How do I get up to speed on Voip and Telephony FAST?

I am a systems engineer in industrial automation. I have been doing it for twenty years but now I am going to do something different.

I have plenty of knowledge of networking and Wifi, but I’m a noob with Linux and Telephony.

I have an application for Asterisk, its a non profit that is going to use Asterisk as a source of both income and a way to keep the membership connected. They will offer Voip services to the membership and sell prepaid calling access for additional revenue.

I am writing a business plan to eventually be an authorized Asterik for business reseller (at least that’s where I’m leaning atm) I would use the non profit as a first installation.

My question is, what is the best way to quickly gain Voip and telephony experience? I plan to attend a 5 day Asterisk Boot camp just Prior to kickoff of the project and will purchase Asterisk for Business with support, and either find a place to install the server or do a coloco arrangement, although I’m not too sure remote admin makes sense.

I would appreciate any suggestions

Download, Install,Play and read the links in the sig line

Chapter 1 contains very good information, how do I get my hands on the rest of the book?

as mentioned - get a system installed and start ‘playing’ with it along with all the reading, watch forums, etc. For starters, why not find an inexpensive box to load it up on, get with some of the active officers/members for the non-profit and get a pilot system setup just as a phone system with some of them so you can start dealing with a live environement. Then you can setup some of the features you are going to want to offer and have a controlled set of users with a vested interest in its success to start working with. There is nothing like live users that are not you - they will find all sorts of ‘strange’ things that you would never run into.

have fun,


I’ll chime in as someone who was thrown into Asterisk and had to learn by the ‘sink or swim’ method…

Definitely get a box set up and running asterisk. I wouldn’t bother with *@Home unless you have no Linux experience whatsoever…

The best way to learn is by literally taking a fresh install and creating a basic dial plan, one step at a time. Set up a few basic extensions, get two SIP phones talking, then start adding features, like a voicemail extension, and eventually if you have the resources, some zap channels. then add in macros, IVR’s, and some of the more complex stuff…you’ll be well on your way by then.

I did it the opposite way - I had to set up a Vicidial box (open source dialer) without ever having touched asterisk, and then learned the basics later. trust me when i say this is NOT the way you want to go.

Get use to going to voip-info every 5 minutes too - there is a TON of information on there to help you get started.

have fun!

I better stay with the @home version then for now, as my Linux is also lacking. I have always integrated control systems using NT/2000, I cut my teeth on MS DOS and Windows 3.1, and so I best start cutting some new teeth.

Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll get a box ready and load Asterisk@Home, I like Nerd Vittles Mundy has a long list of “projects” and he is an easy read.

Will my 300kpbs cable Internet connection be sufficient? I noticed when I tried to get FWD working that no matter what I did I couldn’t open up 5060 or 5082…I may be behind some sort of firewall from the ISP.

The O’Reilly book “Asterisk, the future of telephony” helped me a lot.