Hardware requirements

Atlanta Asterisk Users Group » INSTALL FEST & CONFERENCE

If you bring a PC for an installation of Asterisk, you do not need to bring a monitor, keyboard or mouse; however, here are the minimum hardware requirements: Table 2-1. System requirement guidelines

Chapter 2. Preparing a System for Asterisk

Very early on, I knew that someday in some "perfect" future out there over the horizon, it would be commonplace for computers to handle all of the necessary processing functionality internally, making the necessary external hardware to connect up to telecom interfaces very inexpensive and, in some cases, trivial.

—Jim Dixon, "The History of Zapata Telephony and How It Relates to the Asterisk PBX"

By this point, you must be anxious to get your Asterisk system up and running. If you are building a hobby system, you can probably jump right to the next chapter and begin the installation. For a mission-critical deployment, however, some thought must be given to the environment in which the Asterisk system will run. Make no mistake: Asterisk, being a very flexible piece of software, will happily and successfully install on nearly any Linux platform you can conceive of, and several non-Linux platforms as well.[*] However, to arm you with an understanding of the type of operating environment Asterisk will really thrive in, this chapter will discuss issues you need to be aware of in order to deliver a reliable, well-designed system.

[*] People have successfully compiled and run Asterisk on WRAP boards, Linksys WRT54G routers, Soekris systems, Pentium 100s, PDAs, Apple Macs, Sun SPARCs, laptops, and more. Of course, whether you would want to put such a system into production is another matter entirely. (Actually, the AstLinux distribution, by Kristian Kielhofner, runs very well indeed on the Soekris 4801 board. Once you've grasped the basics of Asterisk, this is something worth looking into further. Check out (http://www.astlinux.org).)

In terms of its resource requirements, Asterisk's needs are similar to those of an embedded, real-time application. This is due in large part to its need to have priority access to the processor and system buses. It is, therefore, imperative that any functions on the system not directly related to the call-processing tasks of Asterisk be run at a low priority, if at all. On smaller systems and hobby systems, this might not be as much of an issue. However, on high-capacity systems, performance shortcomings will manifest as audio quality problems for users, often experienced as echo, static, and the like. The symptoms will resemble those experienced on a cell phone when going out of range, although the underlying causes will be different. As loads increase, the system will have increasing difficulty maintaining connections. For a PBX, such a situation is nothing short of disastrous, so careful attention to performance requirements is a critical consideration during the platform selection process.

Table 2-1 lists some very basic guidelines that you'll want to keep in mind when planning your system. The next section takes a close look at the various design and implementation issues that will affect its performance.


The size of an Asterisk system is actually not dictated by the number of users or sets, but rather by the number of simultaneous calls it will be expected to support. These numbers are very conservative, so feel free to experiment and see what works for you.



Table 2-1. System requirement guidelines
Purpose Number of channels Minimum recommended
Hobby system No more than 5 400 MHz x86, 256 MB RAM
SOHO system (small office/home office—less than three lines and five sets) 5 to 10 1 GHz x86, 512 MB RAM
Small business system Up to 25 3 GHz x86, 1 GB RAM
Medium to large system More than 25 Dual CPUs, possibly also multiple servers in a distributed architecture

With large Asterisk installations, it is common to deploy functionality across several servers. One or more central units will be dedicated to call processing; these will be complemented by one or more ancillary servers handling peripherals (such as a database system, a voicemail system, a conferencing system, a management system, a web interface, a firewall, and so on). As is true in most Linux environments, Asterisk is well suited to growing with your needs: a small system that used to be able to handle all your call-processing and peripheral tasks can be distributed among several servers when increased demands exceed its abilities. Flexibility is a key reason why Asterisk is extremely cost-effective for rapidly growing businesses; there is no effective maximum or minimum size to consider when budgeting the initial purchase. While some scalability is possible with most telephone systems, we have yet to hear of one that can scale as flexibly as Asterisk. Having said that, distributed Asterisk systems are not simple to design—this is not a task for someone new to Asterisk.




