what is asterisk? what do you need to install?

Discussion in 'General' started by j99991, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. j99991

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    hello,
    i'm new to this forum.
    i have several questions about asterisk.
    at our place we are interesting at an operator.while searching we found asterisk which became one of the best ip pbx which allows you all pbx functions and not like ip centrex outsourcing which gives only what the ip centerix providor allows you.
    while searching about asterisk we understood that there are 2 ways to use asterisk pbx:
    1. server with fxs and fxo cards... are there any more speacilk parts except the server's parts?
    2. appliance- xorcom's xr1000/2000

    what i would like to know is what is asterisk ? is it a software you install on a linux based server or an appliance? how do youy get it? is it a stand alone software or is it combined with all gui like elastix asterisk now and more?
    what i'm asking is what is it that you need to install in the server or appliance?

    since we are at the begining of process of establishing an asterisk solution server/appliance i have more questions but i think i should have the question's answers to begin asking more questions about asterisk ippbx.

    j99991
     
  2. rafael

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    The article about asterisk in Wikipedia is a good point to start. Anyway Asterisk is the software that allow you to have to functionality of a pbx with a pc or a server. It does not have a graphical interface and most of the configuration is do editing text files. There are several web interfases for Asterisk and the most popular is freePBX.

    Elastix includes freepbx, Asterisk and our modules to administrate Asterisk. We also include other software use for email, chat, fax, etc... that can be use together with Asterisk.

    hope that this helps.

    Regards,

    Rafael
     
  3. j99991

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    so in other words if it's elastix it already has that asterisk system inside it's installation right?

    now that i have more information i would liek to ask another question.
    i know thath asterisk comes based on two ways.
    1. server with linux os installed on it.
    2. appliance with asterisk and the gui.

    i was told that the asterisk server based solution will be less stable then the appliance based server. that i was told from a company who deals with xorcom's appliances. however i was told from a company that can give both solutions that the appliance is strongless comparing to the server. in that case what is better the appliance or the server what will have less problems?

    we would like asterisk weither serverbased or appliance to be connected to 1-2 more geographical locations with total of other than the place where the server/applianjce will be installed. total at all places there will be 12-16 phones. in that case what will be better appliance or server?

    if using an appliance we will prefer xorcom's solution rather then digium's since in israel digium's appliances used to have aproblem with the local
    pstn lines.

    thanks
    j99991
     
  4. rafael

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    With elastix you can have the pbx ready to configure 20 minutes after the installation.

    If you want and small installation it could also be a pc. Anything that runs Linux would be a good place to run Asterisk. Of course it depends how many concurrents calls you are going to have.

    It depends what you want. The good thing about the appliance is that your are going to be sure that you are not going to have no problems with harware compatibility and you are going to have Asterisk ready to run. (We also sell Elastix appliance that you can buy online) A server you can have nice things like powre redundancy, better raid support, etc.
    It is an small implementation, an appliance would do the job just without a problem.

    Best regards,

    Rafael
     
  5. j99991

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    thank you for you answers.
    so if i understand the elastix comes with asterisk inside and when isntalling elastix i'm acctually installing the asterisk solution aswell right?

    about the second answer for me second answer i believe that generally there will be 12-16 lines so i would take the maximum concurrent calls to be 16 for now will an appliance be good for that? will be good i any more concurrent calls will be made lets say 25-30 or 30-40?

    i understand that the appliance solution will have less compitability problems rather than the server solution in that case and since we ahve not knowledge at all with asterisk or elastix and thier configurations we will search from now for an appliance of course if an appliance be able to make 16-40 concurrent calls with no problem.

    another question i would like to ask is about vsp's. after choosing between server and appliance we will need to connect the hardward for outoging calls. we now have several options 2 choose from.
    1. regular pstn. this is a problem for us since we will need many lines 12 or more which cost alot plus the rates for outgoing calls are a bit high.
    2. pri. this option was checked before but was very costy for us . a pri is a solution which gives us 30 lines which will be connected to the device with a regular 1 rj45 cable. however we heard that this solution could be free for the pri it self and we will only need to pay for the phone calls which will be made. however no rates are known at this point.
    3.vsp. we are now using our isp in order to reach the internet. we also have our routers managed by our isp. the isp is also offering a vsp/ sip trunking solutions, however this vsp will not allow us to connect the sip trunks to our current network which means we will need to establish another network which will be a voip dedicated. unfortunitly the prices for this are very costy however the vsp's rates are lower then the pstn rates but still high enough. i will mention at this part that we would like to connect 3 diffrent geodraphic locations to 1 network while the device will be installed at 1 of those points. this means that ewstablishing a new network will mean 3 pstn lines and 3 adsl connections. because of these facts we started looking for another vsp inside or outside israel.
    it will help us alot if any of u could recommend a good vsp with a quality lines that also have low prices.

    as you can see we have 3 options to connect the device for outgoing calls. however we heard that the vsp option will not give us quality call as using a pri or analog line. is that correnct?

    another question is about asterisk again. we have no knowledge at all with linux os or any other os softwares not to say asterisk solution.
    the companys we hvae talked with gave us several options.
    1. asterisk server based solution for 2500
    2. xorcom's appliance for 2500
    3. this company establishes voip hardaware for vsp's. we were offered to buy digium's or xorcom's appliance at another place for 1500 and to configure it for almost 600.

    as you can see these are high prices. we would like to ask if anyone which has no knowledge at all about asterisk or elastix or linux could also be able to configure an appliance or a server so asterisk could run with no problems? we were told that bad configuration could make problems with asterisk and thus causing problems with calls and conversations.

    and the last one does an appliance come with asterisk and the gui installed in it?

    rafael, can i contact you through your email in order to have more information?

    thank you again
    j99991
     
  6. rafael

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    yes
    It depends what appliance you want to use. But 16 concurrent calls is not that much. It also depends on what codec you are using, when you compress the audio because you are going to make the call through the Internet then it consumes more cpu, than when you want to make a call in the lan and you do not need to compress.

