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Davefred99

join:2012-08-10
Moreno Valley, CA
Reviews:
·Callcentric

[PBX] PBX in the cloud or Build your own.

Ok, I have been tinkering with a test PBX box now for a couple of months and have come to a cross road. My current test machine is based on some pretty old tech and gets the job done for now as my needs are small but I am not sure I would trust it for the long term.
So I am looking at the cost of building a new improve PBX that I can set and mostly forget for the long term. I have looked at building a setup based on the Rasberry PI but am not sure it is a truly viable solution but the price is cheap enough. MY other option is to look for or build a low cost Atom based system. This is of course based on if I decide to keep everything in house.
Now I have been looking at an alternate plan of just putting it all in the cloud and renting a virtual PBX. When I compare the associated costs it almost seems cheaper in the long run to just do it all in the cloud as the typical costs I see are form $15 to $25 a month and I think it must cost at least $10 per month just to power my old setup. It would cost at least a few hundred dollars to build a new system even if I use a refurbished Atom setup.
I guess I am just looking for others opinions pro of con . I am sure there are lots of folks on both sides so It would be nice to here some feedback.

sokhapkin
Premium
join:2003-05-08
Cape Coral, FL
I'm trying to understand what you are asking about and I can't...
--
»www.callwithus.com


ekiM
Oh Well

join:2001-01-06
/usr/home
reply to Davefred99
It would help if you described the pbx functionality you need.
Another option is use a provider which offers IVR functionality with a DID/account. Voip.ms has that option and is pay for usage.
That probably is cheaper than a rented PBX.
It is really about the feature set you need.
I have played with all of the options (rented, in-house, raspi and various voip providers) - each can fill a specific need.
--
"I can't sing, I ain't pretty and my legs are thin."

Davefred99

join:2012-08-10
Moreno Valley, CA
Reviews:
·Callcentric
reply to sokhapkin
Sorry,
I was just pondering the options of building a new PBX Box or moving to a Cloud based PBX. Mostly just thinking out loud and looking for some feed back on the pros & cons of either.
I currently have 3 trunks and 6 extensions so its just a basic setup.

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:13
Reviews:
·AcroVoice
·Callcentric
·Anveo
·Shaw
reply to Davefred99
I bought a NAS device last year and have been really enjoying it. Not only is it very convenient to have a large amount of storage space that all my devices can access, I can run more or less anything on it that can be run on a Linux server. It uses <15 watts of power and cost less than building an Atom system myself would.

I'm not going to give a specific brand because I haven't actually set up a PBX with it, so if you think this would work for you, you can investigate further to see which NAS would be best. I just wanted to throw this out there as an option for your consideration.

m.
--
Dear Obihai, please fix the FXS to FXO Relay in the OBi110. Add this as your signature if you agree!

Davefred99

join:2012-08-10
Moreno Valley, CA
Reviews:
·Callcentric
Mango
Are you running a PBX on your NAS? Is it doing double duty or just re commissioned to use for this purpose?
I am looking for low cost solutions including the cost to power them 24/7.

EkiM
My needs are not great but I like to tinker and want all the bells and whistles I can get. I am running a Small Service Business out of my Home so I am mixing both home and business. I have several DID's but my call volume is very low but important. I could get by with using just the features of my VOIP providers but prefer to have things a little more centralized and personal. In many ways my PBX is part hobby part tool.

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:13
It is certainly possible for a good NAS to do double duty.

biomesh
Premium
join:2006-07-08
Tomball, TX

1 recommendation

reply to Davefred99
I think a raspberry pi would be the best low cost solution. A functional pbx for under $50 and you can always get a spare - so total cost under $100.

kaila

join:2000-10-11
Lincolnshire, IL
reply to Davefred99
I have a Raspberry Pi running the asterisk based PBX-in-a-flash very well. It's proving to be a very stable platform and has really exceeded my expectations.

