PBX Distro



  • What are the advantages of each of the Distro's of the FOSS PBX systems?



  • One of the biggest benefits is the fact that the systems (like Elastix, FreePBX. PIAF) can be run on your own hardware without paying any licensing fees and have the capability to scale as large as you want. You have the freedom to use pretty much any SIP phone you want (not tied to any vendor's hardware when you choose one of these systems as your PBX).

    I can't comment much on PIAF as I have not used it in production, but I do know with the latest version of FreePBX, there are a number of commercial add-ons you can get that Elastix does not offer to my knowledge (Parking Pro, a call center module, Endpoint Manager, etc.). Elastix is moving down the route of offering a multi-tenant system in Elastix 3.0 (does not use FreePBX like previous versions) and will continue to enhance that platform while also adding features / still working on their standard PBX offering.



  • @NetworkNerd said:

    I can't comment much on PIAF as I have not used it in production....

    @Mike-Ralston and I are doing a PIAF roll out this week. Woot!



  • In many ways, PIAF is the best. Has some of the best engineering, the most flexibility and the lightest install.



  • OK time to look at PIAF I guess, first time I've seen it posted about here.



  • @Dashrender said:

    OK time to look at PIAF I guess, first time I've seen it posted about here.

    It's rather complex and not for non-telephony engineers really. It's not a simple distro like the others.



  • well that's good to know.. I'm definitely not looking for something complex, my needs really are pretty simple.



  • @Dashrender said:

    well that's good to know.. I'm definitely not looking for something complex, my needs really are pretty simple.

    I have FreePBX deployed. Easy setup and installation. Everything follows a fairly easy path from installing, to creating extensions, IVRs, and trunks. It works surprisingly well.



  • @coliver said:

    @Dashrender said:

    well that's good to know.. I'm definitely not looking for something complex, my needs really are pretty simple.

    I have FreePBX deployed. Easy setup and installation. Everything follows a fairly easy path from installing, to creating extensions, IVRs, and trunks. It works surprisingly well.

    I've had one standing for nearly a month now. Haven't done a lot with it, but so far it's pretty good.

    I'm surprised how often there are updates. It's almost daily.

    How often do you apply the updates to FreePBX, @coliver ?



  • @Dashrender said:

    @coliver said:

    @Dashrender said:

    well that's good to know.. I'm definitely not looking for something complex, my needs really are pretty simple.

    I have FreePBX deployed. Easy setup and installation. Everything follows a fairly easy path from installing, to creating extensions, IVRs, and trunks. It works surprisingly well.

    I've had one standing for nearly a month now. Haven't done a lot with it, but so far it's pretty good.

    I'm surprised how often there are updates. It's almost daily.

    How often do you apply the updates to FreePBX, @coliver ?

    When they are available, or about 1-2 time a week. I generally check the forums to see if there are any issues first. FreePBX/Schmooze has a fanstastic beta/dev track which has a lot of people testing new updates before they become stable.



  • It's hard to imagine with how fast these updates come out that full testing can actually test place.



  • @Dashrender said:

    It's hard to imagine with how fast these updates come out that full testing can actually test place.

    How fast do they come out? They come out often, but wasn't aware that the pipeline was short.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    It's hard to imagine with how fast these updates come out that full testing can actually test place.

    How fast do they come out? They come out often, but wasn't aware that the pipeline was short.

    There are generally 1-5 updates a week for various modules.



  • @Dashrender said:

    It's hard to imagine with how fast these updates come out that full testing can actually test place.

    There are dozens of modules available for FreePBX, each a independent in the update cycle. Even though it seems like they come out frequently, generally you are seeing updates to several different modules and it can be months before that same module updates again.



  • @coliver said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    It's hard to imagine with how fast these updates come out that full testing can actually test place.

    How fast do they come out? They come out often, but wasn't aware that the pipeline was short.

    There are generally 1-5 updates a week for various modules.

    That's frequency, not speed. Each one could be a year in testing and very slow.



  • @coliver said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    It's hard to imagine with how fast these updates come out that full testing can actually test place.

    How fast do they come out? They come out often, but wasn't aware that the pipeline was short.

    There are generally 1-5 updates a week for various modules.

