Managing your Phone System
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3CX Phone System has been designed to require a minimum of management and monitoring. For this purpose we have created a dashboard with key information, as well as an alert system that notifies you via email for important events. 3CX can easily be updated and upgraded and has extensive logging for troubleshooting purposes.
The dashboard page shows all key information and health status about your system in one easy to understand view, grouped by:
- “System Status” - key info on the health and activity of the computer system on which 3CX is running including CPU usage* and performance, disk and memory usage.
- “PBX Status” - 3CX PBX activity including trunks and extensions, calls in use, blacklisted IPs, automatic backups status, firewall checker and services.
- “Information” - 3CX installation info including system FQDN and public IP, WebMeeting FQDN and MCU, Licence and Maintenance info, number of licensed simultaneous calls and conference participants.
- “Event Log” and “Activity Log” - the main 3CX logs to monitor for critical system events and troubleshoot potential 3CX PBX issues.
- “Updates” - easily keep your system up to date with the 3CX powerful update system.
Note: *CPU graph spikes are normal, however if the level is frequently above 70% over a continued period of time, then your system is underpowered and you need to upgrade.
This section shows key information about the health of the computer system on which 3CX is running:
- The graphs shows processor usage over time. Spikes are normal, however if the indicator is frequently above 70% over a continued period of time, then your system is underpowered and you need to upgrade.
- Disk usage - Ensure you have enough for call recordings and logs.
- Memory usage.
- Performance is the current processor usage.
The “PBX Status” section shows you details on the status of your 3CX installation on this system:
- Trunks Up - Shows number of trunks registered versus configured.
- Extensions Up - Shows number of extensions active versus configured.
- Number of calls in use - Shows number of calls currently in use versus licensed.
- Blacklisted IPs - Shows IPs that have been blacklisted because of too many authentication attempts.
- Event Log - Allows you to purge the event log.
- Call History - Shows amount of data used by call history.
- Chat logs - Enable or disable chat logs.
- Automatic Backups - Displays whether you have automatic backup configured.
- Firewall Checker - Shows whether firewall checker was run and its result.
- Services - Green if all 3CX Services are running; red if one or more is down. Click to see which.
- System Extensions - Green if all system extensions are registered, red if some are not.
- FQDN - shows FQDN used by system.
- IP - shows public IP of 3CX System.
- PUSH Account - Default or own account - we recommend changing this to your own google account for security purposes. Read how here.
- Webmeeting FQDN - Shows FQDN for Web meetings.
- Webmeeting MCU - Shows the default MCU; ensure its configured to your region.
- Licence - Shows whether licence is activated, to which edition and version number.
- Maintenance - Shows when your maintenance expires.
- Sim Calls - Maximum number of licensed calls.
- Sim Meeting Participants - Maximum number of licensed conference participants.
- Outbound Rules - At least one or more outbound rules are required to make calls.
The Event log shows you critical events occurring in your system, requiring you to take note or immediate action. The following server events are posted to the log when:
- A person dials the emergency number (ID 4099).
- Changes are made to the status of a SIP Trunk (ID 4100).
- A trunk failover occurs, i.e. the backup rule is triggered (ID 12289).
- A trunk or VoIP Provider account responds with an error code (ID 12294) - This could happen if your account is inactive or reached the credit limit.
- Upon registration or unregistering of an IP Phone (ID 4101).
- The licence limit has been reached (ID 8193). The 3CX licence limit on concurrent calls. If this event occurs frequently you should consider upgrading your licence.
- An IP is blacklisted (ID 12290) – This can happen if an IP has reached the maximum number of failed authentication attempts. Frequently this points to a hacking attempt.
- An IP is blacklisted because of too many requests (ID 12292) – This happens if the web server anti-hacking module blocks an IP because of too many requests.
- A call back request is triggered by the queue module (ID 102).
- Failure of a DNS resolution - (ID 12293) - This event occurs when the remote VoIP Provider could not be contacted. This could occur when your internet connection is down or the specified IP or FQDN for the VoIP Provider is incorrect or down.
- Failure of resolving an IP via STUN (ID 12295) – This happens when the STUN server is down. This event is also triggered when the internet goes down.
You can configure email alerts to be sent to you for critical events from the “Settings” > “Email” > “Notifications” tab.
To troubleshoot the 3CX Phone System you can use the “Activity Log.” It shows the activity of the server, and logs potential reasons for error conditions. The “Activity Log” allows you to easily filter based on an extension, or a particular call. In addition, you can filter the logging by date and time.
Click the “Settings” button to enable verbose logging to show whole SIP messages and debug information. You can also configure how many days to keep backup logs. Note that verbose logging consumes a lot of disk space and uses more processing power. It is important to change the level back to low or medium after the troubleshooting session is complete.
