Recently we compared Asterisk and its new corporate sibling, Switchvox, which is really its offspring. Today we're adding VoIP servers for our mythical 50-user office from Pingtel and Fonality.
The lowest-end Pingtel appliance is the SIPxchange ECS SE. This goes for $2,945.00, and for this you get:
If you need PSTN integration you'll need a media gateway, and you can choose from a range of certified devices. These cost from $234.95 for a two-port FXS gateway (for two incoming analog phone lines) to a T1/E1 gateway for $4,550. Another T1/E1 option is to have the Audiocodes TP260 PCI T1/E1 gateway card installed in your SIPxchange server. I forgot to get a price for one of these, but typically they're around $3,000 for single-span. Before you keel over from price shock, this is not a mere T1/E1 interface, which typically cost well under $1,000. This is a complete media gateway that, just like the standalone units, supports faxing, echo cancellation and jitter buffer, tone detection and generation, PSTN signaling, embedded Web server to power the management interface, and multiple VoIP codecs and protocols. Having your media gateway incorporated into your server saves a bit of space and cabling, though it puts a bit more load on your server. A standalone gateway offloads some of the work and gives you more flexibility.
Pingtel will also sell you, as part of their certified hardware line, an Ingate SIP capable firewall. These range from about $3,700 to just under $5,000.
Pingtel offers certified hardware packages and a rather bewildering array of individual support options. They also offer all-in-one support deals that cover your entire system- phones, servers, gateways, the works.
Next up the ladder is the RBS (standard) series, which come with 2GB RAM and dual 160GB SATA hard drives in a RAID 1 configuration. The base unit is about $1,400.
Finally, for just under $2,000, the PhoneBochs RBP (premium) has 2GB RAM and dual 1TB SATA hard drives. That's right, a whopping terabyte per drive, in RAID 1. (Who else is old enough to remember when 100 megabyte hard drives were standard, and cost about $125, back when $125 was a lot bigger than it is now?)
RockBochs uses only Sangoma interfaces, which are the best of all. All three base models have two full-length PCI slots for expansion, and can accommodate up to eight FXO ports or two T1/E1. Adding four FXO ports with hardware echo cancellation adds roughly $800, while eight ports gets you a volume deal at about $1,000. One T1 adds about a thousand dollars, while two cost about $1,600 extra.
Support options are the simplest of all. You can purchase support in either 1-hour increments at $99.00 per hour, or 5-hour blocks for $396.00. They will help you with anything, including remote helpdesk via Web or SSH.
Next, we're going to look at Fonality's PBXtra, which seems to be in direct competition with its corporate twin, trixbox Pro, and a mystery guest that I'll choose between now and then.
This article was first published on VoIPPlanet.com.