If you don't want local PBX hardware or are looking more to a 'cloud' solution, I'd recommend looking at Voip.ms first. They offer much of the asterisk feature set with a lot of granular control at pay-as-you-go pricing.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
reply to Davefred99
While the RasPI PBX is tempting, I recently built a small server (AMD) for my PBX.
»Re: [Equipment] For Those Looking for an Atom Based PC For Aster

I'm going to do the RasPI anyway, but I'm not sure about using it in a production environment.

It costs about $3.50 / month to run my existing server. It actually runs Proxmox with the PIAF as a VM. It also runs some other small-time VMs. My basement is a lot quieter too!

The hosted solution is always tempting, especially as prices go down. At the end of the day, I prefer to have something I can walk over and pull the plug on if I need to.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.

Davefred99

join:2012-08-10
Moreno Valley, CA
Reviews:
·Callcentric
nunya
That is the kind of feed back I was looking for. Its so hard to keep up with what the latest available low cost hardware available is. I tend to be a hands on guy too and would have pulled the plug on a RasPi a week ago but they are on back order everywhere I check. I am thinking It really does not matter what I do as I can easily just reset my Obi110 & 202 if need be. I also have 2 Grandstream 2000 Ip phones that are easily reprogrammed. In fact thinking about it now I think I could program my trunks on a spare line and just disable them till I need them.

lifespeed

join:2009-09-08
reply to Davefred99
I went the atom with PIAF route. It uses nowhere near $10/month in electricity, probably less than $2.

At a hardware cost of $350 it has paid for itself in less than 1.5 years vs paying cloud rental.
--
Lifespeed


ekiM
Oh Well

join:2001-01-06
/usr/home
reply to Davefred99
You got lots of good responses.
I vote for the raspi for the tinkering factor/price point.
I've been playing with one for a couple weeks.
It is impressive what can be done with ~$50 in hardware.

The one area you should factor in your decision is:
recovery from an infrastructure failure
- the long nasty thread about voip and Sandy

No matter what you end up doing consider the failure points, your recovery options and respective costs to minimize disruption.
--
"I can't sing, I ain't pretty and my legs are thin."


VexorgTR

join:2012-08-27
Sheffield Lake, OH
kudos:1
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·Callcentric
reply to Davefred99
Here's my 2 cents...

Atom based units are fine... and one would gravitate towards building one cheaply. That's all well and good, but cheap hardware has a higher failure rate.

For most PBX applications, I still like to use Stock desktop computer hardware. The Mobo's with Solid Caps, and an ATX power supply are mandated. The reason is, although it's easy and convenient to make a little "toaster" sized Atom box, many times the power supplies are a weird shape/size, and if they fail, they are not always an easy find. I also find that overall, 3.5" hard disks outlast the 2.5" that are common in the small form factors. I have nothing against being economical, but do consider reliability as a factor.

I'll leave the software choice to you, as I am "married" to 3CX. Good hardware can be very affordable, but avoid shortcuts to ensure better reliability.

grand total

join:2005-10-26
Mississauga
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
·Anveo
reply to Davefred99
said by Davefred99:

I am running a Small Service Business out of my Home so I am mixing both home and business. I have several DID's but my call volume is very low but important.

By all means run a PBX as a hobby, I do, but don't run your important calls through it. It's just another point of failure. If you want to have your important calls go through it too then do the job properly, not as a hobby.
--
DPC3825 (bridged mode) - WRT610N + Tomato - Panasonic KX-TGP500 - Asterisk 1.8.11.0 with Asterisk GUI on Virtual Server
Anveo - Voxbeam - Numbergroup - Callcentric - VoIP.MS - Localphone - UKDDI

toro

join:2006-01-27
Scarborough, ON
kudos:7
Reviews:
·Rogers Hi-Speed
·Bell Sympatico
reply to Davefred99
How about hosting it on a virtual private server ? Currently I have my asterisk on a VPS that costs just $1 per month. My VPS is a little small, just 128 MB RAM so I had to do some tweaking to install everything I needed, but you can get for example a 512MB VPS for $3.50 which has plenty of resources to run lots of things on it (like a web server, php, mysql, etc).
As a little bonus, since it's hosted in US, I also configured a VPN server on it so I can get the US version of Netflix from Canada
--
Providers: voip.ms, freephoneline, smartcall.ro through asterisk. Hardware: Vonage VDV21, Moto VT2x42, Linksys SPA series, Grandstream HT series, Panasonic KX-TGP5x0
»www.voipfan.net


