Asterisk & Analog Lines?

Hi everyone,

I need your recommendations.

My current office in Malaysia has 5 analog lines (4 for phone calls and 1 for fax). 1 out of the 4 phone numbers is the main hunting number. We used a super old panasonic pbx and has no plans to use it anymore. Our current workforce is around 8 - 10 people. 4 at office and others mostly mobile workers. At max we will have 20 people, if we expand the team to have more sales people and some clerical workers.

I plan to propose to my boss to setup asterisk (maybe freepbx as the GUI) and he likes the idea of VOIP. I also believe Asterisk comes with Fax too, which makes things easier. However he is okay with the change, just the numbers can’t be changed.

4 questions.

  1. I have an existing server (quite new) which I can use (hopefully this spec is good enough?):-
  • 1 x Intel Xeon Quad-Core E3-1230v2 3.30Ghz processor
  • 5.0GTI, 6MB Intel Smart Cache, DMI, Hyper-Threading, Intel
    Turbo Boost 2.0, Intel Virtualization (VT-x) & (VT-d) Technology - Intel C202 PCH chipset
  • 4GB ECC DDR3 1333Mhz memory, max 32GB
  • 1 x 1.0TB 3.5" Enterprise SATA 3Gb/s, 64MB, 7.2K rpm
  • Intel C202 SATA2 RAID supporting level 0, 1, 5, 10
  • 1 x 1GbE Intel Gigabit Ethernet LAN port via
    PCIe x4 NIC
  1. But how about the 5 analog lines (4 phone numbers & fax line)? I assume I need to plug into some PCI card which serves both phone and fax purpose? or some ATA box? Any recommendations which works with Asterisk & FreePBX but reasonable cost?

  2. For the fax, I assume Asterisk is using HylaFax. Is the fax workable and good enough for small workforce? We receive around less than 100 faxes a month. We like the idea of HylaFax open source aka AvantFax (email to fax, fax to email, client to fax)… as you can fax anywhere, not necessary at the fax machine. Same to reading your faxes if someone fax to our office’s fax number. Do I need to buy another new server to allow communications between asterisk + freepbx and fax? or will it be the same box?

  3. Could I use the latest Asterisk 11.3.0 for office use? Well in a way production? Is it stable enough to be used in actual environments? Or is it better I get 1 version before this?

Any help from this community? Thanks.

The questions that you are asking are very basic and the answers to the questions were answered many time on this forum and on other places on the internet. So I will keep my answers very short.

  1. Server hardware is very good, well beyond what Asterisk needs for running

  2. I would use a FXO ATA device with enough ports. I have good experience with Patton SmartNode boxes, but they are not the cheapest product on the market …

  3. I don’t have any experience with HylaFax, so I can’t say anything about that. Personally I use Digium Free Fax for Asterisk. I you need only one concurrent channel, it’s free.

  4. The latest Asterisk 11 build is stable for running in production envoroment