For those of you thinking of cutting over to a packaged Asterisk solution, you'll want to read this account from Dr. Adrian Steele, the Managing Director of Mercian Labels, a UK SME specialising in short run label printing and tamper evident security labels, who just had an awful time moving to Fonality's TrixBox
As previoulsy blogged, we completed our migration in full to open source over Xmas, and have been running everyting possible on open source for 5 weeks now. Without doubt the biggest problem, and source of legitimate continual complaints from our staff, our customers, and anyone who used the system, was our trixbox phone instalation. Negative symptoms included:
- very poor call quality, so bad we were often told to “get out of the dustbin” and we sounded like daleks
- Calls cut of in the middle of a conversation
- Calls to a group were notifying to the SNOM hard phones in the group upto 10 seconds before the softphones, making it very difficult to identify calls
- SNOM M3 DECT SIP phones didnt work, but SNOM 300 hard phones did. Sometimes.
- Call handling using Hudlite was not integrated with Ekiga (or anything), and so it was very hard for users to forward calls around the office, and many, many calls were missed as there is no way to notify users of an incoming call if the ekiga box is minimised.
- the system often had network problems, such that we replaced the ADSL router and moved the DHCP function several times in a month to get some sort of stability. Last week alone, we lost about 6 working hours of the working week with no phone system (yes, no phones at all).
Very satisfactorily, a major trixbox/network fault was found by the superb Senokian chaps, and fixed, and after that all the new hard phones worked perfectly. That was friday. After a very frustrating period, we should have a much more stable week this week, but have leant some lessons that others may wish to heed in due course.
By the end of the 4th week, morale was pretty poor, and after a crisis meeting we decide to do 2 significant changes.
1) bring in Matt and Dave, both sys admin type people from our open source support consultancy Senokian on a “do not leave until you have fixed it” mission to find out what was wrong with our setup.
2) abandon the softphone system - hudlite and a SIP client (like ekiga) it is just not good enough for a business environment; we bought a new batch to SNOM 300 hard phones for all the previous softphone users
His conclusions were:
- The Hudlite system built into trixbox is difficult to work, and we do not recommend it for business use. It desperately needs an inbuilt SIP client, and is almost unusable without such a development. We know this, because we used a SWYX VOIP phone system that was so integrated for 4 years before trixbox.
- If you have the same symptoms as us, then check your trixbox setup, so that it has the right local network subnet mask, or else, as we found, if you use an incorrect one (probaly the default), all the network traffic tries to go via your network router (ADSL in our case), and it dies with the repeat NAT and repeat boucing of packets. In our case, it was set as (i think) 127.0.0.1, and it should have been 192.x.x.x etc.
You can read the full post here.