Help hotline

We want to setup a help hotline using Asterisk. It’s going to support less than 100 seats initially. I have a few design questions.

  1. Should I use Asterisk or AsteriskNOW?

  2. The connection between the Asterisk server and the service provider will be PSTN. How do I decide if I should use POTS, PRI or E1/T1?

  3. We want to record every call. Should the recording be saved on the same server as Asterisk or streaming to a different server?

  4. Our client wants to use Microsoft SQL server or Oracle as teh database for Asterisk instead of Postgre or mysql. Is this a problem? Should I use the database on a different server?

  5. What version of Ubuntu should I use for Asterisk 1.4.22 or AsteriskNOW 1.0.4?

thanks in advance

Hi,

I’ll take a crack at some of your questions.

1. Should I use Asterisk or AsteriskNOW?
I would use Asterisk 1.4. I had very little experience with Linux and Zero Asterisk experience and with the tutorials on Asterikast.com I got a full server running in less than 1 day

2. The connection between the Asterisk server and the service provider will be PSTN. How do I decide if I should use POTS, PRI or E1/T1?
PRI is always the best choice but ask yourself:
Do I need DID’s (DNIS) ? or will 1 phone number work.
Do I need to change the outgoing caller ID when calling Agents or Customers?
Will I get a lot of incoming and outgoing calls ? If so, Analog might have “Glaring” (When an Incoming Calls interferes with an outgoing call pickup
Are PRI’s reasonably priced in my area?

3. We want to record every call. Should the recording be saved on the same server as Asterisk or streaming to a different server?
Hard disk space is quite cheap these days. I personally use a 1.5 TB for Asterisk and record all my calls on it using the GSM format. Once a month you can move them over to a Backup media.

4. Our client wants to use Microsoft SQL server or Oracle as teh database for Asterisk instead of Postgre or mysql. Is this a problem? Should I use the database on a different server?
Not a problem. Asterisk plays well with MSSQL, MYSQL or POSTGRE. I use a SQL server on the same lan and I don’t have any problems. Look at AGI / Python / pymssql-0.8.0 You don’t even need to setup any ODBC and you will be talking to SQL in minutes.

5. What version of Ubuntu should I use for Asterisk 1.4.22 or AsteriskNOW 1.0.4?
Can’t comment on Ubuntu. I started with Slackware (cause that’s what the Asterikast.com guys used). Then a friend told me Debian was much more stable for servers so I switched. Debian needed a little more work but nothing major.

Good luck,

Dave

Hi Dave, thanks for the reply. Which Debian are you using? I tried Lenny, zaptel failed to compile.

I used the lastest version of Debian on a small CD and then updated over the net during the install:

cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/4.0 … etinst.iso

One thing that caused me grief when trying to compile Zaptel was this: (I didn’t have to do this on Slackware)

You need to run:

apt-get install linux-headers-uname -r bison openssl libssl-dev libeditline0 libeditline-dev libedit-dev

and

apt-get install gcc make g++ php5-cli mysql-common libmysqlclient15-dev libnewt-dev

Then I did LIBPRI:
wget downloads.digium.com/pub/libpri/ … ent.tar.gz
tar -zxvf libpri-1.4-current.tar.gz
cd libpri-1.4.8
make / make install / ldconfig

Dahdi (Replaces Zaptel)
wget downloads.digium.com/pub/telepho … ent.tar.gz
tar -zxvf dahdi-linux-current.tar.gz
cd dahdi-linux-2.1.0/
make / make install / ldconfig

DAHDI TOOLS
wget downloads.digium.com/pub/telepho … ent.tar.gz
tar -zvxf dahdi-tools-current.tar.gz
cd dahdi-tools-2.1.0/
./configure
make menuselect
make / make install / make config / ldconfig

Asterisk
wget downloads.digium.com/pub/asteris … ent.tar.gz
tar -zxvf asterisk-1.4-current.tar.gz
cd asterisk-1.4.22/
./configure
make menuselect / Add Sound Packages you wish to use
S to Save
make / make install / make samples / ldconfig

Asterisk Addons
wget downloads.digium.com/pub/asteris … ent.tar.gz
tar -zxvf asterisk-addons-1.4-current.tar.gz
cd asterisk-addons-1.4.7/
./configure
make / make install / make samples

*** End Asterisk Install

groupadd asterisk
useradd -s /bin/false -g asterisk asterisk

chown -R asterisk:asterisk /etc/dahdi
chown -R asterisk:asterisk /etc/asterisk
chown -R asterisk:asterisk /var/lib/asterisk
chown -R asterisk:asterisk /usr/lib/asterisk
chown -R asterisk:asterisk /var/spool/asterisk
chown -R asterisk:asterisk /var/log/asterisk
chown -R asterisk:asterisk /var/run/asterisk
(I didn’t have a Digium Card so this didn’t work: chown -R asterisk:asterisk /dev/dahdi

pico /usr/sbin/safe_asterisk Change Priority to -20

aptitude install conspy (so I can see Asterisk running on TTY 9 from SSH)

aptitude get sox # for Sound Conversions

manually get:
pymssql-0.8.0.tar (for Integration with MSSQL)
pyst-0.2.tar (For Python AGI (not necessary but helps a lot)

And that’s it.

Let me know if you have any questions,

Dave

Hi Dave,

Ddi you use Debian Etch or Lenny? I got the impression that Zaptel doesn’t officially support Lenny, and Lenny is not a stable version for Asterisk.

I used Debian Etch and with Zaptel and then after I purchased the Digium 2 PRI card I upgraded to Dahdi.

Dave

Note that PRI is a generic term for T1 and E1, not an alternative. T1 is normally north America and E1 Europe.