If you are sure that you need to set up a distributed Asterisk system, you will want to study the DUNDi protocol, Asterisk Realtime Architecture (ARA), func_odbc, and the various other database tools at your disposal. This will help you to abstract the data your system requires from the dialplan logic your Asterisk systems will utilize, allowing a generic set of dialplan logic that can be used across multiple boxes, thereby allowing you to scale more simply by adding additional boxes to the system. However, this is far beyond the scope of this book and will be left as an exercise for the reader. If you want a teaser of some tools you can use for scaling, see Chapter 12.




A Set of Load Test Results

Joshua Colp was able to produce the results in Table 2-2 on an AMD Athlon64 X2 4200+ with 1 GB RAM and 80 GB SATA hard drive, testing with the default scenario in the SIPp application: a simple call setup, Playback() an audio file, and Wait() a short time. Notice the massive savings in CPU utilization while reading data from the RAM disk versus the hard drive. This could be interpreted as the CPU waiting for data to process before delivering it to the requesting channel. However, this is just a simple test and in no way reflects the amount of calls your system will be able to handle. You are encouraged to load test your own system to determine the number of simultaneous calls that can be handled utilizing your dialplan and combination of applications.


Table 2-2. Sample test results for SIPp default scenario using simple Wait() and Playback() application; SIPp echoed media back to Asterisk
Simultaneous calls 330 330 550
CPU utilization 149% 14.8% 57.6%
Load average 49 25 60
Storage Hard drive RAM disk RAM disk



2.1. Server Hardware Selection

The selection of a server is both simple and complicated: simple because, really, any x86-based platform will suffice, but complicated because the reliable performance of your system will depend on the care that is put into the platform design. When selecting your hardware, you must carefully consider the overall design of your system and what functionality you need to support. This will help you determine your requirements for the CPU, motherboard, and power supply. If you are simply setting up your first Asterisk system for the purpose of learning, you can safely ignore the information in this section. If, however, you are building a mission-critical system suitable for deployment, these are issues that require some thought.

2.1.1. Performance Issues

Among other considerations, when selecting the hardware for an Asterisk installation you must bear in mind this critical question: how powerful must the system be? This is not an easy question to answer, because the manner in which the system is to be used will play a big role in the resources it will consume. There is no such thing as an Asterisk performance-engineering matrix, so you will need to understand how Asterisk uses the system in order to make intelligent decisions about what kinds of resources will be required. You will need to consider several factors, including:


The maximum number of concurrent connections the system will be expected to support

Each connection will increase the workload on the system.


The percentage of traffic that will require processor-intensive DSP of compressed codecs (such as G.729 and GSM)

The Digital Signal Processing (DSP) work that Asterisk performs in software can have a staggering impact on the number of concurrent calls it will support. A system that might happily handle 50 concurrent G.711 calls could be brought to its knees by a request to conference together 10 G.729 compressed channels. We'll talk more about G.729, GSM, G.711, and many other codecs in Chapter 8.


Whether conferencing will be provided, and what level of conferencing activity is expected

Will the system be used heavily? Conferencing requires the system to transcode and mix each individual incoming audio stream into multiple outgoing streams. Mixing multiple audio streams in near-real-time can place a significant load on the CPU.


Echo cancellation

Echo cancellation may be required on any call where a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) interface is involved. Since echo cancellation is a mathematical function, the more of it the system has to perform, the higher the load on the CPU will be. [dagger] Do not fear. Echo cancellation is another topic for Chapter 8.

[dagger] Roughly 30 MHz of CPU power per channel.


Dialplan scripting logic

Whenever Asterisk has to pass call control to an external program, there is a performance penalty. As much logic as possible should be built into the dialplan. If external scripts are used, they should be designed with performance and efficiency as critical considerations.

