Asterisk@home in SOHO business?


#1

I see the pros say over and over “don’t try to use Asterisk@home in biz environment”.

What are the specific issues we need to be scared of?

We have an office with 4 anolog phone lines and 8-10 extensions.

Thansk!
Matt


#2

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself :slight_smile:

But seriously, I would not reccomend asterisk @ home. It cripples you. Although your initial config will be harder the asterisk config files are not really all that bad. and after its done you have learned and will be able to use that information later. where as with asterisk@home you are no further along. As for a soho system, asterisk is more than powerful enough to meet your needs there.

Matt


#3

I always get this vague “it’s crippled” answer.

What specifically is crippled? Any specifics so I can plan a soho install?

Is it amps way of handling the config files?

Thanks!
Matt


#4

Asterisk @ home has the following major problems. It does not provide you the tools for building asterisk from scratch on the machine asterisk is installed on. This can be a problem if a bug fix comes out that you need that asterisk@home has not updated their packages for or not up to date with our release cycle.
Secondly they have a config file scheme that is not meant to be human readable, all the config files are broken into multiple files which does not make for easy editing and reading.
Thirdly they appear to have versions of asterisk, libpri, and zaptel that are slightly different than digium cvs, or stable releases which can create vast problems when attempting to track bugs or other problems you might be having.


#5

I think so Asterisk At Home is recommended for a bussiness company, i have working with AAH V1.0 in a a company with a Two E1 and 200 extensions, unbelieve? is working and have me MOH, Digital Receptionist, Directory, VoiceMail, Conference and more…

Its ok!

Regards


#6

Opinion, I think. Digium purests persist in everyone learning to build a box and dialplan from the ground up. Most businesses will do quite well with Asterisk@Home by using good gear and select releases (v0.8 and v1.0 so far appear the best - v1.1 we’re still reviewing). Updates are a little tricky in Asterisk regardless of a homegrown or Asterisk@Home solution.

Remember, Asterisk@Home is simply CentOS v3.0 (Red Hat Enterprise v3.0), Asterisk, Supporting libraries, Coalescent’s dialplan and web mgmt interface, and some bullshit extras.

We spent three weeks leanring how to correctly setup, configure, and use Asterisk by hand with our own dial plan. In retrospect, a great experience to learn the power and flexibility of Asterisk as well as it’s limitations. Still highly recommend Asterisk@Home unless you are doing large, custom or critical installs (some people have Asterisk@Home reboot at midnight every few weeks to play it safe — I’ve since found many people running Asterisk the Digium way do the same thing — just depends what you do I guess).

We have a customer that we setup and was quite happy with Asterisk@Home. Upgraded their Digium board and didn’t want to bother us to assist with the update (which should have taken all of 2-3 minutes)so called Digium support instead who spent literally 2.5 hours dickering around their box and firewall, ultimately screwed the install up seriously - the whole while condemning Asterisk@Home as junk. Took us literally 12 minutes to redo the entire installation from scratch and return it to a functional/stable format.

Bottom line, Asterisk@Home is based on the Coalescent guy’s creaky web management interface and dialplan. By spliting things up they provide for generic customization while allowing for updates, however it does obfuscate the call flow a little – but not that hard to follow, really! Secondly, every release Asterisk@home has done has bugs or issues. However, use good handsets, quality server, and known or Digium cards and it’s generally pretty fool-proof just be careful which release you use.

I personally would recommend Asterisk@Home v0.8 or v1.0 as the most workable releases. Still reviewing v1.1 currently.

For example – we have setup 12 systems from 4x8 to 12x42 (trunks x extensions) using Asterisk@Home and many months later we have had very few issues once we found the v0.8 & v1.0 releases were the best (and added in a few chunks of code for missing features, etc.).

Also don’t shortcut yourself on the server (Dell SC420’s and Poweredge 750’s are very inexpensive and reliable Asterisk servers), your boards (no wellgate quirky stuff, no matter how cheap), or your handsets (Cisco may be tricky to master initially, but there is a wealth of support info out there and they ultimately do it all).

Just another Asterisk lover’s take.


#7

IMHO, if your going to put Asterisk in a business environment you should have the technical ability to get into the details of it should the need arise and it WILL sooner or later. If you have that ability they you have no need to use Asterisk@home because you will be capable of installing it from scratch yourself. It’s not so much that asterisk@home won’t do the job IMHO but that by installing it from scratch you are more one with the system so to speak. Asterisk@home is good if someone just want’s to experiment a bit as an introduction to Asterisk and not spend too much time getting into the details.