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This site was created as a place to share stories, tips, and troubleshooting help with ShoreTel/Mitel systems. ShoreTel/Mitel is obviously the MOST exciting VoiP platform on the market right now, and we realized there was no centralized place to discuss this platform, but now there is. Please feel free to join and share your experiences.

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  • When Should a Remote Site Have There Own ShoreTel VOIP Switch

    We are the process of planning a VOIP rollout to various remote sites. These sites will have between 3 to 25 users and will be connected back to our site using either a 1MB or 2MB VPN connection respectively.

    We were initially going to put no ShoreTel VOIP switches at these sites and have them all connect back to our ShoreTel VOIP switch over the VPN connection. The logic being was that most of the smaller sites usually only make one outbound call at a time and even with internal calls, the phones (ShoreTel 115) only need to access the VOIP switches for call initiation and call maintenance. As such VPN traffic should be minimal.

    The question I have is what size should a site be before it is recommended that a seperate Shoretel VOIP switch be installed and what should the deciding parameters be (i.e. number of handsets, call volume etc).

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    ShoreTel Switch in Smaller Remote Offices

    We went through much this same line of questioning and here's what we decided.

    We place a ShoreTel switch in every remote location and have a minimum of 2 local POTS lines configured as trunks on that switch. Here's our thinking:

    1. Local POTS lines gives us the ability to do "least cost" call routing.
    2. Local POTS lines support 911.
    3. Local POTS gives the users dial tone and outside lines if we lose the WAN connection to that location.
    4. Local POTS gives us a "backdoor" number into the remote facilities. The published number for our company is mapped to our PRIs.
    5. Local POTS lines give us fire/security alarm outbound circuits. We use RJ-31X boxes to allow the fire/security alarm auto-dialer to "seize" the circuit should they need.

    I think the one that really sold our management was 911 ability.



    • #3

      If money allows, I would place some sort of small shoretel switch at each location.

      Sharing remote PRI's seems to work much better than trying to use a remote switch does......

      i also agree with one local pots line at each location..... 911 is a nice thing to have...... you normally need something for an alarm panel or postage machine anyway.....

      if you had fiber, or real PTP clearline t1's you might be able to get away with it....... with VPN's I think you will drive yourself absolutely crazy with stability issues using a remote switch....

      if the site is REALLY small (1-3 users), you could try the Shoretel SSL Gateway... I havent gotten one yet, but have heard great things about it. It was designed to allow connections over a vpn type situation.
      Last edited by eazeaz; 08-04-2009, 12:29 PM.


      • #4
        to switch or not

        Switch is the way to go if you have any Telco presence it allows you to leverage shoretel’s features / architecture as well. It is also nearly the only solution to 911 a VPN concentrator is more suitable for none local trunk environments with minimal users at a single location. And if your local lines at any of these sites are published then this would be a possible concern for you as well.


        • #5
          We always try to put out at least a SG-30 for the POTS lines. 911 is the primary reason. If they don't want a switch, we actually make them sign a waiver that says there is no 911 from ShoreTel phones at the site without a SG unit.