As for the exact performance impact of these factors, it's difficult to know for sure. The effect of each is known in general terms, but an accurate performance calculator has not yet been successfully defined. This is partly because the effect of each component of the system is dependent on numerous variables, such as CPU power, motherboard chipset and overall quality, total traffic load on the system, Linux kernel optimizations, network traffic, number and type of PSTN interfaces, and PSTN traffic—not to mention any non-Asterisk services the system is performing concurrently. Let's take a look at the effects of several key factors:


Codecs and transcoding

Simply put, a codec (short for coder/decoder, or compression/decompression) is a set of mathematical rules that define how an analog waveform will be digitized. The differences between the various codecs are due in large part to the levels of compression and quality that they offer. Generally speaking, the more compression that's required, the more work the DSP must do to code or decode the signal. Uncompressed codecs, therefore, put far less strain on the CPU (but require more network bandwidth). Codec selection must strike a balance between bandwidth and processor usage.


Central processing unit (and Floating Point Unit)

A CPU is comprised of several components, one of which is the floating point unit (FPU). The speed of the CPU, coupled with the efficiency of its FPU, will play a significant role in the number of concurrent connections a system can effectively support. The next section (Section 2.1.2) offers some general guidelines for choosing a CPU that will meet the needs of your system.


Other processes running concurrently on the system

Being Unix-like, Linux is designed to be able to multitask several different processes. A problem arises when one of those processes (such as Asterisk) demands a very high level of responsiveness from the system. By default, Linux will distribute resources fairly among every application that requests them. If you install a system with many different server applications, those applications will each be allowed their fair use of the CPU. Since Asterisk requires frequent high-priority access to the CPU, it does not get along well with other applications, and if Asterisk must coexist with other apps, the system may require special optimizations. This primarily involves the assignment of priorities to various applications in the system and, during installation, careful attention to which applications are installed as services.


Kernel optimizations

A kernel optimized for the performance of one specific application is something that very few Linux distributions offer by default and, thus, it requires some thought. At the very minimum—whichever distribution you choose—a fresh copy of the Linux kernel (available from (http://www.kernel.org)) should be downloaded and compiled on your platform. You may also be able to acquire patches that will yield performance improvements, but these are considered hacks to the officially supported kernel.


IRQ latency

Interrupt request (IRQ) latency is basically the delay between the moment a peripheral card (such as a telephone interface card) requests the CPU to stop what it's doing and the moment when the CPU actually responds and is ready to handle the task. Asterisk's peripherals (especially the Zaptel cards) are extremely intolerant of IRQ latency. This is not due to any problem with the cards so much as part of the nature of how a software-based TDM engine has to work. If we buffer the TDM data and send it on the bus as a larger packet, that may be more efficient from a system perspective, but it will create a delay between the time the audio is received on the card, and when it is delivered to the CPU. This makes real-time processing of TDM data next to impossible. In the design of Zaptel, it was decided that sending the data every 1 ms would create the best trade-off, but a side effect of this is that any card in the system that uses the Zaptel interface is going to ask the system to process an interrupt every millisecond. This used to be a factor on older motherboards, but it has largely ceased to be a cause for concern.


Linux has historically had problems with its ability to service IRQs quickly; this problem has caused enough trouble for audio developers that several patches have been created to address this shortcoming. So far, there has been some mild controversy over how to incorporate these patches into the Linux kernel.




Kernel version

Asterisk is officially supported on Linux Version 2.6.


Linux distribution

Linux distributions are many and varied. In the next chapter, we will discuss the challenge of selecting a Linux distribution, and how to obtain and install both Linux and Asterisk.

2.1.2. Choosing a Processor

Since the performance demands of Asterisk will generally involve a large number of math calculations, it is essential that you select a processor with a powerful FPU. The signal processing that Asterisk performs can quickly demand a staggering quantity of complex mathematical computations from the CPU. The efficiency with which these tasks are carried out will be determined by the power of the FPU within the processor.

