Call Center Too Big For One Box : Now What?

What to do when call volume gets too large for a monolithic Asterisk box and you need to use queues?

Like the concept of OpenSER/OpenSIP backed with Asterisk services but question how this work with queues.

Say there are two asterisk servers to provide queuing, and one client is put on each. Ast1/Q1 and Ast2/Q2.

If an agent SIP/proxy/1000 is a queue member of Ast1/Q1 and Ast2/Q2 can each Asterisk box determine the device state so that calls waiting in each queue do not present at the same time to agent?

pm sent…

This is our number 1 reason for not buying an Asterisk based PBX. Is there a solution for this in the development pipeline? When we got a sales presentation for the SwitchVox… I thought I remember them saying there would be something in the “next release”… which was months ago.

Been about a year and no real answer here. It seems the right answer is to use multiple asterisk boxes and reduce them to nothing more than dumb media gateways. Then place the coordination of the queues and agents logic on a central server. Something like how Cisco Call Manager and IPCC interact. But not a small task.

  1. call arrives at Asterisk, is announced and handed off to central controller

  2. central controller coordinates call treatment while waiting for an agent

  3. central controller reserves agent for a call

  4. central controller dispatches call to agent

Following up to my own post here. Asterisk as of 1.6 has the capability of distributing device state over a LAN environment with OpenAIS. Asterisk as of 1.8 can do the same via XMPP in a WAN environment.

What this allows one to do now is implement as many queue servers as required to hold the volume but ring agent devices that are not registered to the same box. I’m thinking pool of queue severs in a data center close to the ITSP and registration servers in site A and site B where agents actually sit. Very cool.

What asterisk still does not have is the ability to scale a queue out across more than one server. It is not like Cisco IPCC or some other products that have a routing engine that plays traffic cop that can scale to thousands of callers that uses media servers as dumb hold music / announcement players.

At least that is how I understand the current Asterisk ecosystem to be as of 2012.