Lightning Strike - need to replace crapton of equipment

One of my customers had a lightning strike which wiped out a bunch of their gear.

The current architecture is a series of local servers (recording all outbound calls) connected to their local handsets through Rhino 24-port DAHDI cards (hey @jfinstrom) to POTS phones on the desktop.

I’m going to be replacing about 40 of their diskless workstations, all of their network infrastructure, and one of their PBX servers. I may also be replacing some phone handsets (which are POTS right now).

I’m thinking about changing the architecture a little bit, but I have to stay in budget, which isn’t going to be much, since it will be based on the insurance claim. So, given that I don’t have an unlimited budget and still need to provide the same class of service they are used to, anyone want to offer up some suggestions?

I’m debating going with exactly what we’re doing now (this installation has been in place for about 15 years) or switching out the 24-port FXS/FXO cards for channel banks. SIP phones are possible as well (since I replaced all of their switches with Cisco POE switches), but they’ll have to have headsets.

Note that I’m only looking for hardware support at this point - I’ve got plenty of software working already and the customer doesn’t want to change up their current software portfolio.

Let me know what you think.

impressive - 15 yrs

ya know if it worked without issue for that long and you have the ability to go back with what was in place originally (maybe not the same brand granted) why wouldn’t you?

if no one was clamoring about some missing feature or capability there is no value in change ?

Precisely. @jfinstrom was my support engineer when I installed the equipment in the first place (at another company).

The only thing about staying with the current architecture is replacing it. With the age of some of this equipment, it might be hard to tell the insurance company that they need to fork over $$$ for a new system with a 24-port FXS card in it. The funny thing is that the really old machine (the one that’s still ‘more or less’ working with the Rhino card) is running DAHDI version 1.4 and Asterisk version 1.8. The new machine is a more-or-less up-to-date FreePBX system (Version 13, I think).

If insurance weren’t involved, I’d go for Sangoma s206 or on an even lower budget, Grandstream 1625. Both have RJ9 headset jacks that are likely compatible with their present headsets.

However, if the claims adjuster views that as an ‘upgrade’ rather than a replacement, you may be stuck with analog phones, in which case you have to choose between gateways e.g. GXW4224, channel banks (available used for almost nothing), or DAHDI cards.

I would honestly switch to an analog gateway rather than a card or a card/channel bank combo. This will allow more future flexibility. I actually have no idea if Qturbo/Rhino is even a thing anymore.

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