New project questions

I’m relatively new to Asterisk and would like to set up an Asterisk box as a PBX for a large organization and also as a switch for a small community so I have a few questions

Which if the various flavours of Asterisk is preferred for setting up a 100-user PBX and which is preferred for setting up a 1000-user PBX?

Will Asterisk scale to 1000 PBX users, and what type of hardware would be required to achieve this on the X86 platform?

Will using gateways like the Quintum A and D series boxes as opposed to plugging TDM cards directly into the Asterisk box improve the scalability of Asterisk, and will I still have to buy G.729a licenses for Asterisk if it is only used as a switch for SIP gateways and phones?

What is the best solution for user authentication for a small 100-user setup and also for a large 1000-user setup?

Can Asterisk be used as a switch for a 10,000-user network? What hardware, billing and authentication systems do you recommend? Or should I just buy a solution from Sysmaster?

If I want to implement SS7 signalling to another telco, what gateway solution can I use with Asterisk?

Thanks in advance for answering my numerous questions


I have no experince in the extremly large installs but I have attended some conferences and have been using asterisk for nearly 2 years now.

For 100 or less users straight open source asterisk on RedHat EL or one of the clones (I use CentOS) would be fine.

For over 100 users I would highly suggest buying Asterisk Business Edition. Its cheap, based on the open source version but well tested. It comes with a linus distro (based on rPath Linux) but your a free to install it on any distro of your choice (RHEL 4 and 5 and Fedora 6 and 7 are the only supported versions).

You could also just use the open source versions but I would stay away from bleeding edge releases. For instance they just switched Asterisk Business Edition to the 1.4 platform a month or so ago (somewhere around 1.4.12 I think).

Yes Asterisk will scale. It scales better if you use gateways like you plan to. I am not sure of the largest install but I know of many in the 10,000-15,000 range have been installed.