LLDP-MED speeds ShoreTel VoIP installations!
March 30th, 2009
Using a VoIP phone system and installing one, are two entirely different user experiences!  Most product development efforts focus necessarily on end user features and benefits. Anyone who has ever installed a VoIP system knows that if design engineers ever actually installed a system we would have a range of exciting new configuration automation tools! Case in point: LLDP. Until version 9, ShoreTel IP phone deployment was a two step process. First you would install your handsets on the net and they would boot up in the native VLAN. If you were deploying 100 desktops, this meant that the phones would eat up 100 of your native VLAN DHCP leases. The phones would then obtain their VLAN tag and reboot in the correct VLAN. The native VLAN lease damage, however was already done, not to mention waiting for that second boot DHCP broadcast request for service. A number of vendors had previously create proprietary discovery protocols to overcome this behavior. CISCO has always had CDP,( not to be confused with Enterasys Cabletron Discovery Protocol); Nortel had NDP; Extreme Networks had EDP and Foundry had FDP. In 2005 an industry standard, LLDP was adopted and later modified to become LLDP-MED or Link Layer Discovery Protocol for Media Endpoint Devices. ShoreTel, rather than event yet another vendor proprietary protocol has adopted this industry standard greatly simplifying IP phone deployment. LLDP-MED allows network devices to advertise their identify and capability through a multicast. This enables the phones to come up on the network in the correct VLAN, eliminating the multi-boot requirement. Now this is not a feature that an end user will notice or appreciate, but those of us who have to spend hours deploying VoIP desktops say Cheers!   update 2/15 see this link http://support.drvoip.com/admin/knowledgebase_private.php?article=43&back=1