Small Business IP-PBX Setup

I am planning on setting up Asterisk PBX for my company. I would like to ask the community on suggested hardware.

2 Locations:

Location 1
40 Extensions
2 PSTN Fax Lines
2 PSTN Backup/Emergency Lines

Location 2:
A warehouse 30 Miles away in an adjacent city with:
10 extensions and requirment for paging
1PSTN Fax Line
1PSTN Emergency Line

Equipments in Mind:
Obviously 2 Servers
Linksys SPA 2 Line 2 Port POE IP Telephones
Netgear POE Switch

Need suggestion on Server configuration? Processor, Ram, etc.
Also need suggestion on cards for PSTN interface.

Both locations have existing Nortel Meridian PBX. Initially was thinking of integrating two Asterisk servers with the existing PBX and use the asterisk as long distance gateway/trunks, Virtual DID, Teleconferencing, etc. And still may consider if suggested or someone can point to a good way of doing it.

I have personally at home setup everything - incoming DIDs, Extensions, DISA, Follow Me, Dedicated DID for conferencing, etc.

I could easily establish communication of a 2nd asterisk Trixbox to connect to the main trixbox and dial extensions between two box, use main box’s trunks to make long distance calls, etc. But I could not make two way going between an AsteriskNOW and a Trixbox - I get only one way. I have not tried Two AsteriskNow boxes and not sure how to.

Sending DID directly to the IP address of my trixbox works but could not configure this and use incoming DID with AsteriskNow. if I send the DID to lets say 101@ (my IP) then it goes to that extension but I would like to try to send the DID this way: 12345678900@ and in incoming DID configure this to forward to an extension number - this way I can re-assign easily incoming DIDs to any extension instead of going to the DID provider to change it. I can nicely do this in Trixbox but love to see if I can do it with AsteriskNow.

Considering the complexity of the project I may select Trixbox but if any of you point me on how to do all of the above with AsteriskNow I will prefer using AsteriskNow over Trixbox.

Let me know. any proposals or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Specially any suggestion on Hardware selection and number of DIDs and trunks to support 50 extensions. Our company is not a call center and does not have high volume of phone calls.



Any recommendations anyone?

If you have an IP network between the 2 locations you could get both on a single server in the main location and use 2x24 port Portico TVAs ( ) with a dual Port FXO line that the fax and emergency lines could use and then use a 12 port Portico with a single or dual port FXO model at the remote site for faxes and emergency lines.

This way you could manage and build only one IP PBX at the main location and handle E911 and faxing off the Citel and then for the remote only have to worry about managing the Citel TVA.

You wouldn’t need to buy new Linksys Phones or a POE switch since the Portico TVA will convert all your Nortel Meridian phones into VoIP phones and also supply FXO ports without having to recable or switch anyanything (just enough bandwidth between the locations). This should also solve your extension dialing (and you could get all the DIDs on the Asterisk at the home location via SIP trunking or TDM)

If you would like to discuss further I will be at Astricon 9/25 to 9/28 at the Citel booth but also my contact info is below.

Allan Floyd
Sr Engineer - VoIP Design

I agree that, if you have a proper connections between the two locations it is not needed to use 2 servers. The Citel hardware is great and very usefull for a smooth migration but buying new phones, like linksys or Snom, is not that much more exensive. Using the Citel hardware makes the migration completely transparant to the user and that can be a great benifit.

Because you are thinking about Trixbox I assume you have a gui on the wishlist. You should check ScopServ on It’ not open source and you have to pay a small licence fee but it is the best gui for monitoring, maintaining and configuring an Asterisk based telephone solution. It will save you lots of time and it is great value for money.

My advice is to go for Asterisk, Trixbox is actually a fork of the Asterisk project. There is nothing wrong with forking an open source project but for a production envirement my choice would be for the project with thousands of people working on to improve it on a day to day bases.

The Citel TVA is priced better than the legacy Citel gear and at about ~$110 a port is a lot cheaper than a SNOM or Linksys IP phone and the cost of a PoE switch. Plus the TVA is fully SIP compliant and works on PBX phones like Norstar, Meridian, Ericsson, NEC, Toshiba, Avaya (Lucent) Definity, Panasonic and Siemens.