I have three offices connected over a Windows 2003 Server VPN. Can asterisk be configured to see the VPN as one network. I don’t want a connection to the outside world just yet, but it would be nice to be able to communicate between offices without tying up the phone lines. We don’t have a lot of money to put into switches and things, but we do have an old computer sitting around with Windows 98SE on it. Would Asterisk be appropriate for my use?

yes, asterisk will see the VPN as one network just like any other networked device would.

Thank you for your reply!

I don’t mean to try your patience, I am new to this whole arena and have just downloaded and started to read the book you listed.

Each office has a regular old, run of the mill analog telephone and a regular, old analog fax machine. I searched and found several analog to VoIP adapters. Can I use these to hook the telephones and fax machines into the network, and then install asterisk on an old PC (meeting the appropriate specs, of course), and have that run as a server over the Windows network without too many problems?

Or do I need to buy some heavier duty hardware?

Thank you again!

in a short version: yes you can. I run asterisk on a p2-300 and it works great, has handled 10+ calls at a time.

the linksys/sipura SPA3000 has one incoming analog port, that might be what you want. It also gives you two SIP-connected phone lines. If set up correctly, your two lines from the SPA can be extensions to *, and if asterisk goes down it will fail through to the incoming phone line. I would suggest leave the faxes off the system for now.

Alternatively you can put an * box in each office, add a telephony card like a digium TDM400 or sangoma A200, and link them together via IAX2…

Lastly, remember FXO connects to a phone LINE.
FXS connects to a PHONE and Serves it with dialtone (S=Serve).