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Dave Saville 06-15-2006 07:27 AM

Multi office question
 
Friend of mine is a partner in a small business. They have two offices in two
different towns and are expanding to a third. Could they do something clever by
having say an asterisk server in one location handling all three sites? Not
certain at this point if the three sites are fixed IP or not. I suspect not.

TIA

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Regards

Dave Saville

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alexd 06-15-2006 04:49 PM

Re: Multi office question
 
Dave Saville wrote:

> Friend of mine is a partner in a small business. They have two offices in
> two different towns and are expanding to a third. Could they do something
> clever by having say an asterisk server in one location handling all three
> sites? Not certain at this point if the three sites are fixed IP or not. I
> suspect not.


Fixed IPs would make life a lot easier. We've found that using a decent
firewall with the ability to prioritise voice traffic over
non-time-critical stuff was handy.

It's worth bearing in mind that if the internet connection drops at location
with the Asterisk server, none of the branches could make calls. One
potential solution to this is having multi-SIP-account phones at the branch
offices - if the internet connection to the Asterisk server goes off, the
user can just use a different SIP account. After spending ages setting up
20 phones with 2 accounts each, you'll probably wish you went for an
Asterisk box at each site :-)

I was thinking of doing similar, but I've come to the conclusion that it's
probably better in the long run to have an Asterisk server at every site.
One reason being that you can set up a trunk between two Asterisk servers,
so if you're bandwidth-poor [256k up DSL at either end, for example]
compared to the number of calls you want to make, Asterisk will allow you
to specify the maximum number of concurrent calls a trunk can handle. That
way, callers will get a busy tone instead of abysmal call quality when
there's too many calls going over it.

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Peter Gradwell 06-15-2006 04:54 PM

Re: Multi office question
 
hi

Dave Saville wrote:
> Friend of mine is a partner in a small business. They have two offices in two
> different towns and are expanding to a third. Could they do something clever by
> having say an asterisk server in one location handling all three sites? Not
> certain at this point if the three sites are fixed IP or not. I suspect not.


In our experience, if they put an asterisk server at both sites, they
could use that to link them together - or, if they have sufficient
bandwidth, then they could just have the one server in one site.

the main problem will be that if you do it, all phone calls (even within
satelite offices) will be trunked through the "main office" internet
connection.

The alternative to doing this would be to have a hosted asterisk
solution, where by you use a provider's virtual PBX, and then all the
phones connect over the internet to a centralised pbx hosted in a
datacentre - and that means that bandwidth will be used equally across
all adsl lines.

cheers
peter

--
peter gradwell. gradwell dot com Ltd. http://www.gradwell.com/
-- engineering & hosting services for email, web and voip --
-- http://www.peter.me.uk/ -- http://www.voip.org.uk/ --

Thomas Kenyon 06-21-2006 05:03 PM

Re: Multi office question
 
Peter Gradwell wrote:

>
> In our experience, if they put an asterisk server at both sites, they
> could use that to link them together - or, if they have sufficient
> bandwidth, then they could just have the one server in one site.
>
> the main problem will be that if you do it, all phone calls (even within
> satelite offices) will be trunked through the "main office" internet
> connection.
>

Is there any reason why you can't have them using dialplans in asterisk
to forward calls to the relevant hosts (with rsa authentication), and
have 3 trunks to the outgoing provider (one at each site), since they
all have internet connections.

A lot more information is necessary really (mostly regarding the
internet connections used).

Also worth mentioning that to use trunking, asterisk needs a timing
source (preferably a hardware one), will the machines need line cards
for any purpose?

Doing this all without static IPs would be very difficult.

As alex states, it's worth noting that you will require a good firewall,
if you don't want to have 2 broadband connections at each site.

Peter Gradwell 06-22-2006 01:46 PM

Re: Multi office question
 
Thomas Kenyon wrote:
> Peter Gradwell wrote:
>
>
>>In our experience, if they put an asterisk server at both sites, they
>>could use that to link them together - or, if they have sufficient
>>bandwidth, then they could just have the one server in one site.
>>
>>the main problem will be that if you do it, all phone calls (even within
>>satelite offices) will be trunked through the "main office" internet
>>connection.

>
> Is there any reason why you can't have them using dialplans in asterisk
> to forward calls to the relevant hosts (with rsa authentication), and
> have 3 trunks to the outgoing provider (one at each site), since they
> all have internet connections.


yeah. I guess some dial plan jiggery pokery could be done to optimise
the call routing.

cheers
peter

--
peter gradwell. gradwell dot com Ltd. http://www.gradwell.com/
-- engineering & hosting services for email, web and voip --
-- http://www.peter.me.uk/ -- http://www.voip.org.uk/ --


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