies it with the necessary 48 volts over the network.

The idea of 'phantom power''electricity sent over data lines at frequencies that do not interfere with other traffic'is not new, said Michael Rau, senior manager of Cisco's federal consulting organization. Such electrical transmission has been used to operate mechanical relays in token-ring systems, he said.

If a site already has Category 5 wiring, the IP Phone does not require infrastructure changes, Rau said.

The IP Phone 7960 will sell later this spring for $495 and the 7910 for $145, including software licenses. The MCS 7835 server will sell for $14,995 with CallManager 3.0 software. The software is a free upgrade for Cisco's current voice over IP users.

The Inline Power patch panel costs $4,995; a field upgrade for the Catalyst 6000 is $3,995. The 24-port analog gateway is $9,995, and the digital gateway $19,995.

A 48-port, $12,995 Inline Power patch panel also is available to provide network power to IP phones from other Catalyst switch models.

Contact Cisco at 800-553-6387.

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