[asterisk-users] Use of Storage Area Network with Asterisk

Joel Maslak jmaslak at antelope.net
Sun Aug 15 13:26:48 CDT 2010

On Sun, Aug 15, 2010 at 9:09 AM, Michelle Dupuis <mdupuis at ocg.ca> wrote:

> Are there any best practices for using a SAN with Asterisk?  In the past
> we've kept config files local, but voicemail on a SAN.  Aree there any
> issues with latency putting voice prompts, configs, etc. on a SAN?
> Anyone have some best practices to share?

We mount up a Netapp SAN for backup purposes.  We rsync the live files
(/etc, /var/spool/asterisk) to the SAN hourly for backup (losing an hour of
voicemail wouldn't hurt us that much), but you could rsync at a different

But all live files Asterisk uses, including voice prompts, are served out of
the local file system on top of RAID-1 local disk. We did this to allow
Asterisk to continue functioning in he midst of a SAN/network outage -
backups will error out or hang, but Asterisk will keep going.

We push out voice prompts and most config files via Puppet (
http://www.puppetlabs.com/) - with the Puppet repository being backed by an
SVN repository so we have version control of all the changes we push out.
We do this for other systems (such as web servers) to ensure all the systems
end up with the same versions of files as each other.  The only downside is
they don't all get the changes at exactly the same time, but for something
like voice prompts and configs I would think that won't matter (voicemail is
a different beast).

As for voicemail, if I was running redundant voicemail servers, I'd probably
do things differently - put the voicemails on a SAN of some kind, perhaps
even modifying Asterisk (with the "voice mail left" hook) to copy any new
voicemail to the other box after it is left, if the other box is
responsive.  Then, I would write something that could merge two voicemail
stores (message 1 on VM store 1 might not be the same as message 1 on VM
store 2 - if not, copy it over as a new message, not overwriting the old

My principle with this has been "Don't make Asterisk depend on anything it
doesn't absolutely have to depend upon."

But I do think you could run prompts and configs off of a SAN - no problem
there - but just that you would be building a dependency that would cause
Asterisk to have issues if the SAN went offline or became unreachable.  How
reliable is your network/SAN?
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