I have just taken over as the IT Manager at a medium sized outgoing Call Centre. They are using Centos & self complied Asterisk 1.6 as their PBX solution, which I have had very little exposure to. Apparently the current system is working OK, but is at its limits. We can only record some of the calls, and listen in on a very limited number of extensions at any one time. If we try to record to many extensions, or listen to too many calls, the system can’t handle it and we loose call quality. They currently use 4 HP DL 320 G3’s:
1 server running about 100 phones - recording & listening in, pushing calls to SIP
1 server running about 60 phones - recording & listening in, pushing calls to SIP
1 server acting as their MYSQL database for CDR and a database of blacklisted numbers that gets referenced every call.
1 server sitting between the ISDN and legacy pbx for faxes. (saves a copy of all faxes received and prints them to the relevant departments printer).
So that’s all well and good. If it ain’t broke don’t touch it. However the owner of the company informed me last night that for my first project they need me to work out what we need to do to be able to double the number of phones and record every single call / listen in on as many calls as the want at any one time. Basically I have been given a blank cheque to achieve this (within reason).
Scrounging through the net, I see that there is no real guide to the hardware required for asterisk which makes this difficult. I don’t want to go out and spend $10,000 on a server, when $2000 would have done it, or $2000 on a server that then needs to be replaced with a $10,000 server in a week. Also, do I look at a couple of servers with load balancing & redundancy, or even virtulise the whole thing.
I’m thinking I get 2 server to replace the 2 servers that are running the phones, the database and fax server are probably fine. I’ll also need to look at storage space for all those extra calls, but I’ll look at something separate for that.
Any advise anyone can give me would be great, or even point me in the direction of some documentation. I don’t even know what codec et.c I use, so perhaps I have to work out what the server is currently doing vs load and go from there.