To actually name a best processor for Asterisk in this book would fly in the face of Moore's law. Even in the time between the authoring and publishing of this book, processor speeds will undergo rapid improvements, as will Asterisk's support for various architectures. Obviously, this is a good thing, but it also makes the giving of advice on the topic a thankless task. Naturally, the more powerful the FPU is, the more concurrent DSP tasks Asterisk will be able to handle, so that is the ultimate consideration. When you are selecting a processor, the raw clock speed is only part of the equation. How well it handles floating-point operations will be a key differentiator, as DSP operations in Asterisk will place a large demand on that process.

Both Intel and AMD CPUs have powerful FPUs. Current-generation chips from either of those manufacturers can be expected to perform well.[double dagger]

[double dagger] If you want to be completely up to the minute on which CPUs are leading the performance race, surf on over to Tom's Hardware ((http://www.tomshardware.com)) or AnandTech ((http://www.anandtech.com)), where you will find a wealth of information about both current and out-of-date CPUs, motherboards, and chipsets.

The obvious conclusion is that you should get the most powerful CPU your budget will allow. However, don't be too quick to buy the most expensive CPU out there. You'll need to keep the requirements of your system in mind; after all, a Formula 1 Ferrari is ill-suited to the rigors of rush-hour traffic. Slower CPUs will often run cooler and, thus, you might be able to build a lower-powered, fanless Asterisk system for a small office, which could work well in a dusty environment, perhaps.

In order to attempt to provide a frame of reference from which we can contemplate our platform decision, we have chosen to define three sizes of Asterisk systems: small, medium, and large. Small systems

Small systems (up to 10 phones) are not immune to the performance requirements of Asterisk, but the typical load that will be placed on a smaller system will generally fall within the capabilities of a modern processor.

If you are building a small system from older components you have lying around, be aware that the resulting system cannot be expected to perform at the same level as a more powerful machine, and will run into performance degradation under a much lighter load. Hobby systems can be run successfully on very low-powered hardware, although this is by no means recommended for anyone who is not a whiz at Linux performance tuning.[§]

[§] Greg Boehnlein once compiled and ran Asterisk on a 133 MHz Pentium system, but that was mostly as an experiment. Performance problems are far more likely, and properly configuring such a system requires an expert knowledge of Linux. We do not recommend running Asterisk on anything less than a 500 MHz system (for a production system, 2 GHz might be a sensible minimum). Still, we think the fact that Asterisk is so flexible is remarkable.

If you are setting up an Asterisk system for the purposes of learning, you will be able to build a fully featured platform using a relatively low-powered CPU. The authors of this book run several Asterisk lab systems with 433 MHz to 700 MHz Celeron processors, but the workload of these systems is minimal (never more than two concurrent calls).


AstLinux and Asterisk on OpenWRT

If you are really comfortable working with Linux on embedded platforms, you will want to join the AstLinux mailing list and run Kristian Kielhofner's creation, AstLinux, or get yourself a Linksys WRT54GL and install Brian Capouch's version of Asterisk for that platform.

These projects strip Asterisk down to its essentials, and allow incredibly powerful PBX applications to be deployed on very inexpensive hardware.

While both projects require a fair amount of knowlege and effort on your part, they also share a huge coolness factor, are extrememly popular, and are of excellent quality. Medium systems

Medium-sized systems (from 10 to 50 phones) are where performance considerations will be the most challenging to resolve. Generally, these systems will be deployed on one or two servers only and, thus, each machine will be required to handle more than one specific task. As loads increase, the limits of the platform will become increasingly stressed. Users may begin to perceive quality problems without realizing that the system is not faulty in any way, but simply exceeding its capacity. These problems will get progressively worse as more and more load is placed on the system, with the user experience degrading accordingly. It is critical that performance problems be identified and addressed before they are noticed by users.

Monitoring performance on these systems and quickly acting on any developing trends is key to ensuring that a quality telephony platform is provided. Large systems

Large systems (more than 120 channels) can be distributed across multiple systems and sites and, thus, performance concerns can be managed through the addition of machines. Very large Asterisk systems have been created in this way.

