* system setup thoughts and suggestions

First off I have been reading and studying about * for about two years now. I am a small business owner (17 employees) and I have a 4 line system currently that is about 15 years old. I have been thinking of replacing it and upgrading the computer system in the office at the same time. Over the last two years have penicled out some ideas and this is what I am leaning toward and was hoping for some feed back from those here with real expeance along these lines

System thoughts are;

Linux server with *

100/10 meg switch with VLAN and QoS.

IP hardphone hand sets

6meg down / 2 meg up I-net link

ISP supplied router

This would be shared with 6 Windows works stations and server mostly doing accounting work.

Finally a VPN link to my home so I could have a IP phone that would work directly with the office system when I am working at home.

As in any business cost is an issue, but regardless of how low the price may be it should provide rock solid performance and LOW maintance. There is no way I can justify open ended IT maintance costs.

Final question… It appears there is no real good way to handle faxing over an IP network, so a PTSN fax seems still the best solution for fax needs.

all looks good … a couple of points though :

i’m not keen on ISP managed routers … if it’s just ISP suppled and freely configurable (and it’s right for the job), then OK … but you don’t want to be depending on their tech support for adding a VPN tunnel or opening a port.

if you have a fax machine already, then keep it. but don’t be afraid of testing fax capabilities, or using both in your setup. things change pretty quickly here !!

for the number of users you’ll not need too much processing power. you don’t need to be reminded that you need to plan for the future, so don’t be too cheap. if you can afford the budget, consider a spare PC. people expect their PBX to be up 24/7, afterall, how difficult can telephony be ??


Any thought on IP hard phones. I would really like to use ones that use IAX2 rather then SIP, but it appears they are almost non-existant in the US.

to be quite frank, you need to wait if you want to get the most from Asterisk with IAX phones. SIP has been around that much longer that the firmwares are more mature and feature-rich. for internal purposes, SIP should be fine.

there’s a thread a bit further down asking about business phones … have a lookie there.