I really need some help here please.
I own a business in Zimbabwe and have decided to go the VOIP route as, it’s the future. Unfortunately, living in the country I do, has it’s drawbacks. Mainly, complete lack of anyone to get advice or support from. I have worked in IT for 15 years but got out of it 7 years ago when I came back from London and started my own business here.
It’s amazing how much one forgets over 7 years. You should have seen me scratching my head when I tried to edit a conf file and couldn’t remember how to drive vim
I have spent about two weeks reading various PDF’s and websites trying to work out what software I need and am no closer to a conclusion than when I started. I need someone who knows what they are talking about to point me in the right direction please. I don’t want to spend two weeks learning how to configure something, only to discover I went in the wrong direction in the first place.
What we have:
Current PABX - Crusty old ancient Panasonic with a destiny involving a 14lb hammer.
6 PSTN copper lines from telco (Tone dial). All will be used to connect the system to the world.
16 extensions / phones / users
What we have purchased so far to install system.
HP Proliant ML110 G5 Server with 2gb Ram
CPU: Intel® Pentium® Dual CPU E2160 @ 1.80GHz stepping 0d
Total of 2 processors activated (7181.81 BogoMIPS).
Drive 1: Seagate Barracuda ST3160827AS 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb
Drive 2: HP 250GB 3G SATA 7.2K RMP
1Gb Lan card
Sangoma A200 card (PCI) with daughter board and 6 FXO cards with built-in hardware echo cancellation.
2 x Edimax 16 port POE 10/100 switches
16 x Snom300 VOIP Phones
What is on order:
4 x Siemens E46 ruggedised mobile hand sets which will connect to a base station connected to the lan.
We have a 512k internet connection via UHF directional radio to our ISP which works very well at night but
can get pretty congested during work hours as we share the access point with a bunch of other corporate users.
I wouldn’t think it’s reliable enough for us to make use of internet connections to other voip networks.
This will be tested once the system is in and working.
What we want.
A reliable phone system with good voice quality for all our staff.
I don’t want to be struggling for weeks to get this thing to work.
It must be secure.
The VOIP PBX will sit behind our internet router (Firewall of sorts) and an OpenBSD firewall.
It’s not of great importance that we make phone calls using our internet connection but would be nice to have working.
The ability to record some / all calls to and from an extension. Hence the quite large second disk in the machine.
Not particularly fussy which Linux distro it runs on. Would prefer Centos as know it already and it seems to work well.
Really, the PBX software should run on whatever is the best design / most proven platform.
I’m aware of AsteriskNow but not sure if it’s the way to go as the Esterix verion number seems quite far behind the current version of Asterisk. (stated under correction)
The HP box running asterisk will do nothing else. We won’t install X. It will be a base linux installation with no other software / servers or daemons running other than those necessary for Asterisk / elastix.
There are a lot of different version numbers of Asterisk, Elastix, Centos, Wanpipe etc etc. Which one/s do I choose that will be current / latest and work together. This is probably the biggest confusion factor at the moment. Elastix without tears? Is that the way to go? What is FreePBX, it seems to be part of Elastix, but I thought Elastix runs on Asterisk?
Basically guys, I’m looking for someone who knows, to tell me, right Adams, install A, B, C, and D, download the howto’s from here, get that book from there and get busy. Once you’ve worked it out, it’ll work and you won’t be disappointed. My biggest worry at the moment is that I’ll spend weeks reading and learning and then find, I’ve gone or started in the wrong place.
My next concern is, I don’t want to install something that I will become a slave to. My primary job is to run the business and make money for the share holders. Not to sit continuously fiddling with a PBX system. Although, being a techie at heart, this may prove difficult!
I will really appreciate replies / help on this.
Thanks and regards