Run 3CX SBC (Session Border Controller) on a Raspberry PI

The 3CX SBC has the ability to run on a Raspberry Pi. Using a Raspberry Pi means that it is cheaper to run, and more reliable. Without the need of having a Windows PC running 24/7, the power consumption drops significantly as the Raspberry Pi consumes minimal power. The Raspberry Pi is not prone to usual problems associated with computers, such as a hard disk drive fail.

Bandwidth Saver

The 3CX SBC is intelligent enough to distinguish between local calls. For example, a remote office with 5-10 employees calling each other creates significant traffic on the 3CX Server. Now by using the 3CX SBC all audio traffic stays within the local network. This is a great bandwidth saver as only the signalling goes through the 3CX Server, whereas audio is served locally through the SBC.

Better Audio Quality

All audio packets are now directed through the 3CX Tunnel, eliminating jitters and ensuring better audio quality.

Eliminates Firewall Issues

Using the 3CX Tunnel only one port needs to remain open for calls to go through. This makes for a more secure configuration and it is also easier for administrators to setup, monitor, and maintain. No need to forward ports for each phone on the remote office.

Auto Provisioning

The ability to use Plug and Play auto provisioning through the 3CX SBC. All PnP multicasts are forwarded to the 3CX Server, and the administrator can auto-provision the phone from the 3CX Management Console. This makes it extremely easy for an administrator to auto-provision new phones, or make changes to existing configurations.

3CX Offers the 3CX SBC for Free

Proprietary SBC’s are expensive. 3CX offers the 3CX SBC for free to all 3CX Phone System users.

3CX SBC Installation and Configuration

To configure  the SBC on Raspberry PI, see: Installing 3CX Session Border Controller for Raspberry Pi

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  1. complex1

    Thanks for clearing things up.

    June 23, 2014 at 1:40 pm
  2. Ryan

    When/Where can we get this for testing….

    June 24, 2014 at 9:23 am
  3. Andrew Phillips

    This is fantastic! How do we order one?

    June 24, 2014 at 9:45 am
    • complex1

      In Holland you can buy complete Raspberry kits via Webshops for about 60 euros.
      But you have to search the internet for it.

      June 24, 2014 at 4:20 pm
  4. Martin

    Hi! Great product. Will it function as a http proxy as well for cti with phones on premise when used with 3CX Cloud Server? Thanks

    June 24, 2014 at 10:21 am
    • Andreas Christodoulou

      Currently the SBC is not forwarding the http request because it is a Sip session border controller not an HTTP Proxy. We are working on this feature. CTI works only on the local LAN.

      June 26, 2014 at 12:24 pm
  5. Great – I will take one…where are they?

    June 24, 2014 at 10:54 pm
  6. complex1

    Simple question.
    When a remote office is secured by a proxy server, is it then possible to use the SBC to create a tunnel connection with the 3CX Server?

    June 24, 2014 at 11:39 pm
    • Andreas Christodoulou

      Is possible if your proxy server can handle to forward correctly the package Between SBC and 3CX Phone System

      June 26, 2014 at 12:25 pm
  7. Jeff Hind

    Our client currently has a vpn set up between the router at the remote office and the router at the main office. The two Yealink phones at the remote office are registered to the PBX via the VPN. Will this interfere with the VPN? Will this improve the call quality? Should we run this separate from the VPN?

    June 25, 2014 at 12:14 am
    • If you have a VPN already you dont need the SBC

      June 25, 2014 at 1:33 pm
    • Andrew

      We have always been told by 3CX that if you have more than 5 phones in a remote location (VPN or not I thought) then use SIP Proxy/SBC – has this advice changed?

      July 8, 2014 at 3:31 pm
  8. Hi, I actually got 2 questions about this, one of them is asked by Martin but not answered yet.

    1. Will CTI work over the SBC?
    2. Will the 3CX phone for windows (presence etc) work over the SBC?

    I’ve read more about the SBC yesterday in the 3CX Cloud Server manual, this I really great! Can’t wait to start testing with 3CX Cloud Server + SBC based on Windows and Raspberry.

    June 26, 2014 at 10:37 am
    • Andreas

      @Patrick van Kampen

      The 3CXPhone for Windows and Android have their own 3CX Integrated tunnel so you technically do not need the SBC to connect with the 3CX Phone System.
      The 3CX Presence information should work – remember you need to port forward by default the port 5000 TCP in standard installations. If you use HTTPS 5001. For Cloud Servers you need to open 443 TCP.
      If you still do not manage to resolve your issues, open a support ticket. SBC works with both Standard and Cloud 3CX Phone System installations.

      June 26, 2014 at 12:49 pm
    • Patrick van Kampen

      THX Andreas!

      July 10, 2014 at 3:15 pm
  9. craig

    Will the existing tunnel method be removed from a future version of 3cx? (Basically, how long do I have using my current setup before I need to act?)

    July 8, 2014 at 12:54 am
  10. Hi
    Great, with this update..
    Do we still have limitations regarding how many phones on the remote location?

    I´m thinking, if we eg. host a 32 SIM Call in Cloud, this customemr might have 100+ phones on there own location.

    Thanks for your reply.

    July 9, 2014 at 9:56 am
    • Hi Jesper,
      Yes there should be a maximum of 15 extensions behind SBC on raspberry pi with 512 mb ram, this is a hardware limitation. But nothing prevents you to have multiple raspberry pi in that case or switch to SBC for windows which will have much higher limits.

      July 14, 2014 at 4:37 pm
  11. Does the 3cx SBC only work with 3cx Cloud Server or can it work on a normal instance of 3cx Versio 12. I have installed the 3cx SBC on my Windows PC but once installed, i cant see if it is running or not.

    July 23, 2014 at 5:42 pm
  12. Nick Loenders

    I have two SBC’s on different server that disconnect from time to time. Sometimes it only lasts 1 second, sometimes 20 or more minutes.
    If it takes too long I restart the tunneling service.

    Does anyone else have this issue ??

    Also just to be sure, I do not need to open/forward any port on the remote location, right ?

    July 25, 2014 at 1:22 pm