Building a large system requires an advanced level of knowledge in many different disciplines. We will not discuss it in detail in this book, other than to say that the issues you'll encounter will be similar to those encountered during any deployment of multiple servers handling a single, distributed task.

2.1.3. Choosing a Motherboard

Just to get any anticipation out of the way, we also cannot recommend specific motherboards in this book. With new motherboards coming out on a weekly basis, any recommendations we could make would be rendered moot by obsolescence before the published copy hit the shelves. Not only that, but motherboards are like automobiles: while they are all very similar in principle, the difference is in the details. And as Asterisk is a performance application, the details matter.

What we will do, therefore, is give you some idea of the kinds of motherboards that can be expected to work well with Asterisk, and the features that will make for a good motherboard. The key is to have both stability and high performance. Here are some guidelines to follow:


Figure 2-1. Visual identification of PCI slots



Having said all that, we need to get back to the original point: Asterisk can and will happily install on pretty much any system that will run Linux. The lab systems used to write this book, for example, included everything from a Linksys WRT to a dual-Xeon locomotive.[#] We have not experienced any performance or stability problems running less than five concurrent telephone connections. For the purposes of learning, do not be afraid to install Asterisk on whatever system you can scrounge up. When you are ready to put your system into production, however, you will need to understand the ramifications of the choices you make with respect to your hardware.

[#] OK, it wasn't actually a locomotive, but it sure sounded like one. Does anyone know where to get quiet CPU fans for Xeon processors? It's getting too loud in the lab here.

2.1.4. Power Supply Requirements

One often-overlooked component in a PC is the power supply (and the supply of power). For a telecommunications system,[**] these components can play a significant role in the quality of the user experience.

[**] Or any system that is expected to process audio. Computer power supplies

The power supply you select for your system will play a vital role in the stability of the entire platform. Asterisk is not a particularly power-hungry application, but anything relating to multimedia (whether it be telephony, professional audio, video, or the like) is generally sensitive to power quality.

This oft-neglected component can turn an otherwise top-quality system into a poor performer. By the same token, a top-notch power supply might enable an otherwise cheap PC to perform like a champ.

The power supplied to a system must provide not only the energy the system needs to perform its tasks but also stable, clean signal lines for all of the voltages your system expects from it.

Spend the money and get a top-notch power supply (gamers are pretty passionate about this sort of thing, so there are lots of choices out there). Redundant power supplies

In a carrier-grade or high-availability environment, it is common to deploy servers that use a redundant power supply. Essentially, this involves two completely independent power supplies, either one of which is capable of meeting the power requirements of the system.

If this is important to you, keep in mind that best practices suggest that to be properly redundant, these power supplies should be connected to completely independent uninterruptible power supplies (UPSes) that are in turn fed by totally separate electrical circuits. In truly mission-critical environments (such as hospitals), even the main electrical feeds into the building are redundant, and diesel-powered generators are on-site to generate electricity during extended power failures (such as the one that hit Northeastern North America on August 15, 2003).

2.2. Environment

Your system's environment consists of all of those factors that are not actually part of the server itself but nevertheless play a crucial role in the reliability and quality that can be expected from the system. Electrical supplies, room temperature and humidity, sources of interference, and security are all factors that should be contemplated.

2.2.1. Power Conditioning and Uninterruptible Power Supplies

When selecting the power sources for your system, consideration should be given not only to the amount of power the system will use, but also to the manner in which this power is delivered.

Power is not as simple as voltage coming from the outlet in the wall, and you should never just plug a production system into whatever electrical source is near at hand.[daggerdagger]Giving some consideration to the supply of power to your system can provide a far more stable power environment, leading to a far more stable system.

[daggerdagger] Okay, look, you can plug it in wherever you'd like, and it'll probably work, but if your system has strange stability problems, please give this section another read. Deal?

One of the benefits of clean power is a reduction in heat, which means less stress on components, leading to a longer life expectancy.