    You don't really have that much compatibility problems but is something that can happend. Look at http://store.elastix.org we also sell appliances ;)

    I would recomend you to get an old pc for testing pouproses, buy a cheap pci card for outgoin calls and learn for yourself. Download Elastix Without Tears Book and give it a try. If you are going to do a simple configuration you can do it for yourself and here we are to help you in that.

    I would be more than happy to answer to this questions in this web forum beacuse people would benefit from your questions and the answers tha me or the community would give you. If you do not want to use the forums, you can also contract some pre pay support hours from: http://store.elastix.org

    Best Regards,

    Rafael
     
  7. j99991

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    thank you for your answers
    i understand you wouldl ike all questions to by askd here so all memebers could find a solution for thier problems.

    i would like to ask several more questions.

    we have now started to look more for appliances left the server based asterisk since the appliances have less compitability problems. however we still consider the option of having a server based asterisk solution which will be done by us. however we do not ahve any knowledge in linux os opr asterisk. i would like to ask what linux os do we need to use in order to install asterisk linux centos?

    we have been looking for appliances solutions and now have two options.
    1. xorocm- this options is for xorcom's appliance which will be configured and installed in our place by the company who deals with xorcom's appliances. the amount for this is 2500. for each additional year we will need to pay 10% in order to get technical support and insurace. the technical support is given remotely and if a technician willbe needed here we will need to pay for the visit.
    2.voipli- this company developed it's own appliance which uses elastix but has some changes. this company is also a vsp provider with another company it works with. this company will give us the appliance in the price off 2000 for installation and configuration. for insurance and remotely technical support we will need to pay another 2 to each local line and 3-4 for any remote line. this is almost 400 a year which is like buying a new appliance every 3-4 years.
    as you can see the prices we would like to pay those amounts for an appliance however the insurance each yaear makes it not efforatble for us. i know this is a tough question but do you think we could pass out the insurance after the first year? since there will not be any changes in the appliance or it's or astierks configuration accpet of adding new sips or line or changes in the ivr and since the appliance will not be moved from it's place? do you think we could pass out the insurance in the case of an appliance?

    thank you
    j99991
     
  8. rafael

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    If you want a version of Linux that would allow you to install Linux + Asterisk + Elastix just download the installation cd from Elastix and it would have everything you need.
     
  9. j99991

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    thank you for your fast reply.

    i understand that asterixzsk and ealstix can run on linux. could they also run on windows or asterisk will only run on linux os?

    it will help me alot if you or any of the members could try and answer the question about the appliance though i know it'sa tough one cause it will help me alot while having the decisions.

    thank you very much
    j99991
     
  10. rafael

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    I think you can run Asterisk in Windows, but that is something I would never do. When you setup an pbx the only thing you want to run on it is the software that makes the pbx useful. Asterisk and Elastix are that software you don't need a GUI such the windows one if you are not going to use it. The pbx is going to be manage from another computer using a web browser or an ssh client.

    Please grab a copy of Elastix Without Tears and at least read the first chapters. That would clear up a lot your ideas.

    About the appliance the only thing I can say is give it a look to the oficial Elastix Appliance;
    http://store.elastix.org

    Regards,

    Rafael
     
  11. rafael

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  12. j99991

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    thank you for your comment.

    i have already started looking at it and now almost in the middel of it.
    there are several parts i do not understand especially the zaptel i guess.

    however a new problem raised and now i need your help and the community's 2.
    i'm using a checkpoint sbox on two diffrent geographical places. the two routers are connected together with s2s. each one of them uses nat in order to route the information to a specific pc. i was trying to check if an appliance of a certain company in israel which works with elastix could be able to connect to the router and then to connect sips to the router. i got a no answer when first checking this up with my isp and later on with the company which will sell me the appliance. however when i contacted sofaware the company that gives technical support to the sbox they told me there is not problem to connect and allow sip trunks with the sbox as long as i will open a certain port for that manner. i guess the port i will need to open depends on what the vsp will tell me to ? or is there a certain port that should be open?
    another question is the next 1 the router uses nat in order to route the information. the problem raised was when talking to the technical support of sofaware. i was told that if the appliance does NAT as well there could be a problem since there are 2 nat 1 of the sbox and 1 from the appliance. the question is does an appliance uses nat? i was also told that i could buy a new fixed external ip and connect it to the sbox. then configuring the sbox to give the appliance it's own ip address and then there will be only 1 nat and then problem solved. however thequestion is if an appliance make use of nat?
    i thank you for your answers.
    ad as i said before i started looking at the guide it's really helpful though there are several parts that i do not understand and hope i could find all answers here.

    thank you
    j99991
     
  13. j99991

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    thank you for your answer. but i didn't really understood what does it had to do with my question. though i did find a solution for my question which was about checkpoint's sbox routers. and the appliance which i though will have the problem with it come out to work with it ok i guess.
    though i still have a new problem that i will post here.

    thanks
    j99991
     

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