[asterisk-users] PBX selection

Alex Epshteyn alex at thirdlane.com
Tue Apr 18 21:05:46 CDT 2017

The solution you choose should be based on many factors which should include your business requirements, team's experience, your budget, growth expectations and more.

You can choose Asterisk or Freeswitch as a platform and start building on that - but it is not simple and being new to VoIP you are likely to make mistakes. The "do-it-yourself" approach will some money initially, but will be the most expensive option long term - as you will be denying the economy of scale. Bringing a "smart programmer" won't help much as you will also create a "lock-in". In fact, this could be worse than a dependency created when you use a commercial or a known open source solution as while you would still be able to get help from the community for the "base" part of your pbx, your custom part will be much harder to deal with.

Our company started building Asterisk based PBX in 2002 and Multi Tenant PBX in 2005 - we do this as our core business and are still finding areas for improvement :). As your experience with VoIP is minimal I would side with your CTO - you should find a solution high enough in the stack to avoid the complexity of building it all yourself.

Good luck,



Alex Epshteyn
email: alex at thirdlane.com
web: www.thirdlane.com
phone +1 415.261.6601

----- Original Message -----
> From: "J Montoya or A J Stiles" <asterisk_list at earthshod.co.uk>
> To: "Asterisk Users Mailing List - Non-Commercial Discussion" <asterisk-users at lists.digium.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 1:40:47 AM
> Subject: Re: [asterisk-users] PBX selection
> On Monday 17 Apr 2017, Speed Boy wrote:
> >  Hi all, I'm new to VoIP, now we have a project that needs a
> >  PBX with client APPs.
> > In our team we have argument for choosing PBX. By so far, we
> >  have following candidates:
> > 
> > A: Open source
> > 
> >      1) Asterisk PBX (http://www.asterisk.org) (with longest
> >  history that almost every one knows it, now the last version using
> >  the
> > PJSIP stack)
> >      2) FreeSwitch (http://www.freeswitch.org) (A lot people
> >  recommended it to us)
> > 
> > 
> > B: Commercial
> > 
> >     1) Vodia PBX (http://www.vodia.com). It comes from SNOM, now
> > acquired by a HongKong company now
> >     2) PortSIP PBX (http://www.portsip.com/portsip-pbx). It
> > also includes VoIP SDK, WebRTC and offer rebranding app for free.
> > 
> > My boss prefers the Open Source PBX since they are free,
> > but our CTO prefers the commercial editions, according to
> > whom the business PBX has better support, and the
> > performance is good, and easy to use - considering our team
> > all are new to VoIP/PBX.
> Proponents of proprietary solutions always like to say "If an Open
> Source
> solution breaks, who can you call?"  The answer is, "Any
> sufficiently-competent
> programmer -- it may be broken, but we have all the pieces".  Whereas
> if you
> spend money on proprietary software and it breaks, then there is only
> *one*
> place you can call -- and you'd better hope they are interested to
> fix your
> problem.
> On the other hand, if you could get full Source Code and Modification
> Rights
> (basically, "everything we could do with a GPL program except
> distribute
> copies"),  a proprietary solution might not be so bad after all.  But
> since
> the goal of most proprietary software vendors is to extract money
> from you and
> maintaining you in a state of perpetual helplessness is highly
> desirable in
> the course of this, do not expect to get such a deal in real life.
> > We have did some searching of Asterisk, here are my questions:
> > 
> > 1. Does the last Asterisk using PJSIP stack ?
> Yes.
> > 2. Does there has the comparison of PJSIP and reSIProcate,
> > sofia(using by
> > FreeSwicth) ?
> Not sure about this.  We're still using the original chan_sip driver.
> > 3. Is it easy to compile and setup Asterisk?
> It's about as easy as compiling anything from Source Code.  Harder
> than LAME
> MP3 encoder, but easier than the Linux kernel.  If you altered
> `monop` from
> the BSDgames package to make the streets match your local edition of
> the game,
> you will have no problem whatsoever with building Asterisk.
> If you understand the process of what you are doing -- basically,
> setting up
> an automated process that will examine your server hardware and
> software
> configuration  (configure),  choosing which parts of Asterisk you
> want to
> include  (make menuselect),  compiling the selected human-readable
> Source Code
> into binary code that the computer can understand natively  (make)
>  and then
> moving the compiled binary code and configuration files from the
> Source Code
> folder to where the computer is expecting for them to be  (make
> install)  then
> you should not have too many problems.
> It is always preferrable to compile your own Asterisk to fit your
> hardware and
> include just the bits you want, rather than rely on anyone else's
> pre-compiled
> package.
> > 4. Which Asterisk version is recommended?
> The latest one.
> > And does Asterisk support Windows
> > ?
> You can certainly use Windows softphones to talk to Asterisk, but
> Asterisk
> itself requires a non-toy underlying operating system.  Ubuntu and
> CentOS are
> the best-supported Linux distributions.  Asterisk has also been seen
> working,
> to greater or lesser extents, on Solaris and the BSDs.  But Linux was
> the
> original development environment  (although one of the two original
> projects
> that ended up merging and becoming Asterisk, many years ago, was
> originally
> developed on FreeBSD),  and is what most Asterisk telephonistas know.
> Any hardware which is capable of running Windows can, of course, run
> Linux;
> and usually better.
> --
> JM or AJS
> Note:  Originating address only accepts e-mail from list!  If
> replying off-
> list, change address to asterisk1list at earthshod dot co dot uk .
> --
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