Posts Tagged ‘Elastix’

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Installing ADA (Asterisk Desktop Assistant) on Elastix

May 11, 2010

Formerly SnapANumber, ADA is now offered by Digium. However, the first thing that you’ll notice is that it was written for their Asterisk Business Edition.

That’s great if you have ABE, but not so good if you’re one of the millions of installs out there that uses vanilla Asterisk.

This guide presumes you already have ADA downloaded and installed. If not, you can get the latest (At the time of writing) version 1.1 from here:

http://dl1.digium.com/ADA1.1/ADAInstall.exe

Now you’re going to ignore any instructions you’re previously read, and we’ll start from scratch. Don’t worry, you’ll be up and running in a matter of moments!

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Using the Patton SN4554 for ISDN with Elastix

May 6, 2010

For any business migrating to SIP, the Patton SN4554 is a brilliant way to bring two ISDN lines (4-channels) in to their new PBX system, especially considering you don’t have to break open your PBX Server to install a PCI card.

This basic How-To shows you how to set it up to work with your Elastix system:
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How-To: Hotel Management System for Elastix

March 18, 2010

Two blog posts in 24 hours? We’re on a roll here!
Based off PIAF’s Hotel Management System, we’re going to make some minor adjustments to have this work with Elastix. This is a brilliant Hotel Room Management system with the ability to restrict the calls from Ext’s when they are not checked in, per-second billing, and more!

Contents:

  1. Installing the base system
  2. Updating the config
  3. Fixing up HTTPS
  4. Updating dial-plan
  5. Closing words

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Linking systems via OpenVPN (No port-forwards needed on client-side)

March 17, 2010
Yes, this is the ultimate in remote access for your PBX systems! It’s also quite possibly the longest blog post ever!

Imagine a client of yours happens to move their PBX, perhaps they are shifting premises (Without notifying you — Their prerogative I suppose). Now, with the change of ISP’s they’ve changed router and network settings, new public IP Address etc, so until you fix the sip_nat.conf settings calls are dead quiet. What do you do?

Well, you could ring them up and get them to port-forward their router and let you in. Or, you can do everything yourself via your shiny remote-control VPN!

Not only does it not matter where your customer plugs in the box, provided DHCP gives it an IP Address and they don’t have some silly proxy in the way, it will tunnel out NAT, past their routers firewalls, and let you in! It’s a service-operators dream! Used in conjunction with the SSH Tunnelling blog article, you’ll find this gives you total control of their local endpoints as well, just as if you were right there sitting on their LAN. You can even access your clients ADSL Router WebGUI and make the required port-forward changes yourself, provided they give you the admin password of course.

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Initial thoughts on FreePBXv3 and FreeSWITCH vs Asterisk

January 14, 2010

As I’ve been testing out FreePBXv3 with FreeSWITCH, I figured I should blog my experiences, as they’ve been surprisingly pleasant!

After I got notification on the Elastix Beta mailing list about FreePBXv3, I was stoaked to learn it’s been released, even in an unfinished form! I went looking a while back for a FreeSWITCH GUI and was sadly disappointed. I found a few like tcapi and Phonebooth, but couldn’t get tcapi working and Phonebooth had just had all its code donated to FreePBX. So for the time I’d given up.

Anyway, so I grabbed the latest Install CD for FreePBXv3 which is based off CentOS. Ran through smoothly, no issues, got it installed, but I didn’t really do anything much with it.

For one reason or another I jumped into IRC in #freeswitch on freenode, I’ll have to look over my logs and figure out why. Anyway it turns out that some of the FreePBXv3 devs hang out there, and they’re actually friendly! It was a nice change from some of the other projects I’d had involvement in. I think Elastix is probably the only other project that’s been so friendly.

So I got chatting with one of the guys there, and it came up that I was happy to do some testing, so he asks me to do a clean install from a vanilla distro (And not the LiveCD. Again I’m not sure why, I’ll go re-read the chat logs later). No worries, so I install vanilla debian and get to work. Anyway a few bug reports later, 3 SVN updates later, and I’ve got a nicely working system running currently in VirtualBox.

I’m pleased to say that FreeSWITCH as a product from what I can see appears quite mature, but still growing at a steady rate. They even recommend you install from SVN, they’re that confident in the code. Most projects would have you install from a “stable” peg in the code and update as & when they release a new “final” version. The first and most obvious thing I’ve noticed about FreeSWITCH is the sounds. Even just the female voice that guides you through recording a Voicemail sounds *so* much nicer than the Asterisk one, it’s absolutely crazy! There’s also the nice feature that Voicemail automatically stops recording when you’re silent for 2 seconds. Quite cool I thought!

There was no “additional” configuration of any endpoints that I needed to do, tested with ZoIPer and an SPA942 successfully. It simply “just worked” making calls between the devices, as was to be expected. I’m still yet to setup an external trunk to test over.

FreePBXv3 is still a *little* rough around the edges, but overall I must say that the infrastructure that they’ve built, or framework, seems like a great improvement over the current FreePBX 2.X! Not only that, but the developers are very approachable, keen for feedback, they seem to be excellent coders who love doing what they do, and they’re rapidly pumping out an awesome project! It still crashes at times, or at least doesn’t display what it should, however the changes seem to get saved at least even though the correct followup output isn’t shown. Some features aren’t 100% implemented, but overall there’s most of the basic things in there that the majority of people would use. The developers also seemed pretty keen for suggestions and improvements, even just the trivial little things.

I’m just looking forward to trying this out on an Alix system soon to see how it handles the load from FreeSWITCH 😀

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iLBC vs g729 — The quick guide to using compressed codecs in Elastix

November 21, 2009

We all know that g711 (alaw / ulaw) is meant to sound the best. It’s uncompressed and equivalent quality to ISDN, which most businesses are used to with their traditional PABX System.

However, it comes at a price, 64kbps + overheads means around 111kbps when you factor in everything else over an ADSL PPPoA / PPPoE connection.

Now that’s a LOT when you think about it, considering on a standard ADSL2+ line you’re going to max out at around 5-7 SIP lines, especially if it’s a shared connection. This is where a compressed codec such as (My personal favorite) iLBC, or g729, can be incredibly cost effective, as you can load up around 15-20 on the same sort of bandwidth. When you’re a small business, that means with the right kind of QoS, you can share your ADSL Broadband connection and still have 5-10 concurrent phone calls, all happily living together.

So do away with expensive BRI interfaces and monthly charges, and go SIP!

We’re going to look at a few things very briefly:

1) MOS – What is it and why do I care?

2) Which codec is right for me?

3) g729 – Installation

4) iLBC – Installation

5) Trunk and Extension setup

6) Testing the codecs

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Quick and Easy QoS with Tomato

November 21, 2009

SIP combined with Elastix is nothing short of amazing.

Cost savings, flexibility, functionality, and I’ll say it again: Cost savings!

When deploying Elastix to use SIP over ADSL (for example), many find their existing Broadband connection does not quite provide satisfactory call quality, usually due to sharing the connection with other traffic.

We will follow this post up later with another on Diagnosing connectivity / quality issues.

NOTE: This is not the only way to do QoS, but after having struggled with the likes of pfsense, the budget / useless junk that many routers build in, and a host of other software / hardware solutions, I found Tomato did it the easiest, the best, and the most reliably! It’s a breeze to setup, and you’ll be kicking yourself for not having set something like this up earlier. Read the rest of this entry ?