Properly grounded, conditioned power feeding a premium-quality power supply will ensure a clean logic ground (a.k.a. 0 volt) reference[double daggerdouble dagger] for the system and keep electrical noise on the motherboard to a minimum. These are industry-standard best practices for this type of equipment, which should not be neglected. A relatively simple way to achieve this is through the use of a power-conditioned UPS.[§§]

[double daggerdouble dagger] In electronic devices, a binary zero (0) is generally related to a 0 volt signal, while a binary one (1) can be represented by many different voltages (commonly between 2.5 and 5 volts). The grounding reference that the system will consider 0 volts is often referred to as the logic ground. A poorly grounded system might have electrical potential on the logic ground to such a degree that the electronics mistake a binary zero for a binary one. This can wreak havoc with the system's ability to process instructions.

[§§] It is a common misconception belief that all UPSes provide clean power. This is not at all true. Power-conditioned UPSes

The UPS is well known for its role as a battery backup, but the power-conditioning benefits that high-end UPS units also provide are less well understood.

Power conditioning can provide a valuable level of protection from the electrical environment by regenerating clean power through an isolation transformer. A quality power conditioner in your UPS will eliminate most electrical noise from the power feed and help to ensure a rock-steady supply of power to your system.

Unfortunately, not all UPS units are created equal; many of the less expensive units do not provide clean power. What's worse, manufacturers of these devices will often promise all kinds of protection from surges, spikes, overvoltages, and transients. While such devices may protect your system from getting fried in an electrical storm, they will not clean up the power being fed to your system and, thus, will do nothing to contribute to stability.

Make sure your UPS is power conditioned. If it doesn't say exactly that, it isn't.

2.2.2. Grounding

Voltage is defined as the difference in electrical potential between two points. When considering a ground (which is basically nothing more than an electrical path to earth), the common assumption is that it represents 0 volts. But if we do not define that 0V in relation to something, we are in danger of assuming things that may not be so. If you measure the voltage between two grounding references, you'll often find that there is a voltage potential between them. This voltage potential between grounding points can be significant enough to cause logic errors—or even damage—in a system where more than one path to ground is present.


One of the authors recalls once frying a sound card he was trying to connect to a friend's stereo system. Even though both the computer and the stereo were in the same room, more than 6 volts of difference was measured between the ground conductors of the two electrical outlets they were plugged into! The wire between the stereo and the PC (by way of the sound card) provided a path that the voltage eagerly followed, thus frying a sound card that was not designed to handle that much current on its signal leads. Connecting both the PC and the stereo to the same outlet fixed the problem.



When considering electrical regulations, the purpose of a ground is primarily human safety. In a computer, the ground is used as a 0V logic reference. An electrical system that provides proper safety will not always provide a proper logic reference—in fact, the goals of safety and power quality are sometimes in disagreement. Naturally, when a choice must be made, safety has to take precedence.


Since the difference between a binary zero and a binary one is represented in computers by voltage differences of sometimes less than 3V, it is entirely possible for unstable power conditions caused by poor grounding or electrical noise to cause all kinds of intermittent system problems. Some power and grounding advocates estimate that more than 80 percent of unexplained computer glitches can be traced to power quality. Most of us blame Microsoft.



Modern switching power supplies are somewhat isolated from power quality issues, but any high-performance system will always benefit from a well-designed power environment. In mainframes, proprietary PBXes, and other expensive computing platforms, the grounding of the system is never left to chance. The electronics and frames of these systems are always provided with a dedicated ground that does not depend on the safety grounds supplied with the electrical feed.

Regardless of how much you are willing to invest in grounding, when you specify the electrical supply to any PBX, ensure that the electrical circuit is completely dedicated to your system (as discussed in the next section) and that an insulated, isolated grounding conductor is provided. This can be expensive to provision, but it will contribute greatly to a quality power environment for your system.[||||]

[||||] On a hobby system, this is probably too much to ask, but if you are planning on using Asterisk for anything important, at least be sure to give it a fighting chance; don't put anything like air conditioners, photocopiers, laser printers, or motors on the same circuit. The strain such items place on your power supply will shorten its life expectancy.

