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Switching to VoIP Paperback – July 7, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0596008680 ISBN-10: 0596008686 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born and raised in Detroit, MI, Ted Wallingford began working with information systems at the age of 7, when his father brought home a used Timex Sinclair 1000 computer and a notepad of hand-written BASIC programs from a garage sale. This little machine was the start of an eclectic career in the business of bits and bytes.While working in the data center at ad agency J. Walter Thompson, Ted began to write articles for computer magazines. This led him into writing marketing materials for Gateway Computer and the former Amiga Inc., where he was also webmaster in 1999. As I.T. Director for a large, private construction firm, Ted transformed a single-operator midrange computer room into a mission-critical 24x7 data center hosting services for lines of business across the country. Ted has designed and implemented Voice over IP on networks large and small. He offers network design for VoIP systems and product management assistance for up'n'coming VoIP carriers through his macVoIP.com consulting practice. Ted believes that VoIP and the Internet are today's revolution in distance communication.Aside from technology and writing, Ted has served as a member of the board of trustees for an international adoption agency in suburban Cleveland, where he lives with his wife and two children. Ted is currently working on Switching to VoIP for O'Reilly Media.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (July 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596008686
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596008680
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
It seems like Voice over Internet Protocol, aka VoIP, is starting to become much more mainstream. Not only are businesses switching over, but now you can set up your home phone access to use VoIP (aka "broadband") technology. Ted Wallingford has done a nice job in explaining the business side of the possibilities in the book Switching to VoIP - A Solutions Manual for Network Professionals.

Contents: Voice and Data - Two Separate Worlds?; Voice over Data - Many Conversations, One Network; Linux as a PBX; Circuit-Switched Telephony; Enterprise Telephone Applications; Replacing the Voice Circuit with VoIP; Replacing Call Signaling with VoIP; VoIP Readiness; Quality of Service; Security and Monitoring; Troubleshooting Tools; PSTN Trunks; Network Infrastructure for VoIP; Traditional Apps on the Converged Network; What Can Go Wrong?; VoIP Vendors and Services; Asterisk Reference; SIP Methods and Responses; AGI Commands; Asterisk Manager Socket API Syntax; Glossary; Index

I think the biggest thing to keep in mind when approaching this book is the target audience. While there are a few books out there on "internet telephones" that talk to the consumer, this isn't one of them. The tag line of "for Network Professionals" is the key here. While you don't have to be a network guru to read this book, some level of familiarity with network and telephony concepts would help. Someone either working with the communication systems in a company or heading up a communications department would be a perfect match here. You'd probably even do alright if you just have an interest in the subject, as Wellingford does a good job taking what can be complex material and making it understandable. An admirable task in itself...
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Darin Rand on August 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
As the telcom manager for a rather large enterprise (45,000 users) I try to keep up on the various books on VoIP and this one is pretty good. It is designed towards someone who is knowledgeable about voice and data but not necessarily someone how is an expert in either subject. It also does a very good job of not focusing on any one type of technology but covers H.323, SIP and Cisco amongst many others and gives you a good sense of each flavor that is available. I would recommend it for anyone looking to deploy VoIP.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By W. Sears on April 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book a lot and also read Cisco Press's "Taking Charge of Your VoIP Project" by Walker and Hicks.

Here's my frame of reference on reading and reviewing this book. I am a sys admin at a 75-person company, and I am generalist (Windows servers and desktops, LAN/WAN/wireless, switches/routers/firewalls, VPN, security, training, helpdesk, and phones). This book was targeted at someone like me, who has a networking background but little phone background. We have a full-featured TeleVantage phone system that runs on a Windows server with a 24-channel T1 line to the phone company. I know enough about it to run our phone system, but I don't know much about the underlying telephone technology.

I am considering upgrading to VoIP, because my PCI phone cards (T1 card and telephone station cards) in my phone server are old and no longer supported by new versions of TeleVantage. However, TeleVantage supports VoIP, so all I would have to do is remove the PCI cards and instead use my WAN connection to the outside world and my LAN as my connection to my phones.

This book does a good job explaining traditional telephone technology and then VoIP. The author wrote the open-source VoIP software called Asterisk, so he can speak authoritatively to VoIP. If you are so inclined, you can follow his labs (Projects) throughout the books and build your own VoIP system on Linux and Asterisk. I felt the book had the right level of technical depth for someone of my background.

I thought he also does a good job making a project of moving to VoIP very practical in a business setting.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By HugeStakkaBoFan VINE VOICE on January 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't say this book will answer every question you might have about every piece of VoIP hardware on the market today, but it does a pretty good job of building an understanding of the core concepts shared amongst all the brand names so that you can make the jump from general to specific without too much hair pulling. If any specific product is given more attention than others, it's Asterisk, but that's not only welcome, it's unavoidable given the subject matter. The treatment it receives here also beats the everloving tar out of the O'Reilly book dedicated to Asterisk exclusively.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Downing on May 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
I teach VoIP & SIP Hands on training classes to clients all over the World for TrainingCity.com. Every week I'm asked what books to buy and I always recommend "Switching to VoIP" as a great starting point to build your knowledge base.

The book is excellent for beginners who need to get up to speed and are looking to build a home lab using open source products such as Asterisk.
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I have been looking to use the VoIP capabilities to do video conferencing and provide smart phone videophone access to existing videophones. I have one of these video phones to use as a base system from a large provider. Perhaps I was expecting too much from this book, because it didn't give me more than a couple of pages of hints. However, it gave me more than any other book on VoIP in the way of a clue as to where to search. Nevertheless, for me this book has been a primary introduction to VoIP.

On the other hand, this is an excellent book to help a business administrator become effective in managing a VoIP system and providing examples of command line commands to make this type of system operate correctly. Although the book is becomming dated, it is five years old now, it apparently covers the area of VoIP administration and configuration well. It is going to take me months of further research to explore these areas well enough to see how well this system can provide me with video conferencing ability to smart phones. Perhaps it won't be enough, perhaps the conceptes in this book will lead me to a solution.

In summary, this book is the best of several VoIP books that I have bought in search of understanding VoIP and applying it on Linux systems. If you want to know how to modify the code for your particular application, you will need to seek further on the internet. But, this is an excellent reference and I am happy to add it to my reference book collection. However, I do think that an appendix should have been added to help in seeking full knowledge of this area and I am withholding one star because of its absence.
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