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Monday, September 5, 2011

Open Source PBX Evaluation

A while ago I had to do evaluation of PBX systems for a company after we discovered that we didn't have enough bandwidth between two offices to offer guaranteed quality of service during peak data transfer times. These are some of the notes from that particular evaluation. Note, that this data may be invalid since the actual evaluation was conducted about a year and half ago from the data of this particular post.

- Trixbox/FreePBX/Elastix/AsteriskNOW/SwitchVox have been evaluated
- apparently custom contexts module for Elastix is in beta and has to be custom installed, http://www.freepbx.org/support/documentation/module-documentation/third-party-unsupported-modules/customcontexts
- http://mirror.freepbx.org/modules/release/contributed_modules/ Had to update to latest version of software as old version didn't seem to pick up existing settings from within our current phone network well. New version seems a little funny. Had to setup in unembedded FreePBX, then check in Elastix PBX section and apply, then go back into FreePBX before outbound routes were picked up correctly...
- VMBlast is a module that will allow you to leave voicemail for multiple users in your system, http://www.trixbox.org/forums/trixbox-forums/help/info-vmblast-please
- To install a new module in FreePBX basically download it, extract it, then within the web inteface go to unembedded FreePBX, 'Modules Admin', Install, Process, Confirm
- http://code.google.com/p/teletorture/ Telemarketer Torture module for FreePBX, generates a destination for inbound calls in FreePBX which you may send unwanted callers to Module created by James Finstrom
- Outbound Routes, Dial Patterns
- ZAP, Dial Rules
- AsteriskNOW, think of FreePBX on a stripped down version of Linux that is fast to install. Reminds me of LiveCD produced by Xorcom in order to test connectivity to their devices. http://www.xorcom.com/downloads/live-cd-quick-start.html
- non-critical bug in Trixbox installer. kmod does not require kernel... interesting that they've opted to go for text based installer as opposed to full blown GUI
- Trixbox have apparently setup their own init.d like start-up system, /var/trixbox_load/firstboot/
- builtin functionality to allow for reboot when no active calls are going
- true web based tick and upgrade system that will allow us to pursue more finer grained control than was previously possible with all in one support packages
- interesting that they should choose to go with phpconfig rather than a complete brand new interface for their file configuration
- SwitchVox is very slick but may end up being beyond our budget considering the number of phones in our system, http://demo.switchvox.com/admin
- http://www.freepbx.org/download-freepbx redirects to Asterisk NOW for live test CD
- http://www.freepbx.org/support/documentation/installation, installing FreePBX on various systems

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