It is also vital that each and every peripheral you connect to your system be connected to the same electrical receptacle (or, more specifically, the same ground reference). This will cut down on the occurrence of ground loops, which can cause anything from buzzing and humming noises to damaged or destroyed equipment.

2.2.3. Electrical Circuits

If you've ever seen the lights dim when an electrical appliance kicks in, you've seen the effect that a high-energy device can have on an electrical circuit. If you were to look at the effects of a multitude of such devices, each drawing power in its own way, you would see that the harmonically perfect 50 or 60 Hz sine wave you may think you're getting with your power is anything but. Harmonic noise is extremely common on electrical circuits , and it can wreak havoc on sensitive electronic equipment. For a PBX, these problems can manifest as audio problems, logic errors, and system instability.

Ideally, you should never install a server on an electrical circuit that is shared with other devices. There should be only one outlet on the circuit, and you should connect only your telephone system (and associated peripherals) to it. The wire (including the ground) should be run unbroken directly back to the electrical panel. The grounding conductor should be insulated and isolated. There are far too many stories of photocopiers, air conditioners, and vacuum cleaners wreaking havoc with sensitive electronics to ignore this rule of thumb.


The electrical regulations in your area must always take precedence over any ideas presented here. If in doubt, consult a power quality expert in your area on how to ensure that you adhere to electrical regulations. Remember, electrical regulations take into account the fact that human safety is far more important than the safety of the equipment.



2.2.4. The Equipment Room

Environmental conditions can wreak havoc on systems, and yet it is quite common to see critical systems deployed with little or no attention given to these matters. When the system is installed, everything works well, but after as little as six months, components begin to fail. Talk to anyone with experience in maintaining servers and systems, and it becomes obvious that attention to environmental factors can play a significant role in the stability and reliability of systems. Humidity

Simply put, humidity is water in the air. Water is a disaster for electronics for two main reasons: 1) water is a catalyst for corrosion, and 2) water is conductive enough that it can cause short circuits. Do not install any electronic equipment in areas of high humidity without providing a means to remove the moisture. Temperature

Heat is the enemy of electronics. The cooler you keep your system, the more reliably it will perform, and the longer it will last. If you cannot provide a properly cooled room for your system, at a minimum ensure that it is placed in a location that ensures a steady supply of clean, cool air. Also, keep the temperature steady. Changes in temperature can lead to condensation and other damaging changes. Dust

An old adage in the computer industry holds that dust bunnies inside of a computer are lucky. Let's consider some of the realities of dust bunnies:

  • Significant buildup of dust can restrict airflow inside the system, leading to increased levels of heat.

  • Dust can contain metal particles, which, in sufficient quantities, can contribute to signal degradation or shorts on circuit boards.

Put critical servers in a filtered environment, and clean out dust bunnies on a regular schedule. Security

Server security naturally involves protecting against network-originated intrusions, but the environment also plays a part in the security of a system. Telephone equipment should always be locked away, and only persons who have a need to access the equipment should be allowed near it.



Hello All

Im posting this question needing real info on the asterisk VoIP PBX.

Before i post the questions i woudl like to inform that my company is
based in mexcio and that we are a 3com Silver Partner (only 37 of us
in mexico) and have installed 40 NBX system with around 1000 phones in
the last 10 months so we are prity familiar vith VoIP, its
implementation does and donts. So here go the questions

1.- i would like to know what end user equipment is compatible with
the asterisk PBX (Please do not informe on cisco IP Phones we can not
get these in mexico unless cisco lets you once your certified, what
2.- i would like to know what hardware is compatible with the PBX on
the server side (in mexico ISDN is not a public switchable technologie
so this info is not requiered, also ouir digital interfaces are E1 and
our analoge interfeces are PSTN loopstart.
3.- i would like to know whats the real hardware requierments to have
the PBX running at full blast with 40 users not the asterisk website
"minimum" requierments

Im not realy interested in doing to much doing yourselfing, also if
anybody has real knowledge of the asterisk PBX there is a business
oportiunity involved