XCOM
digitalnUll
Premium
join:2002-06-10
Spring, TX
Reviews:
·ObiVoice
·flowroute
·Comcast
·voip.ms
·Callcentric
reply to Davefred99
I agree with a lot of the statements here and disagree with others.

If you are going to run your own PBX from home/business than take it as serious as your business is. Spend the money on building the right setup. Redundant setup with battery back ups, Fail over systems with no internet dependencies, etc... I disagree that cheap systems fail often.... I have an Alix 2D3 and it has been running for over 6 years no issues.
I work from home and I have to make sure that I am ready for the worst case scenario and be able to have communicate in case of an internet outage which happens often around my area...
--
[nUll@dcypher ~]$

Davefred99

join:2012-08-10
Moreno Valley, CA
Reviews:
·Callcentric
reply to grand total
In my situation I might consider myself a hobbyist but in truth I am a pretty serious hobbyist as all my gear is a closet and in a commercial rack fully UPS backed up. All my network gear is together and tied together. I work as a low voltage contractor and do wiring & video for a living so I am sort of a nerd when it comes to this stuff.
I also maintain a whole house video distribution HTPC in the same rack using Sage TV but moving to WMC & Ceton extenders. I probably used the wrong words when I say cheap. What I really mean is low cost but reliable. I look at things from a big picture scenario and while I often start out on the cheap for my test projects I almost always go quality in the end. In my realm I consider myself a ProSumer. I just want the best bang for my buck.

grand total

join:2005-10-26
Mississauga
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
·Anveo
reply to toro
said by toro:

How about hosting it on a virtual private server ? Currently I have my asterisk on a VPS that costs just $1 per month. My VPS is a little small, just 128 MB RAM so I had to do some tweaking to install everything I needed, but you can get for example a 512MB VPS for $3.50 which has plenty of resources to run lots of things on it (like a web server, php, mysql, etc).
As a little bonus, since it's hosted in US, I also configured a VPN server on it so I can get the US version of Netflix from Canada

I do too, though I pay a little more than you do at $1.25 a month. I'm going to have to shop around a bit. Despite dire warnings not to do this (host on a cheap VPS) I find it well able to deal with my needs. I wouldn't run a business on it though.
--
DPC3825 (bridged mode) - WRT610N + Tomato - Panasonic KX-TGP500 - Asterisk 1.8.11.0 with Asterisk GUI on Virtual Server
Anveo - Voxbeam - Numbergroup - Callcentric - VoIP.MS - Localphone - UKDDI

Davefred99

join:2012-08-10
Moreno Valley, CA
Reviews:
·Callcentric
I did a little Internet searching and did not come up with any VPS provider any where as cheap as quoted. Not sure I would have much trust in $3.50 or even cheaper per month host provider.
I am still looking at the idea of a cloud PBX but also the thought of building my own Virtual Machine PC has crossed my mind. I have some other things such as a pc base security system that could probably be moved to a VM and always like to tinker.My problem is I know not much about what VM software or platform would be best and or at what cost.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Tinker with the free ones first. I finally settled on Proxmox, but there are others that have their own strong points.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.

