Which card for 4 ISDN lines?

I have some linux experience but am a telephony noob. I’m getting up to speed but my heads spinning a bit with acronyms, so if I sound like I’m in left field, I am. We’re an 8-person business with 8 landlines and a 15 y.o. centrex system. Our phone bill is $600/mo. Yeah. Our phone company wants us to cut our phone bill in half by selling us a $6000 Avaya system with a 5 year payment plan. That doesn’t feel right to me, so I’m looking at building an Asterisk server. My boss is OK with a PBX but wants to steer clear of VoIP. (IP phones would be fine but he’d want to stick with land lines). I’m thinking I could build a server with 3-4 ISDN lines and, if things go smoothly, we could experiment with VoIP and possibly reduce the number of ISDN lines down the road.

Does my plan sound reasonable? If so, which ISDN card would be the best for our server? We have a few PCs kicking around that I plan to use as a box.

If I were you, I would hire a consultant that would implement a pure VoIP solution that is based on Asterisk. The technology is very stable and I don’t see any issues with that. I think making a pilot is a good idea. When your boss sees the stability and cost benefit of the new system, he will quickly change his mind :smile:.

If you want to keep ISDN BRI for your connection to public telephony network, I would recommend using a VoIP-ISDN gateway.

Dejanst, many thanks for the response. I like your pure VoIP suggestion. Regarding hiring a consultant, I have some downtime on my hands and would like to brush up on my linux, which is why I was thinking of building the system myself. Isn’t this suppose to be fairly straightforward with AsteriskNOW? Or are things never as simple as they seem. Our feature requirements are very minimal. Pretty much just voicemail and call forwarding.

Well, things with VoIP are not as eazy as they seem. If you want to do them good that is :smile:

I would suggest you try out Elastix (Asterisk with FreePBX WebGUI). With little luck you will be able to set up what you need for your small office setup.

AVM ISDN-Controllers C4
if your server is not brand new and have PCI slot i recommend this…
You could find used on ebay and have a spare for 50% off a new PCI-Ex solution

For 1 or 2 ISDN lines i have used cheap HCF ISDN cards
with http://downloads.openvox.cn/pub/drivers/dahdi-linux-complete/openvox_dahdi-linux-complete-current.tar.gz

following this

without any problems for 2 years now