P.S. you you post let me know to im realy

Jacobo Jajati   Reply With Quote
Jacobo Jajati
Old 07-14-2003, 11:17 AM   #2


Posts: n/a

Default Re: Asterisk VoIP

"Jacobo Jajati" <> wrote in message
news: om...
> Hello All
> Im posting this question needing real info on the asterisk VoIP PBX.
> Before i post the questions i woudl like to inform that my company is
> based in mexcio and that we are a 3com Silver Partner (only 37 of us
> in mexico) and have installed 40 NBX system with around 1000 phones in
> the last 10 months so we are prity familiar vith VoIP, its
> implementation does and donts. So here go the questions
> 1.- i would like to know what end user equipment is compatible with
> the asterisk PBX (Please do not informe on cisco IP Phones we can not
> get these in mexico unless cisco lets you once your certified, what
> ever.....)
> 2.- i would like to know what hardware is compatible with the PBX on
> the server side (in mexico ISDN is not a public switchable technologie
> so this info is not requiered, also ouir digital interfaces are E1 and
> our analoge interfeces are PSTN loopstart.
> 3.- i would like to know whats the real hardware requierments to have
> the PBX running at full blast with 40 users not the asterisk website
> "minimum" requierments
> Im not realy interested in doing to much doing yourselfing, also if
> anybody has real knowledge of the asterisk PBX there is a business
> oportiunity involved
> Thanks
> P.S. you you post let me know to im realy
> interested

I would like to add another small question, does Asterisk support IPv6? I am
looking to implement ip telephony, but ipv6 is a requirement.




  Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2003, 05:42 AM   #3
Jeremy McNamara


Posts: n/a

Default Re: Asterisk VoIP

"Jacobo Jajati" <> wrote in message
>>1.- i would like to know what end user equipment is compatible with
>>the asterisk PBX (Please do not informe on cisco IP Phones we can not
>>get these in mexico unless cisco lets you once your certified, what

We have used SNOM, GrandStream, Pingtel and of course Cisco phones and
if it doesn't currently work it can be made to work, which is the
ultimate beauty of open-source.

I don't understand why Cisco would not want to sell their hardware in
any specific country...just takes a bunch of peso's

>>2.- i would like to know what hardware is compatible with the PBX on
>>the server side (in mexico ISDN is not a public switchable technologie
>>so this info is not requiered, also ouir digital interfaces are E1 and
>>our analoge interfeces are PSTN loopstart.

Asterisk can do T-1, E-1, FXO, FXS and E&M signaling types. I have
personally worked with a couple different customers in Mexico, they
haven't ever complained, so things must be going well.

>>3.- i would like to know whats the real hardware requirements to have
>>the PBX running at full blast with 40 users not the asterisk website
>>"minimum" requirements

Asterisk's minimum requirements are simply a pentium based processor.
Depending on exactly how you make those 40 users happen your
requirements will drasticly change.

I've ran 2 T-1's on a 300 mhz machine, but I used a channel bank
and a PRI from the local crook...er i mean ILEC.

Now, that same 300mhz machine would only be able to process ~maybe~ 10
G.729 channels, so the requirements are very specific to the
application. This is exactly why you do not see any hardware
requirements listed anywhere.

>>Im not realy interested in doing to much doing yourselfing, also if
>>anybody has real knowledge of the asterisk PBX there is a business
>>oportiunity involved

You don't have to do anything yourself, if you don't want. There are
more than a few companies out there doing Asterisk related training,
support and/or complete hand holding.

Chaz wrote:
> I would like to add another small question, does Asterisk support IPv6? I am
> looking to implement ip telephony, but ipv6 is a requirement.

It has been a long time since I really thought about the OSI model, but
I believe the application layer could care less what the underlying
transport layer is doing. So, I believe Asterisk shouldn't have any
problem with IPv6. I will look into this further and report back here
if I find anything different.

Jeremy McNanmara, President
The NuFone Network