Davefred99

join:2012-08-10
Moreno Valley, CA
Reviews:
·Callcentric
Nunya,

Since I have zero experience with VM I am unclear what free ones to try, I looked at VMware Player and Virtualbox, but sort of got lost. It was not clear to me if I had to start with a clear clean PC or if I could just load one on and existing Windows PC. My only available PC's are still running winXP. I have win7 on my laptop and have ab HTPC also running winXp as a Sage TV server. My current PIAF box is a lowly P3 1100 with just 512 of memory so its probably out. I am thinking of building a new Win7 or 8 HTPC but not sure I would want to put or even could run VM on it. I don't think and HTPC server would work out well in a VM? But again I am starting with now working knowledge just what little I have read up on it.

grand total

join:2005-10-26
Mississauga
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
·Anveo
reply to Davefred99
said by Davefred99:

I did a little Internet searching and did not come up with any VPS provider any where as cheap as quoted.

»www.lowendbox.com
--
DPC3825 (bridged mode) - WRT610N + Tomato - Panasonic KX-TGP500 - Asterisk 1.8.11.0 with Asterisk GUI on Virtual Server
Anveo - Voxbeam - Numbergroup - Callcentric - VoIP.MS - Localphone - UKDDI

voip_wire

join:2010-07-02
kudos:1
reply to toro
Toro,
May I ask the name of the VPS provider?
-m

voip_wire

join:2010-07-02
kudos:1
reply to Davefred99
said by Davefred99:

I did a little Internet searching and did not come up with any VPS provider any where as cheap as quoted. Not sure I would have much trust in $3.50 or even cheaper per month host provider.

I suggest you look at lowendbox.com and the associated forum LowEndTalk. I use a 128mb ram KVM server from hostigation and have found them to be excellent. At $30/year, which includes a static ip address, I find the VPS route to be very economical.
Another provider frequently recommended at LowEndTalk is buyvm.net.

Cheers,
-m

toro

join:2006-01-27
Scarborough, ON
kudos:7
reply to voip_wire
For the $1/month: »www.chicagovps.net/openvz.html
for the $3.5/month: »secure.ugvps.com/cart.php?gid=9

w1ve
Premium
join:2007-12-28
Hancock, NH
said by toro:

For the $1/month: »www.chicagovps.net/openvz.html
for the $3.5/month: »secure.ugvps.com/cart.php?gid=9

Be very careful with ChicagoVPS. A lot of people just lost a bunch of VPS' because their master password was hacked, and the hacker deleted many of the VMs. Some were lucky.

For $15/month, you can get a PBX-In-A-Flash virtual from RentPBX.com. I'm a customer and very, very happy. One minute after ordering your PBX will be up and running, with the latest PIAF build.

That said, I also have PIAF running on a RasPi and a Dual-Core-Atom-based system.

If you are going to have your own pbx on site, where is the application?
- If it is at home, do you have teenagers playing games or doing bittorrent? Bandwidth may be an issue.
- If you are in a business, how much internet bandwidth do you have? Can you run a seperate network/internet connection for the PBX. It may not be an issue, but you may want a router you can set up QOS on.

What I do is trunk my RasPi in the house to my main PBX on RentPBX.
(It's a SOHO consulting biz).

All three -- host, RasPi or Atom -- are great low-cost solutions.
--
VoIP Geek/Customer of voip.ms, vitelity, flowroute, callcentric, localphone, didforsale, voicemeup among others/Asterisk-PIAF user/FreeSwitch app developer/Consulting

Davefred99

join:2012-08-10
Moreno Valley, CA
Reviews:
·Callcentric
If I decide to go to a cloud solution I am pretty much convinced that the rentpbx.com $15 plan is how I will do it. I am just not confident in the security or longevity of this super cheap VPS plans. Until I build a new greener box I am probably spending close to that per month on electricity here in California where Edison rapes us.
Since my setup is not that sophisticated I am sort of thinking that no matter what I do it is pretty much a simple thing to switch from one to another in short order. How long can it take to setup 3 trunks & 6 extensions, maybe an hour at most.
It seems like a lot of folks do more than one and switch back and forth or co mingle them I guess mostly for redundancy or maybe just because they can and like to tinker a lot. I probably fit the latter group so it is likely I will be doing something similar until I settle on one way over another.