Looking for recommendation PRI to PRI

I’ve seen mention on older threads of people using old cisco equipment to act as a PRI gateway.
I’m looking for recommendations of what and where to purchase - need low cost option.
My preference is not card based since my FreePBX is on VMware, but I will consider.

I’d like to have my existing PRI come into FreePBX and then go back out to my current NEC PBX, to make the transition slower.



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thanks, but the goal was keeping cost down.

If you want to go cheaper you have to buy a card or channel bank. If you prefer a sip gateway then the sangoma vega is your best option.

I was thinking used / refurb type recommendations.

It’s a little above my head… but… if you are running eSXi and want to save money… it is supposed to support PCI passthrough to the VM. If it actually worked with the PCI cards you need… you could theoretically have a VM with PCI access. My guess is that this is probably not recommend though in the Asterisk/FreePBX Community.

This guy said he got it working:


Configuring passthrough devices
Before configuring a device for PCI Passthrough, ensure that platform and device meets the PCI Passthrough requirements, see VMware vSphere VMDirectPath I/O: Requirements for Platforms and Devices (2142307).

To configure passthrough devices on an ESX/ESXi host:
Select an ESX\ESXi host from the Inventory of VMware vSphere Client.
In the Configuration tab, click Hardware Advanced Settings. The passthrough Configuration page lists all available pass-through devices.

Note: A green icon indicates that a device is enabled and active. An orange icon indicates that the state of the device has changed and the host must be rebooted before the device can be used.

Click Edit.
Select the devices and click OK.
When the devices are selected, they are marked with an orange icon. Reboot for the change to take effect. After rebooting, the devices are marked with a green icon and are enabled.

Note: The configuration changes are saved in the /etc/vmware/esx.conf file. 

The PCI slot number where the device was connected is 00:0b:0. It is recorded as:

/device/000:11.0/owner = "passthru"

Note: 11 is the decimal equivalent of the hexadecimal 0b. 
To configure a PCI device on a virtual machine:
From the Inventory in vSphere Client, right-click the virtual machine and click Edit Settings.
Click the Hardware tab.
Click Add.
Choose the PCI Device.
Click Next.
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For bang per buck, go with repurposed Cisco, for example, it would be hard to beat :-


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Good call Dicko, you really can’t get much cheaper than that. The user might need to get some outside assistance to sort some of its programming out, but that would do the trick.

Those Sangoma Vega units are fantastic. Pricey, but worth the money in the ‘set it and forget it’ mentality.

no offense to the others who suggested.
however, Dicko - that is exactly what I was looking for.

just thought of a new question / idea.

Could I get a SIP trunk into FreePBX, but still send out a PRI to my old PBX (via the cisco box) ?

again, just looking for slow transition from old phone system to new.

I’m in the middle of exactly this type of project.

Incoming calls are coming in on DAHDI, outgoing calls are going out through SIP. Two servers (the old one and the new one).

All of the phones are connected to the new server and it’s working fine.

The short explanation is to set up a trunk to your old server from the new server and then use outbound routes to send the calls to the old server, which is already set up to send calls out to your PRI.

An oldie but goldie


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