Configuration recommendations for a small mortgage company

I am very experienced in linux and only somewhat in *. As the network engineer for a small mortgage company, I have been tasked with setting up a PBX for our satellite call center consisting of 12 loan officers.

There is currently a DSL line in the office and 9 phone lines. There will be more outbound traffic then inbound.

Here are my questions:

  1. What FXP hardware should I use for that many (9) analog lines … or should I trust that DSL has enough bandwidth to handle that?

  2. Would softphones work for each workstation?

  3. Can I “pool” out my analog and VOIP lines? What PCI hardware would split that out.

  4. What would be a suggested configuration for such a scenario?

Thanks in advance, Ive already gotten great ideas from this forum.

Whatever you do, don’t trust that DSL has enough bandwidth to handle that. Unless you have a very beefy DSL package, you’ll be stretching your luck pretty thin between phones and internet access (particularly since most DSL is asymmetric, offering you less outgoing bandwidth).

With that many analog lines, you’re looking at a channel bank for the lines and a T1 card (or E1 card, depending on your channel bank) for the Asterisk system.

So long as the workstations are powerful enough for the setup you elect to use, certainly. For the best sound quality, you’re probably going to want some decent headsets hooked up to each computer.

X-Lite would be fine for testing your solution, but I’d definitely move to a better (i.e., paid) product when you’re ready to take it live.

Assuming I understand what you’re meaning (use whatever line is open), you can configure Asterisk to do that for you – no additional hardware needed. The only hardware you need is the channel bank and interface card mentioned above.

Thanks for the quick response. I was hoping to push my luck on the DSL service, but its understandable if I cant. Yes, I should have said “balance” between FXP and T1.

So the recommendation would be to go to T1 (price wise) and so all VOIP? Or buy more analog lines and a large channel bank? And Im not guessing VOIP is all based on upspeed then. …

Additionally, what would be your hardware recomendations?

Can I use any FXP channel bank … should I go with an expensive Rhino?

I was doing some more research and noticed that there is the
TDM04B: TDM400P + 4 PORT FXO Bundle. Can I get 3 of those … is that feasible?

My ideal set up would be the 10 analog lines all on softphones with the ability to transfer/3 way conference w/ hang up.

I was envisioning:

I dont know if the * world is that simple :smiley:

Thanks again :smiley:

The T1 card would be for connecting to the channel bank – the setup I was envisioning would work like this:

You keep your existing analog lines.
You equip a channel bank with sufficient FXO modules.
The analog lines connect to the channel bank.
The channel bank connects, via T1 crossover cable, to the T1 card in your Asterisk server.
SIP clients connect to the Asterisk server, Asterisk dials out to the PSTN via the FXO modules in the channel bank or VoIP, depending on what’s open.

Or, the cheaper way!

The TDM400P is a great card, and you could indeed pop three of them in your server if you (a) have the room and (b) don’t plan on adding many more analog lines in the future. Certainly the savings versus a channel bank and T1 card could buy a lot of other stuff. The other concern with a box full of TDM400Ps would be shared IRQs, but generally if you’re not using a low-end system, you should be fine.

If you haven’t already checked your intended server against Digium’s compatibility notes, now would be a good time to do so. :smile:

Easy as pie. :smile:

Both of these options sound great to me. Of course, I would like something as scalable as the Rhino 24 FXO. This seems like a real doable project though. Our main concern would be the ability to do a live transfer, meaning call another satellite office and transfer the customer.

They are currently holding on the phone while waiting for the support to be completed and leaving the next customer on hold :frowning:

So, obviously I have my two options.

Thanks again