Keeping your System Updated
3CX includes a powerful update system that allows you to easily keep your system up to date. Updates are downloaded securely from 3CX Servers and grouped into:
- Updates - Updates to core 3CX Services.
- 3CX Apps - Updates to 3CX apps.
- Phone Templates - Updates to the provisioning templates.
- VoIP Gateway - Updates to VoIP gateway provisioning templates.
- SIP Trunks - New or updated configuration templates for VoIP Providers.
- Other - All other updates including CTI and certificates.
New certified firmwares for supported phones present on your network are downloaded automatically, but not applied. Language pack updates, prompt sets and new integrations are now updated from their respective section in the Settings function, enabling you to simply select which to download and update.
To minimize actions required to keep your system up to date, 3CX has an auto update feature, upgrading 3CX on a specified time and day to the latest release version. The following components are updated automatically:
- 3CX Phone System updates (only Release versions)
- 3CX app updates (Windows and Mac OS)
- iOS Push Certificate Updates
- PSTN gateway templates
- VoIP provider templates
- Debian security updates - automatic installation for Debian OS-based installs
3CX releases beta versions of all its updates to enable testing prior to installation. Beta releases are not automatically installed, but show up in “Updates” so that you can select to install them for testing purposes and get support via the ticket system only. When a beta update is installed, 3CX can only have further betas releases installed to update your system.
Important: Backups of systems running a beta update cannot be restored on an older release version!
Disk Space Management
A busy PBX system consumes system resources for its operations, including call logs and voicemail. Disk consumption can quickly grow, especially with call recordings enabled, so some system administration best practices are recommended:
- Set a frequent (daily, weekly) backup process for call logs, voicemail and recordings. See Backup & Restore.
- For efficient disk use set Auto Cleaning Options for Recordings in “Recordings” > “Quota” and Voice mail in “Settings” > “Voicemail” > “Voicemail Quota” section and set the number of days for the files to be kept before they’re deleted.
- Download and delete recorded conversations directly from the “Recordings” function.
- Periodically purge old call logs, voicemail and recordings that have been safely backed up.
- Ideally keep call recordings stored on a separate disk or partition.
Note: Setting the recording path in Linux requires the specified directory to be owned by the
IP Phone Management
Updating the Firmware on Your Phones
You can update your Fanvil, Htek, snom, and Yealink IP phones network-wide with 3CX-tested firmware from the 3CX Management Console. We recommended upgrading phone firmware using this method, instead of downloading the firmware directly from the vendor’s websites.
Note: This feature requires a valid maintenance agreement.
To upgrade your IP phones to the latest 3CX-tested firmware:
- Every 2 hours 3CX downloads in the background the applicable latest firmware for IP phones mapped to extensions.
- IP Phones not running the latest firmware are highlighted in red in the Phones function.
- To upgrade the firmware, select (Ctrl + click for multi-select) the phones and click the “+Firmware” button.
- Confirm the firmware of the phone from the upgrade list and click “Upgrade”.
- The firmware is uploaded to the phone, possibly rebooting the phone several times.
Important: When upgrading the firmware of a snom IP phone, ALL phones of that model are upgraded to this firmware within 24 hours. Due to this limitation, if you want to test out a firmware before you roll out an upgrade to all snom phones, be sure to upload the firmware manually to the test phone, test and then upgrade your production snom phones via the 3CX Management console.
Accessing the IP Phone UI
3CX provisions your configured phones with a username and unique password, enabling you to easily access the password-protected web interface while managing the credentials for you. To access this interface select the phone and click on “Phone UI”:
- For most phones, you are redirected to the phone UI page.
- For some older phones you might be asked to enter the password for the phone. In this case, go back to the “Phones” function, select the phone and click the “Password” button to show the password in the “Password” column, and copy-paste this password to use in the phone’s authentication page.
Changing Phone Settings
Changes made to the phone configuration from the “General” or the “Phone Provisioning” tabs of an “Extension”, take effect within 24 hours. You can use the “Phones” function to re-provision the phones and force them to pick up the new configuration immediately by:
- Selecting (Ctrl + click for multi-select) the phones to re-provision.
- Click “Reprovision”.
- The phone(s) automatically reboots if needed. There is no need to reboot again afterwards.
- See how to use the Activity Log to identify why a call is not reaching its destination
- See our support procedure for troubleshooting remote extensions.
- Watch the Backup & Restore training video
- Watch the Security & Anti-Fraud training video
- Watch the Basic Troubleshooting training video
- Read more on Backup, Restore and Failover
- Supported IP Phones
- Read more on how to Provision your IP phones