Store Setup

I have finnaly talked my boss into testing Asterisk at some of my companies stores. I am at the NOC and every store is on a 128 Frame relay. They would like to eliminate the Analog lines and port the same number over to a VOIP which i still need to find. What would be the best way to make this happen? Should i put an extra broadband connection at every store with its on VOIP so that they can keep the same number? Or should i just link them all back to the NOC here? Please let me know. Also would i need to have a business account setup since they have 7 phones in each store? What would be the best provider to go with?


i can’t speak for what provider is best, but i think there are two ways of doing this.

  1. have each satellite store connect (via IAX trunking) to a centralized server in the NOC. benefits include having a centralized point of access (all external calls go out through the main server, which means you can purchase 20 lines for 10 stores, versus 3 or 4 at each location…) and lower overall bandwidth for each store, as IAX can trunk. drawbacks include a single point of failure and the need for a fairly decent central server in the NOC.

  2. have each satellite box have their own connection to the outside and run in a decentralized model. benefits include no single point of failure for all stores. drawbacks include higher bandwidth costs, higher telephony costs (since each store would need to have a minimum number of lines to the PSTN, instead of pulling from a shared ‘pool’), and the possiblity of higher maintenance costs (each server would have a full dialplan, versus a more streamlined one with the centralized server doing most of the call routing).

these are just a few things that i thought of…and because asterisk is so flexible, your situation may lend itself to several different scenarios. it all depends on how your corporate structure is aligned (if you have a very centralized structure, the centralized model might work better for you - i know it sounds dumb, but amazingly, all of those patterns tend to fall in together).

anyways, hope i didn’t ramble too much, and good luck

Thanks but the part that still confuses me is how how I point the number to goto the store if the VOIP connection terminates at the NOC. For example lets say the area code for the store is 678 and the noc is in 212 how would you route the calls to the correct store.

i’m not sure how it would work exactly with a VOIP provider, but it would be something similar to this, i would think…

we’re reciving ANIDNIS* from our telco, so we simply pattern match on the DNIS…

you would probably be receiving SOME sort of way to identify what number was dialed - but i honestly do not know what that would be for an ITSP - if somebody else knows, please post because i’m curious.

in any case, whatever you’re given to identify the DID, just match on it, and dial an IAX trunk to the store it goes to, similar to this:

this says that any inbound number that was dialed starting with 678 should be routed over IAX to the servername with username and password, and should go to extension s

we use IAX to route calls across our servers, even though they’re in the same room - it is VERY easy to set up and works damn nearl flawlessly…

sorry i couldn’t give you more info about the DID/routing, but this should at least give you an idea of how to implement inter-server routing. what you could also do on each server is set up IAX connectors, so that all extensions in store 2 are in the 2XX block, and store 3 in the 3xx block…then, if store 2 wanted to call store 3, you’d have this:

other than setting up accounts in iax.conf, you’re done! that is all there is to it!

anyways, i hope this helps.

cool this is starting to make sence now. So you dont think that this would hog up alot of bandwidth? what kind of hardware do you think we would be talking about for each server?

well, the IAX trunking between servers allows for multiple calls to be sent in one ‘stream’, if you will…i would have to refer you to the experts for anything more than that, but, in theory, it should allow for lower network overhead with multiple concurrent calls between the two servers.

as for hardware, it depends…you mentioned 7 phones per store. if that is the total number of extensions per store, you could get away with a workstation-level machine for the remote systems. we’re running our dialer system on an old dell optiplex, and that has 12 users, each with their own conference, and it has performed wonderfully…the problem with that type of machine is that there is no redundancy. however, at least for a proof-of-concept, they would be fine.

the central server is going to need to be a bit beefier, and you’d probably want it to have a level of redundancy in the hard drives and/or power supplies. as for performance, it depends on how many concurrent active calls you expect. we use dell 2850’s (dual proc xeon’s) and can get 50 calls going without even maxing out one CPU, and that is while recording every call as well…i’m guessing a smaller server would do you fine, something like a single proc 1850 or so…

post some more details (network setup, how many users/stores, number of concurrent calls, etc) if you like…i want to make sure i’m giving you decent advice (which i’m probably not…)

cool i got a good grip on this now. I am not sure about which hardware we will use. My next dilema is trying to find a VOIP which i can port my numbers to. Have any ideas?

i’d start here: … s+Business

let me know who you end up going with, if you don’t mind…i have a friend who i’m helping get set up, and he’ll need to find a good ITSP as well.

thanks, and good luck.

so far i found voicepulse they are very good goto the problem with them is i cannot port some rural stores over. but i will port the city stores with them. i need to find more to port the rural stores.