Asterisk installation for 12 E1 trunks

Hi all,

I am planning a new installation for a project i am working on that requires 12 E1 trunks. Using the 3 TE4xxP boards i can reach this capacities but i have some questions regarding this design:

  1. As of my knowledge the right way is to put only one TE4xxP board in each server. So that means that i will need three servers to carry the E1 boards. Is that right, or i can use more than one TE4xxP board in a single server?

  2. If i use more than one servers to put the TE4xxP boards, what is the best way to make them act as one system? Using effectively the dial plan is one way, so one user can call the other, but how can i make the resources (E1 trunks) available to all the users? For example if a new incoming calls coming in from a trunk that resides to box 1 to be routed to an available user in box 3 etc… Same holds true for outgoing, so if a user want to make an outgoing call how can he use E1 resources that resides in a different box than he registered?

  3. In the same page like question (2), how can i use applications like Vicidial that use all the resources of the system as one.

Thanks in advance for your answers.

Hi

How many users ?

I havent use * for large multiples of e1s but have used other systems and basicly the users are on one system and all calls are trunked to the other servers

                  Lan                  PSTN
                   |--e1 server -------
                   |--e1 server--------
User server--------|--e1 server--------
                   |--e1 server--------

Ian

[quote=“gvagenas”]Hi all,

  1. As of my knowledge the right way is to put only one TE4xxP board in each server. So that means that i will need three servers to carry the E1 boards. Is that right, or i can use more than one TE4xxP board in a single server?

[/quote]

You would put all the cards in the same system, they connect to each other via cables so that way one acts as a marter card the others are all slave card.

In saying that, you will need to make sure you have a powerful system to do this, and you will need to get the right cards as well, do not get the cheapest you can get.

Below are my recommendations>

For Digium Cards;

digium.com/en/products/hardware/te412p.php

And you will also need the cables that connect them up to each other, make sure you order them as well.

For Sangoma Cards;

Either two of these: sangoma.com/datasheets/a108-specs

Or 3 of these: sangoma.com/datasheets/p_aft-104-specs

No matter what you always get the D versions, running that many E-1’s you will need full DSP.

My personal Recommendation are the Sangoma Cards, however be warned that their Wanpipe Drivers are pretty buggy and the way the cards work with Asterisk is very very very odd, it will require more tweaking then the Digium cards, and can be frustrating, but all_in_all the Sangoma cards are by far more robust and do in fact produce better quality then the Digium cards (Sorry to loyal Digium users, but facts are facts).

Also Sangoma you get 5 years warranty with the cards, Digium 1-2 years, their support is better then Digiums which really is non existant anyway, and you can put Sangoma techs on MSN and chat to them that way. With Digium you will need to pay for support, and if you search the forums and other forums out there, you will see people complaining about this and how Digium suck when it comes to supporting their products.

However, in saying that the Digium cards are cheaper, and they do work pretty much out of the box, but if you plan on pushing huge volumes down the cards and using Asterisk at the same time, do expect some issues, just make sure your prepared for this.

Cheers,

David.

Thanks for your answers,

David, that means that if i have a powerful server i can put two of the sangoma 8-E1 cards in the same system with no problem?

Sangoma cards have the same requirements as far as the IRQ as with the Digium cards?

Thanks

[quote=“gvagenas”]Thanks for your answers,

David, that means that if i have a powerful server i can put two of the sangoma 8-E1 cards in the same system with no problem?

Sangoma cards have the same requirements as far as the IRQ as with the Digium cards?

Thanks[/quote]

Ok in regards to the 108D cards, YES for sure, if the system is specced correctly you will have a smooth running system with no problems at all, although the card handles the majority of the work, it is best to make sure the system is not going to be starved of any power or resources, i would rather over kill then under kill, but that is just me.

In regards to the IRQ resources, let me just put it this way, you can have 10 PCI slots and 10 108D cards and you will not get one Conflict at all, the Sangoma cards handle the resources fantastically, although i believe Digium are repairing this problem with their cards now, which is good to hear, there are still some issues with this and sometimes you never know and you can spend hours diagnosing problems and never suspect it.

