Extend your VOIP Network to Remote Locations with Big Network
At Big Network, we’re big fans of Ubiquity Network’s UniFi gear. Many of us run their gateways, switches, and wireless access points in our home network environments. When Ubiquity released their Voice over IP offering, called UniFi Talk, we were intrigued and wanted to try it out.
UniFi Talk is a SIP-based VOIP system. A local PBX, based upon FreeSwitch, is deployed to your local UniFi controller. Hardware VOIP phones are deployed on your local area network (LAN) which connect back to the UniFI Talk controller. Inward and outside dialing from/to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) is integrated into the offering with Twilio. Overall, a very easy to use setup for the average branch office.
An element missing from the UniFi solution is the ability to deploy remote extensions. A remote extension is a phone which is deployed remotely from the local LAN where the UniFI Talk controller is hosted. Other platforms allow for remote extensions, such as the Asterisk PBX or native FreeSwitch PBX, but this often can come with serious trade offs, such as your voice stream traversing the Internet unencrypted and susceptible to intercept.
Using Big Network, I was able to solve this quickly. In my scenario, I have two locations with two ISPs each, both deployed with Big Edge Pro.
Big Network and the Edge Pro allow you to seamlessly create Layer 2 LAN extensions, enabled with full encryption of the data path and multipath SD-WAN scenarios. In this case, we simply use Big Edge to securely extend the Local LAN to the remote location. DHCP, TFTP, SIP, and RTP work just as though we’re on the local network.
Let’s take a look at some configuration:
In this screen, we create a Voice LAN service on the Edge Pro. We bind the Cloud Network called “Q7 Voice LAN” to the physical port #2. This creates a logical binding between Port #2 on the Edge Pro, and use it extend that LAN via the Voice LAN Cloud Network. Any other devices attached to that Cloud Network will get Layer 2 access. For the remote side, we simply repeat the configuration.
Once configured, our remote device looks like this: Port #1 is connected to ISP #1. Port #2 is connected to ISP #2. Port #3 is connected to our remote VOIP phone. We’re done!
It is also worth noting that in this configuration, the connections to ISP #1 and ISP #2 are behind standard NAT gateways. Due to Big Network’s unique NAT traversal technology, we do not need to locate the Big Edge at the border of the local network, provide it with globally routable WAN IPs, configure Dynamic DNS, Port Forwarding, or DHCP reservations. Just plug it in!