Single server for 100 extensions?

Ok after lots and lots of searching around through the wiki and the forums and mailing list I’ll ask this question here.

I’m planning to install an Asterisk system to handle about 65 ip phones and about 35 analog phones (still researching channel banks for those). I have two buildings that are about 2 miles apart, we are currently installing a FIber line between the two to get them on the same LAN. The analog and the IP lines will be about evenly distributed from each building.

My question is can I just use one server for all of these phones? From what I’ve read the learning curve for installing a distributed or multi server system is much greater and I’m a bit intimidated by that.

What do you think? and what kind of server should I go with? I was thinking a dual processor dual core system. But then I read some info suggesting that the hyperthreading will get wasted as asterisk will only use one. This person suggested Opteron 64bit processors.

thanks in advance!

Well ok… after even more reading it appears that a single server will be able to handle all that I want it to do. I would like some guidance on the server side though. The documentation that I’ve been reading is a bit murky, especially when it comes to how multi threading works with Asterisk.

Also it looks like I might be able to use gateways to reach my POTS lines with maybe two 24port fxs gateways.


Setting up asterisk from scratch can be quite a challenge maintaining it is equally as challenging. It sounds like you can use some help setting everything up. We offer free installation support on ou r Evolution PBX based on Asterisk. Check out our website if your interested.

Well thanks for your suggestion. Although I find it a bit strange that all of your posts in this community of open source software are about your services. :frowning: Who knows maybe you just use this login for sales and company info and you help the community with another. Or… you only participate in the communtiy as a source for advertising?

I don’t know you at all and I don’t want to insinuate anything but honestly, while I will most likely end up paying for some support and probably a good gui (so that I don’t have to do all of the administration for the company) I would really really like to work with someone that contributes to the community in a way that betters the whole. I’m not saying that that isn’t you and your company but I’m just telling you how it looks to me as a potential customer.

Your screenshots are nice. Which brings up an excellent point. I WILL want a nice easy to use GUI for the system because of the logistics of our business I have many responsibilities and I need for others to be able to change hunt groups and the like. Any other suggestions?

I use trixbox, it is an all in one distro based system.
It used to be called asterisk@home.

Comes with a great gui (freepbx), and a TON of builtin features.
Give it a go…

I did have issues with the quality of the ulaw encoded sound files. After removing the ulaw files (backed up to a different folder) and left just the gsm encoded files, the system is working great.

Comes with easy update script, Web mgmt GUI, Sugar CRM, Flash Operator Panel, meetme gui, and a voice recording/Voicemail gui…

I am not affiliated with the project, just a user and a member of the asterisk/trixbox community…

lol I guess I came accross like I didn’t want to before… oh well. :blush:

Thanks so much for taking time to respond to me. I am actually downloading trixbox right now for a test run. The one thing that I haven’t seen about it is the amount of users it’s designed for. Well I guess what I mean is that of course Asterisk can handle a million users if applied properly with all the right know how and equipment. But have you ever heard of any problems with a higher user load?

How many users do you have on your box?

Thanks again! :smiley:

I personally on have 4 users on my system…

From what I understand is that, asterisk will handle as much as the hardware will let it handle.
Trixbox, is just asterisk with all the fancy stuff already installed.

I do not know if there are recommended limits or not…

Trixbox is a great way to learn about asterisk and would work great for up to about 30-40 extensions. Once you start loading your server with more extensions you will want as few processes running on the server as possible. That means that things like MySQL, CRM, and FOP/HUDLite should be moved to another server.

I have about 75 extensions and I use FreePBX to manage them but apache/php is the only non asterisk process running on the server. FOP/HUDLite, MySQL and TFTP (for phone provisioning) are all running on a seperate server. In fact I am trying to work on some modifications to FreePBX to allow it to run remotely from the asterisk box as well because I want to eliminate apache/php from the asterisk server as well. Asterisk is a realtime server process and when it needs cpu time you dont want anything else in its way or you will suffer voice quality issues.

I have two systems that started out with Asterisk@Home 2.5 and have since been upgraded to Asterisk with FreePBX 2.1.1.

One system has 35 SIP users that typically has 10-15 calls active and the other has 45 SIP users with 5-10 calls active. Performance hasn’t been an issue on either system. They both use an AMD Athlon 64 3400.

Now that is some really good information. And it makes sense that the management processes take up valuable internal bandwidth in the server. Hmmm… Ok I’m going to chew on this stuff over the weekend and then I’m sure I’ll have some questions about the gateway and how that gets configured.

Also as a follow up my suspician that the gentleman above that suggested I look at his product as a solution is NOT purely a guy trying to get business and is a contributing member. I did suspect that but I think that I worded it strangely. So I want to make sure that people didn’t think ill of him or his product as a result of what I said. I’m actually going to demo his product next week.

Cheers all!

Seems that we have similar scenarios and we are in the same path :smile:

I’ve lurking/reading around alot… I’m totally new in this arena and also I’m a bit intimidate… but the idea to spend $30-$40K in a new PBX is not so good.

good luck to you (and I hope to have the same luck myself)


In your opinion is Trixbox suitable for a bigger scenario like this:

  • 60-80 extensions
  • 5 - 10 faxes
  • IVR
  • 3 queues with 6,4,3 agents each with roundrobin (and reporting)

or is necessary a different version?


In your opinion is Trixbox suitable for a bigger scenario like this:

  • 60-80 extensions
  • 5 - 10 faxes
  • IVR
  • 3 queues with 6,4,3 agents each with roundrobin (and reporting)

or is necessary a different version?

i’m sure there are people out there using A@H/Trixbox for systems of this size. i’ve used A@H in the past to get systems started, then i usually strip out the bits i don’t want … all in the interest of saving time and hassle.

really, it all depends on where the Asterisk box is going to fit into your current network. if you have DHCP, TFTP, WWW, MySQL, SMB servers available in your network, then you don’t need your Asterisk server doing it for you, and using resources that could/should be being used for telephony services. but you might still consider using a Trixbox install to quickly get a system going, then disable/remove the bits you don’t want, and migrate the service dependencies to other boxes you might have. telling someone their phone doesn’t work because the old DHCP/SQL server died won’t be fun though.

people expect a PBX to run for 10 years plus, and that’s hard to match up to with an Asterisk system. back to the pros and cons ! good luck … it’s worth it it the end.

Thanks for the answer