First off, I’m sorta new to asterisk, so please bear with my bad terminology use (and I’d appreciate corrections for the future ). I’ve also been reading up on this and haven’t found enough information to answer all my questions.
I’m planning a large-scale asterisk deployment. The project isn’t on a hurried schedule which opens up the time for self-education and some experimentation (hence why I’d appreciate higher-level answers instead of technical details - those we can tackle later ).
There are 5 large offices with >100 people per office, and many ancillary offices with 10-20 people in them. The intent is to deploy a VOIP system (obviously) - but also have the following features:
- Local “trunk” or “hub” or “PBX” per large site - smaller sites would VPN into the nearest “hub” and latch onto the phone system as such.
- Hubs would be interconnected (via VPN, for security), thus providing company-wide VOIP
- The tricky one: we’d like the ability for a single user to have the same extension regardless of which HUB they “connect” (register?) in, without having to accrue any management overhead save initial server configuration(s) whenever this happens (i.e. no manual work involved in the “extension move”).
For instance, say extension 2345 belongs to Bob who’s usually in the California office (which has it’s own “hub” server) but he travels to the New York office for a few days (which also has its own “hub” server). Bob would arrive at NY, and connect to the local NY server normally, as if he were connecting to his usual California server (DNS and whatnot would be dealt with separately - let’s assume that works magically). The trick is that now, if a call comes in for Bob, the call would need to get automagically routed to NY instead of California. Not sure if this is what “follow me” does. Ideally this would all be transparent - i.e. no “move his extension”, no “reconfigure the servers”, no special intervention from anyone - including Bob.
I’m sure there are other important details such as voicemail - how would the PBX system handle a voicemail check request from Bob if he’s in NY? (i.e. presumably his voicemail would be in the Cali server…)
I’m sure there are a billion other considerations but I’d like help and guidance as to what could be done, what couldn’t (easily, i.e. without substantial coding) be done, and any documentation that might prove enlightening.
From what I’ve read, Asterisk supports LDAP so I suppose a mechanism such as having a script that’s executed upon registration could be used to update LDAP and set the “current server” for the extension - thus it would be possible to program the PBX to do a translation such that 2345@california can be translated to 2345@new-york (for instance). This would achieve the transparent “call transfer” (I think… I’m sure it wouldn’t be this simple… please correct me as appropriate).
However, under that mechanism, how would voicemail reading be handled? I guess a “voicemail server” property in LDAP could also be kept but the question is: would it be possible to tell local PBX’s (hub?) to do a lookup and see which server a particular extension’s voicemail is stored in and fetch it (or forward the voicemail call or access request) accordingly?
Thanks for any insights you might offer![/list]