I found out about Asterisk from the Systm episode and ever since I have been itching to give it a try.
Recently my parents small home publishing company has been growing and they converted our basement into an office. The growth has been good but not in the eyes of the long distance phone companies who have one by one been yanking them off unlimited onto pay as you go plans. They cannot afford the kinds of plans these companies insist they use and Vonage service is so low quality that customers complain about it whenever they use that. So my solution was to start going ahead and building a low end pc for them to use as an Asterisk box.
They currently only have cable with 384 - 512k upload speeds (different speeds during peak hours than off peak). They are willing to go up to a business class cable service providing them with 1.5mbps but first I have to get something working to show them this is really something they can rely on.
Last year I switched them to Cisco managed switching and alongside this project I will be installing an IPCop mini-itx router to manage the traffic better. This should help on the QOS end since the asterisk box will be (because there is no second option for high speed access at my residence) sharing the bandwidth with 12 - 15 pc’s.
To start what I need to understand is exactly what service to use for VOIP, so I can start a test line with them and play with the quality settings until I get everything just right. I need a 100% reliable service because they make calls to many different government agencies to publish their books and if the phones don’t work then the company grinds to a bleeding halt.
Next I need to know how I can use a 4 line phone system we already have with the system. It is one of those get the phone line in one place and then everything talks to the receiver systems. I know there is TONS of documentation on this particular system but I feel like i’m drowning in wiki’s and books after the last couple of days, if anyone can provide me with a direct link or even better models that I need that would be amazing.
Now as for the PC.
This is going to be a 4 line system to start, maybe more in time. I would like to get a low end sub $500 system to start and later migrate up to whatever system they need in the future. I figure a lower end Sempron or Pentium-D with two 80gb drives in Raid-1 will do the trick. If anyone has a better idea or thinks i’m missing something please feel free to add to this. I am going to get a battery backup capable of shutting down the system even in Linux so that shouldn’t be much of a hassle.
Sorry that this is so long but I wanted to cover as much as possible because I feel the advice I need should be given by informed individuals.
.:: Edit ::.
In all of that I forgot to mention that I have bought a copy of each of these in case someone wants to reference something in them.
Building Telephony Systems with Asterisk
Asterisk : The Future of Telephony