Newbie questions plz:::::


#1

I’m interested in Asterisk. I need some info.
Could you plz take a moment to help?

Who we are: www.apachecafe.info

What we are trying to do:
Create a voice mail + auto attendant + mail box extensions + call forwarding + fax + email interoperability + on hold music/info. We want people to be able to call and hear info then enter a prompt and go to one of three extensions, then hear more info , then leave a message, or go to another extension(which may be a direct line). We also want to fax via this software and be able to remotely update and change the functions. We need flexibility on greeting time and message length and quantity. There is more but these are the basics

What we have: We have a remote dedicted server running Linux Core #? We have a good programmer but how much of his time will it require to get configured properly? We have 2 phone lines, and a SDSL line.

Is Asterisk going to fit our needs? Besides the software do we need anything else: ie, hardware to integrate with our regular office phone lines? Do we need to install any “cards” to make it work. What kind of stability should I expect?

I know there is probably some of this info in the archives but Ihaven’t seen it yet. I’m still looking and learning. Any info you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much.
Ace :smile:


#2

Asterisk can fit your needs.

I can’t comment on voicemail message length or quantity.

My impression is that most people have a server dedicated to running Asterisk.

If your incoming phone lines are from PSTN you will need a card like digium TDM400 which accepts up to four ports (FXO) for incoming phone lines. A four (FXO) port TDM400 is around $400. There are other ways to accept pstn lines with external hardware only, but it is a little more complicated and deserves another post.

Many people use iinternet telephone services which require no extra hardware, are cheaper, but not necessarily as realiable as pstn; hence, a mix of the two is what I use.

Your phones can connect to asterisk via 1) ethernet cable like the Grandstream 2000 ($84), or you will need an 2) adapter (ATA) like a Sipura 2002, 3000 that has an ethernet port and a telephone line port to connect to a regular phone, or the 3) TDM400 can have outgoing ports (FXS) for regular phone lines. In terms of cost/convenience, I favor option 1 unless I want to have a cordless phone, then I use option 2.

There are a lot of phones and adapters out there and you will get many recommendations.

My office finds the system very stable, but there are posts that just talk about this.

If you do not have a dedicated IT person or very special PBX needs, a quick solution is asterisk@home. This installs everything, auto configures your card, and has a web based configuration utility for your voicemail, dialplan, autoattendant, etc… Nerd Vittles is a good website for basic installation and modifications, and other websites to review.

You can remotely access your server a few different ways. I find logmein convenient. It is a free remote service. I log into a windows pc at work, then just type in my asterisk’s ip address in internet explorer, and configure away!

Have fun, good luck!