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asterisk pbx ethernet

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all I need now is to change our panasonic PBX with a more modern and
customizable PBX that's why we think to use Asterisk on out linux box.
The problem is to set up the hardware stuff....I first bought a
TDM400P card but then I realized I could use a different and more
scalable solution based on our LAN. I thought I could only buy 3 or 4
IP phones, connect them in our HUB, configure Asterisk and then all I
had to do was learning managing Asterisk to have always more services
(voiceboxes, transfer call, etc) but it doesn't seem so easy.
John, you said to set up a completely switched network and put the
phones on a
separate VLAN.
What if I shouldn't use a vlan? Is it optional or it is only a matter
of performance?
If I should decide to use a VLAN I should buy a special switch, right?
I don't know how to configure a is something to be
configured in the switch or ...where (maybe inside linux or
And what about power over ethernet?? Is the power provided by the
Alternatively I could use normal ethernet and buy self-powered phones,
Sorry to disturb you but I found nothihg in wiki-asterisk about switch
telephony hw and nothing in internet about how to build a VoIP net
from scratch.

(If you know a site you know where I can find all these infos I would
avoid to disturb all the people here in this group).

Thank you very much.

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