3CX Phone System V15 is now cloud ready – out of the box it can easily install On-Premise, on an appliance or indeed in the cloud. 3CX now also runs Linux which makes it automatically deployable, Manageable and Lightweight – perfect for the cloud. With 3CX on Linux a whole new landscape of cloud opportunities opens up.
Added to that the UC landscape is changing – customers require more complex voice communications. The demands on their PBX platform are increasing: Companies need to know who’s calling with CRM integration. They require integrated video conferencing and customized call scripts. Staff want to work from anywhere. And added to that there is increased security concern – with the PBX in the cloud, how can i be sure no one touches my data, how can I retain control? All these demands can only be solved in one way, with a “dedicated” virtualized PBX.
It’s not dissimilar to a website in the late nineties. Hundreds of websites hosted on one machine. One website adds a simple PHP application that could bring down the whole server. Soon companies demanded their own dedicated server, even though virtualized for manageability reasons. The same trend will happen to the PBX. And so the end of the road has come for Multi tenant PBXs. They can’t cut it any longer. Multi tenant is dead. And so is 3CX V14 – Multi Tenant.
Advantages of Single Virtualized instances:
- Customers are in no way affected by what happens on other PBX instances.
- Customer’s data is much more secure, completely separated from other customers.
- Advanced features such as CRM integration, Custom scripts can be seamlessly supported.
- No complex firewall/port forwarding setup – VoIP providers, provisioning will work out of the box.
- Customers requiring hotel features or special provisioning settings can be supported.
- Customers running PBX in the cloud no longer need to wait for a “multi-instance” version.
- You can give the customer control of their PBX and data.
- Leverage the many data center providers that have professional hosting infrastructures for deploying and managing Linux VPS instances. And at a very low cost.
- OVH – Linux VPS starting at $3.50 monthly (https://www.ovh.com/us/vps/).
- Google Cloud – Starting at approximately $12 monthly (depends on data usage).
- Pretty much any data centre running Openstack & KVM
- Many more to be announced soon
- Look for Debian 8, 1+ core and 2 gigabyte memory
Most of these data center providers (including Google and OVH) have easy to use portals for easy firewall rule setup, scriptable machine provisioning and machine management – allowing you to focus on PBX configuration as opposed to machine maintenance!
Multi-tenant is “Out”
- New cloud platforms such as Openstack make it easy to manage large numbers of instances.
- 3CX on Debian’s low memory requirements remove the cost advantage of multi-instance.
- Container technology will further reduce the operating system overhead.
- No specialised 3CX multi-tenant knowledge is required.
- No need to deploy 25 instances at a time. Deploy instances when needed, one by one.
- 3CX automated update features (in development) will reduce per instance admin further.
- Leverage existing data centers for running underlying infrastructure.
The only downside is that each instance requires its own IP. However, this allows for additional security policies to be easily applied. Furthermore, it removes the need for an SBC and complex port management.
To simplify management of 3CX instances we are planning an interface on the partner portal that will allow for centralised monitoring, backups and more of the various instances. This is on our roadmap for first half of 2017.
Deploying 3CX in the cloud – an example
For this example, we have chosen to use Google Cloud & OVH. Google Cloud Compute engine is available as a trial to anyone with a Google Account. OVH has low-cost Linux VPS available. In theory, it is possible to use any Debian VPS which uses KVM/Hyper V/VMware for virtualization and is correctly configured. Follow the guides below to setup 3CX in the cloud on these providers:
Deploying 3CX using a Setup Template
With upcoming SP4 you will be able to “provision” a 3CX instance with Extensions, IP Phones, SIp trunks and more. Effectively you can create an XML file that will allow you to prepare a configuration for a customer and then apply it in minutes. Because you can specify IP Phones with MAC, you can drop ship the phones – “Zero Touch” and then apply the setup to 3CX running on an appliance or in the cloud – remotely.
This Setup Template can be run automatically using a script and cloudinit (used by many data centers) or you will be able to specify it at install time, much like a restore. Follow this guide to learn how this will work in SP4 onwards:
- Deploying automatically using Cloudinit/Setup Template (SP4 – not available yet)
Migrating a 3CX V14 Multi-tenant instance to v15
If you have been using 3CX v14 multi-tenant edition, here are some considerations to move to v15:
- We recommend using 3CX DNS for ease of deployment.
- If you are using custom templates, these need to be updated to v15. Use v15 templates as a base and re-apply the changes you made. This is part and parcel of customizing templates, which should be avoided as much as possible.
- All ports are reset to standard. You can edit them back afterwards if you wish to support using a NAT.
For a detailed How to guide, see “How to migrate v14 tenant to v15”