Thinking about 3CX

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by evanderm, Jan 18, 2012.

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  1. evanderm

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    Hello everyone,

    Please excuse me if this is the wrong place to post this. [New here, though have used 3CX in the past as evaluation]. This is a long post. For quick reference to the specific questions I'm asking I've coloured them blue

    I am now working for a small company and I have set up a phone system using voip.ms. I went with them because they offer pbx-like functionality without having to actually get a pbx. I'm looking for more reliability and a more consistent environment in which to deploy our phone system. Hence I'm looking to 3CX. It takes a lot of convincing the boss and this is a hard-sell so I need to get things in line before I can convince him to open his wallet. I'm thinking of sticking with voip.ms as a sip trunk and to manage our phone numbers and maybe including a trunk for the UK, international lines aren't working very well with voip.ms.

    We have 5 Yealink-T28P phones
    --three of these phones are at our office
    --two of these phones are at remote locations
    At home and on the road, I use a Cisco WIP310 phone
    Each of us travels and needs to have communication wherever we go. Our smartphones are SIP enabled and we have softphones installed on our computer.

    What I would like to do is suggest to my boss that we buy a server with windows 2008 foundation. Co-locate it at a datacentre and use it as AD, File Storage and a PBX. I would then connect our office internet connection to the server via a VPN router, or use individual VPN connections on our laptops.

    Is it possible to have the 3CX server at a remote datacentre, recommended?
    What would you suggest? Use a VPN router for all net traffic for IP calls or configure each as an external extension?

    We do not handle a large volume of calls but we do need something that is reliable. For now, I was thinking using the 8 simultaneous calls licence or possibly convincing my boss to go with 16 (conferences).

    when looking at a colocation package, given the number of maximum calls, how much bandwidth should I need 1mbps? 2mbps? Keep in mind that the server will also host AD and act as a back-up file store

    Thank you for any suggestions you may have.

    E
     
  2. jpillow

    jpillow Well-Known Member

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    I have a customer we deployed 3cx on a server at their data center. We used 3cx tunnels for extensions at remote locations eg headquarters, and 2 satellite locations, in addition to a couple of handsets in the data center. I have had no issues once we had everything up and running. Needed bandwidth at your data center will depend on your companies current call usage combined with your current upload, and download needs as you will use this as a server storage.
     
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  3. martinpluss

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    We've installed 3CX in remote data centres and in our own enterprise cloud offering - it really doesn't matter where you host it so long as the underlying hardware is reliable, so there shouldn't be any issues with that at all.

    3CX Tunnels make most sense for the remote sites as the VPN configuration would be time consuming and a maintenance/support overhead/complication. You could choose to use tunnels for the handsets at the office or route voice over a vpn tunnel between your office and the datacentre (which you'll need for file transfer/backup storage).

    As for bandwidth for voice, it depends of course on codec in use. We use G711 which is uncompressed and see around 80kbps for an active call so your 8 channel license would need 640Kbps with all lines in use. You should get away with a 2Mb link I would think.

    The biggest variable here of course (as jpillow states), is how much data will change from a file backup perspective - and perhaps more importantly when. If you are planning to do file backup out of office hours then you won't need to worry too much as even if the file transfer swamps your link you'll unlikely be making calls at that time and so won't notice it. The boring bit might be if you try and backup a lot of data and the backup job runs into the office hours of the following day.

    You'll need to think about Quality Of Service for the Voice traffic. If you do use 3CX tunnels for all handsets and these are outside of any VPN connection (which might have its own QOS config) that you might have in place for file backup then you'll need to look at the QOS Packet Scheduler inside of windows (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/magazine/2007.02.cableguy.aspx).

    Bandwidth for AD will be minimal and hardly worth taking into consideration from a daily bandwidth perspective.

    The other option is to buy a link bonding router, stick a couple of additional DSLs into your office and host your PBX on your own hardware internally. We're rolling out 10 handset installs on Acer Revo 3700 Atom based PCs with windows 7 - and you can hardly tell 3CX is running. If the boss really wants a dedicated server you could just use a HP Microserver and get a 3 year care pack for it and run windows foundation on that.

    Have fun ;-)
     
  4. evanderm

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    Thank you for your replies.

    It all sounds perfectly do-able then. The hard part is convincing the boss. We have to be very budget-minded and the fact of the matter is that we don't do very much business over the phone. If we do decide to go with 3CX these posts will help me a great deal in sorting things out. Thank you, again, very much!

    E
     
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