If your going to order the 108D cards, make sure you order their cables and don’t bother making your own, i have seen some disasters and i can tell you they can give you never ending headaches and become living nightmares, the extra cost is negligible to be honest.

If you choose to go the Digium path (Nothing wrong with that either) try your best to have two systems identical with the same OS and specifications, one as your DEV box the other as your Production box, make sure you find the best way to do the install, the DEV box should be used to do any development that is pertaining to the production box, too hard to explain the reason why to do it this way, but consider it as a preemptive warning i guess.

Any other info you need just post it and i will try to help out as much as possible.

(NOTE) What i post is purely my opinion, i am sure there are others out there with greatly different opinion, and they maybe should post as well so that way you can try and be as informed as possible, i also have nothing against Digium, and i am not biased towards Sangoma as we use both brands, i just favor the Sangoma ones due to the way they are designed and built, i am all about ease of use, craftsmanship and support of a product, if the product is not well supported i tend to avoid using them unless i have to use them.

Cheers,

David.

David,

What you wrote regarding the Sangoma and IRQ resources means to me that i have only to worry about a server with enough CPU power, memory and disk space. Not anymore worries about the server to provide unique IRQ to the PCI slot etc. Right?

As far as the Wanpipe drivers, you said that are kind of buggy and might give me some trouble to configure, but isn’t there any standard configuration that i can work and use as a template or something?

Also as far as the echo cancellation module of the cards, since the telco provider is doing the echo cancellation for the E1 trunks, i still need the card to be supplied with hardware echo cancellation module?

And final, the cables you mention, are the cables to interconnect two A108D cards or the E1 trunks to the card?

Thanks
George

Also i suppose that the Sangoma cards will provide timer for the system similar to the zaptel timer provided by a TE4xxP, right?

i also prefer the Sangoma products i have used so far over the Digium equivalents. i can’t say they are any more expensive, but appear to be better made and the whole package gives you confidence in them.

the drivers could be described as buggy if you use the beta or alpha versions, but the stable releases seem to be exactly that … stable.

the config does appear more complicated, but the later versions of wanpipe have setup wizards that help you through most of it.

[quote=“gvagenas”]David,

What you wrote regarding the Sangoma and IRQ resources means to me that i have only to worry about a server with enough CPU power, memory and disk space. Not anymore worries about the server to provide unique IRQ to the PCI slot etc. Right?[/quote]

Yes correct.

They are not bad, it is best to use the wancfg wizard, this will guide you through the install via a GUI, change everything you need to change in the wizard itself, it is also not recommended to manually edit the files, best to use the program to do that as well. Also their FAQ on their Wiki site is pretty informative i suggest you pay a visit to it and read up.

Yes you still need it, the carrier only provide Echo cancellation on their end not your end, and you want to try and avoid the system having to have to do any of the work, it is always best to get the card to do it since it was designed for that task. Do your best not to rely on the carrier as much as possible, you may learn the hard way and expensive way that this is not always a good option.

If you look at the Picture on their page, you will see that there are 2X RJ45 cables plugged into 1X RJ45 Head, they have designed the cards to use up all 8 wires per port, whereas a standard E-1 card only uses 4 wires. This was very smart of them to do that, the only other cards i have seen do that before are the XDS cards which i have always used, but are much more expensive then Sangoma, but quality difference is not much really. Alls that this means is that a 4 Port card becomes an 8 Port card, and that the processor on board is more powerful to handle this, quite smart really as it reduces manufacturing costs in my opinion.

Well that is up too you actually, you choose if the timing is on your end or the carriers end, i recommend you play with this settings, or use your end first and if any problems then set the far end (Carrier) as the timing source. Sometimes these settings are best discovered trial by error, whilst the majority of the card setup is done by the configuration wizard something may require manual intervention.

Cheers,

David.

So timing issue is being handled the same way like with Digium boards, so nothing to change for applications that are depending on the timing source like conference.

David thanks a lot for all the useful information you provided .

No worries buddy.

Cheers,

David.

  1. what kind of a cable is needed for connecting 2 Sangoma A108. In this case can I use one point code or the same signalling on port one for all the 16 ports.

  2. what are the jumpers for on A108. Is there any detailed documentation about this card.

Thanks