    Considering I have around 50 modules installed (maybe less) that's a huge amount being updated weekly. I haven't actually paid close attention to what exactly is being updated.. are they all on a rotation cycle.. or are the same ones being updated over and over...



  • @Dashrender said:

    @coliver said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    It's hard to imagine with how fast these updates come out that full testing can actually test place.

    How fast do they come out? They come out often, but wasn't aware that the pipeline was short.

    There are generally 1-5 updates a week for various modules.

    Considering I have around 50 modules installed (maybe less) that's a huge amount being updated weekly. I haven't actually paid close attention to what exactly is being updated.. are they all on a rotation cycle.. or are the same ones being updated over and over...

    The ones I see update the most often are commercial modules, which are installed by default but not enabled or usable without a license. Callpark Pro or whatever it is called has an update every 1-2 weeks. I don't pay for any commercial modules, although the end point manager one is tempting.



  • I'm still waiting on my consulting to start, but I'm sure I'll end up with a few modules, especially reporting and the console.

    Though I'm not sure which platform will be recommended Elastix, FreePBX or something else.



  • @Dashrender Also if you get a chance look at FOP2, or iSymphony. Both are really nice operator's panels, we use FOP2 here and my reception staff loves it.



  • One issue that I believe is still present in the most recent version of Elastix (not the multi-tenant version) is the inability to register extensions based on a user rather than a device (i.e. register multiple SIP endpoints to one extension at the same time). I know the new FreePBX will let you register based on a user (i.e. multiple devices), so it has some attractiveness in that regard. You can still make Elastix work by making some tweaks but end up with dummy extensions because of things like that. And this is coming from someone who loves Elastix most of all. It's what I learned when I started with VOIP, so it has some sentimental value for me.



  • @coliver said:

    @Dashrender Also if you get a chance look at FOP2, or iSymphony. Both are really nice operator's panels, we use FOP2 here and my reception staff loves it.

    We use FOP2 extensively.



  • @NetworkNerd said:

    One issue that I believe is still present in the most recent version of Elastix ...

    You have access to the latest build. yl-lnx-elastix4 was built for you last night.



  • @NetworkNerd said:

    One issue that I believe is still present in the most recent version of Elastix (not the multi-tenant version) is the inability to register extensions based on a user rather than a device (i.e. register multiple SIP endpoints to one extension at the same time). I know the new FreePBX will let you register based on a user (i.e. multiple devices), so it has some attractiveness in that regard. You can still make Elastix work by making some tweaks but end up with dummy extensions because of things like that. And this is coming from someone who loves Elastix most of all. It's what I learned when I started with VOIP, so it has some sentimental value for me.

    I haven't used this feature yet on FreePBX. It sounds like a great idea, especially with mobile/remote workers who are in the office sometimes. It would be even better if I could use predominantly soft phones where users can log in and out as they need to.



  • @NetworkNerd said:

    One issue that I believe is still present in the most recent version of Elastix (not the multi-tenant version) is the inability to register extensions based on a user rather than a device (i.e. register multiple SIP endpoints to one extension at the same time). I know the new FreePBX will let you register based on a user (i.e. multiple devices), so it has some attractiveness in that regard. You can still make Elastix work by making some tweaks but end up with dummy extensions because of things like that. And this is coming from someone who loves Elastix most of all. It's what I learned when I started with VOIP, so it has some sentimental value for me.

    Elastix will have freepbx in 4.0 (still in beta)



  • What the Adavantage with Pbx in a flash? That's the only one I haven't used. I've mostly used FreePBX (and some straight up asterisk)



  • Biggest thing is that you have a lot of control over what components are included so you can easily control the size of the install and the attack surface.



  • @thecreativeone91 said:

    What the Adavantage with Pbx in a flash? That's the only one I haven't used. I've mostly used FreePBX (and some straight up asterisk)

    The PBX in a Flash team also has a lot of nice extra features baked in and some that you can add (Traveling Man is a good example).

    PBX in a Flash existed long before FreePBX had a distribution of its own. Obviously, PIAF uses the FreePBX GUI just like Elastix.unli,e Elastix, they do not wrap everything around in their own GUI. All that PIAF does is add a quick and dirty landing page to let you access the various tools directly from one place.

    You basically need to know more to truly admin a PIAF system well.

    It is also heavily focused on security.