Hardware specs?

We’ve recently had a nasty lightning strike that has crippled our existing phone system - an old, analog, NEC system. We’re looking to replace it.

We’ve been running some extensions off an Asterisk box for about a year now and we’re very happy with it. We’ve been contemplating moving the entire mess over to Asterisk eventually… But the lightning strike has suddenly changed our priorities.

Right now I’m just trying to put together some vague estimates of cost, to compare an Asterisk-based system to simply replacing our old analog box with a new analog box.

Does anyone have a good estimate of the kind of hardware it takes to run Asterisk?

We’re looking at roughly 150 SIP extensions, roughly 50 Analog extensions, a single PRI out to the world, and 3 backup copper lines out to the world.

The pre-built boxes I’ve looked at online look pretty anemic. I’m used to building servers with piles and piles of RAM… And these things just have a few gigs, while claiming to be able to support hundreds of extensions.

So… Any thoughts? Any guesstimates on roughly how much hardware you need per extension? Any helpful websites out there? Any recommendations?

Any guidance at all would be much appreciated.

I would suggest looking into load balancing and load sharing these tasks off to several servers. I don’t like to see all my work done on one server or computer. Failover and redundancy are worth thier costs. There are multiple choices you can make that will meet your criteria. I have personally used a gamecube for an asterisk server, I had spent alot of time working out kernels for it and some hacks. The gamecube has only 24 megs of ram and 16 megs of swap (stolen from the aram). I was able to squeeze 25 calls off with that little 400 Mhz PowerPC processor. So my point is a well built system will provide you what you desire and not require loads of RAM. And the calls where a mix of SIP and IAX2.

I like netbooks for server experiments, they have battery backup built in. Most are more than capable too.

I’m running 113 SIP accounts off of an AMD Quad 3.4 Ghz process with 8Gb RAM. Using CentOS and Asterisk

I have a second box (same hardware) that has the PRI cards in it. Connections from the PSTN to the SIP phones happens over an IAX connection. Currently have 3 active PRI’s on this machine, although total channel count is at 47.

Of those 113 SIP accounts, 19 of them are on a Grandstream GXW-4024 (24 port FXS gateway). Most are fax machines so that people can have the convience of sending faxes. A few are phones around the building such as backdoor entrance were we did not want to put a SIP phone.

Processor usage is minimal…

top - 08:38:54 up 35 days, 20:19,  4 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.03, 0.04
Tasks: 163 total,   1 running, 162 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  2.3%us,  2.2%sy,  0.0%ni, 94.3%id,  0.0%wa,  0.4%hi,  0.8%si,  0.0%st
Mem:   8176864k total,   928656k used,  7248208k free,   168892k buffers
Swap:  8193016k total,   130484k used,  8062532k free,   415644k cached

Our biggest cost was the phones. 130 phones at $190 each adds up, then the cost of replacing our switches to ones that handled QOS, so that the VoIP traffic got priority.