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The Impact of Firewalls on Packet Voice

  • ID: 1363
  • January 2001
  • Region: Global
  • 42 pages
  • The Tolly Group
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Network managers seeking to integrate voice services into their data networks will need to consider the impact that network security has on latency-sensitive packet voice. At a minimum, voice traffic almost certainly will need to traverse firewalls that secure a network from unwanted access. Firewalls, however, may render packet voice useless if they block desired calls from completing or cause additional end-to-end latency, thereby lowering voice quality. Firewall implementations also vary by design and may, therefore, impact end-to-end latency differently.

This issue seeks to understand the impact that different firewall architectures have on the end-to-end latency and quality of voice delivered over a converged network. This issue focused on branch-to-branch and branch-to-remote scenarios that employ H.323 standards-based VoIP technology, and are secured using packet filtering firewalls. The WAN connection between the locations in each scenario was a simulated T1 with no additional jitter or packet loss induced. Furthermore, testing was limited to the impacts of firewall on voice quality in the absence of any traffic shaping or Quality-of-Service mechanisms.

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