Moving from a TalkSwitch 48 CVA. Wondering if Asterisk a fit

Hello, I do the I.T. work for a small doctor’s office. We have 3 analog phone lines coming in from the PSTN (1 main line, 1 private line, and 1 fax line). Internally we have 8 extensions that run throughout the office. All of this is connected through 2 TalkSwitch 48 CVA units. The TalkSwitch is a full PBX and we’re able to use AutoAttendants, Voicemail, Call Forwarding, etc.

One of our TalkSwitch units is beginning to fail so I need to replace the hardware. Unfortunately the company no longer exists as it was acquired by another company a few years ago. It has been 10 years since I set up the initial TalkSwitch hardware and I haven’t kept up with the latest in PBX systems so I’m not sure what’s out there. New hardware similar to the TalkSwitch will cost several thousand dollars, however I do have several old servers that can be repurposed for an Asterisk installation.

I am just wondering if Asterisk is right for our needs or would I be better off with a different solution. We have 3 analog phone lines and 8 analog phones that plug into the TalkSwitch units. So far I think that I can:

  • Buy a new hardware PBX similar to the TalkSwitch 48-CVA. I’m not sure if this is the best option, as I haven’t kept up with what’s new in telephony for a long time.
  • Use an online service such as RingCentral. I’ll most likely need to purchase 8 new IP phones, and the monthly cost will be significant, as they do not provide very many minutes with their plans.
  • Set up an Asterisk server. I’m not sure what the cost is or what extra hardware I will need (for example how do I get my PSTN lines into the server). That’s why I’m writing on this message board.

Can anyone give me some guidance as to what an Asterisk installation entails, and if you think it would be better than my other solutions?