[Request for advise] Consider moving to Asterisk


#1

Dear Asterisk experts,

My company has an out of date PABX and has to move to a new solution. My boss asked me to propose him some solutions. Among the one I am considering, there is Asterisk…but I still have some questions!

My current config
[ul]* We have access to the PSTN through 3 ISDN BRI lines (6 simultaneous call) but we will probably need few more in a near future.

  • We are equipped withg analog and digital phones (especially for the standard operator)
  • We have several offices geographically dispersed but interconnected with a 2Mb/S MPLS network. My PABX question only relate to one of the office (but the other could follow …)
  • Our LAN is a 100Mbit/s ethernet network. Our switch do not support QoS nor PoE.[/ul]

My constraints
[ul]* I should get an industrial grade system

  • Reducing the communication costs is of course of interest but is not the top priority[/ul]

My ideas
[ul]#1 To install Asterisk on a server (double core or bi-xeon Dell server with raid 5 SATA disks) with an octoBRI card, with out-call still handled through the ISDN lines
#2 Test the system with softphones, to make sure our LAN can handle it.
#3 If it works, buy some SIP phones and go to step 5
#4 If it doesnt work, invest in a FXS/FXO TDM2400 card with echo cancellation and keep our analog phones
#5 If all works fine, consider routing our calls toward some VoIP providers.[/ul]

And then, my questions
[ul]# Is there any OctoBRI card (or quadBRI) that you would advise ? What about Beronet ones ?

What are the advantages of Echo Cancellation ? What is the impact if not Echo cancelation is included in the BRI card ?

What is the real difference between analog and digital phones ? How a sip phone compare to such phones ? Is there any SIP phone with all the functionalities required for the standard operator (intercept call if necessary, transfer calls …) with all necessary configurable buttons ?

Does a digital phone directly connect to a FXS ?[/ul]

Many thanks for any comments you could bring to these (first?) questions …

Franck


#2

Dear Asterisk experts,

My company has an out of date PABX and has to move to a new solution. My boss asked me to propose him some solutions. Among the one I am considering, there is Asterisk…but I still have some questions!

My current config
[ul]* We have access to the PSTN through 3 ISDN BRI lines (6 simultaneous call) but we will probably need few more in a near future.

  • We are equipped withg analog and digital phones (especially for the standard operator)
  • We have several offices geographically dispersed but interconnected with a 2Mb/S MPLS network. My PABX question only relate to one of the office (but the other could follow …)
  • Our LAN is a 100Mbit/s ethernet network. Our switch do not support QoS nor PoE.[/ul]
Poe is a handy feature but not needed. If you are using the same connection for gen. internet use and VOIP QoS is highly reccomended

My constraints
[ul]* I should get an industrial grade system

  • Reducing the communication costs is of course of interest but is not the top priority[/ul]

My ideas
[ul]#1 To install Asterisk on a server (double core or bi-xeon Dell server with raid 5 SATA disks) with an octoBRI card, with out-call still handled through the ISDN lines
#2 Test the system with softphones, to make sure our LAN can handle it.
#3 If it works, buy some SIP phones and go to step 5
#4 If it doesnt work, invest in a FXS/FXO TDM2400 card with echo cancellation and keep our analog phones
#5 If all works fine, consider routing our calls toward some VoIP providers.[/ul]

Some Dell servers have issues. Make sure you look in to which ones work well with asterisk and which ones done.

And then, my questions
[ul]# Is there any OctoBRI card (or quadBRI) that you would advise ? What about Beronet ones ?

What are the advantages of Echo Cancellation ? What is the impact if not Echo cancelation is included in the BRI card ?

What is the real difference between analog and digital phones ? How a sip phone compare to such phones ? Is there any SIP phone with all the functionalities required for the standard operator (intercept call if necessary, transfer calls …) with all necessary configurable buttons ?

Does a digital phone directly connect to a FXS ?[/ul]

Never used BRI cant comment Echo cancelation helps if there is echo (duh) that is caused either on your end or by the PSTN. Some have issues with it some dont. If you do it can be real annoying With analog phones you are limited to a basic phone. With VOIP phones they come with many features (depending on what phone you go with). When you say digital phone do you mean a VOIP phone ? If yes then the answer is no. It connects over your LAN. Only POTS phones connect into the FXS

Many thanks for any comments you could bring to these (first?) questions …

Franck


#3

Hi,

working on a similar project…
The old system is 1 BRI connection to an analog pbx, with a BRI card connected to the system in parallel. This card both handles caller id display (which neither the phones nor the old pbx do) and faxing.
The new system will use VOIP phones exclusively with a dual BRI connection. I am looking into a “small” box that preferably would use passive cooling, and will look into spinning down the disk like a notebook does. Since users will normally have phones next to their workstations, advanced features will be provided by flash operator panel or something like that.
Reasoning: the cost of adding FXS board is somewhat comparable to adding ATA for existing analog phone, and is somewhat comparable to installing VOIP phone. Adding a lot of cards would make the small case impossible. As far as the LAN is concerned, you might need to improve on that … we found that our LAN is getting slow anyway.
Special “operator” phones will be useless with asterisk.

musicman


#4

Thanks for your answers !!!
… Which bring new one:

The potential echo problem bother me a little bit. Software echo cancellation is feasible if I get some echo that I can not suppress on the network, but, how much ressources will it consume ?
Would you advise to prefer a BRI card with on-board - hardware echo cancellation ?

Thanks again,
Franck