Poor Man's High Availability


dual identical FreePBX servers (both activated each with their own commercial epm, rest apps etc)
one is identified as primary and the other identified as secondary
both has identical ip, (for this reason secondary is unplugged until needed to sync or catastrophe has occurred)
once the environment (extensions, ata, fax, etc) are perfected on the primary perform full backup
shutdown and unplug primary
plugin and boot secondary
restore from backup
once this has been done once to sync we put the secondary on the shelf
reboot primary
relax comfortably knowing the office manager only has to swap 2 pieces of hardware during an equipment failure.

Some small installations cannot justify the commercial HA expenses, but are willing to pay for dual epm, rest,etc modules.

Is this a fair compromise?

Does anyone offer any warnings, threats, thoughts, caveats, or feedback?


You could also setup the 2nd server as a warm spare. Let your backup routine automatically backup the configs and if you have SIP trunks have your provider permit connections from both servers. Setup your phones to use both servers and in the even that the primary is lost the warm spare takes over automatically.

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I like that setup, if I or someone knowledgeable would be always be on-site. The sites I am addressing are the small 6 to 12 extensions, without in house IT support. Just an office manager. I plan on having a regular ftp backup occurring, but in an emergency, a panicky office manager should be able to swap a good box for a bad box, and unless more hardware was installed without syncing the secondary most or all of the phones and devices should be immediately available.

You should take a look at PBXact with HA. The HA option on PBXact scales with the number of users allocated to the system, something we can’t do with FreePBX as there is not a lock on the number of Extensions. As a Sangoma Partner a fully commercially supported PBXact UC 100 HA system with 10 Sangoma phones, and Gold Support (SLA and extended hardware warranty) would be less than 6k to implement, for systems where you need that extra level of high availability it should be a good fit. There is definitely a place for warm spares, but for those that need HA, they will generally be looking for a platform that provides a higher level of commercial support such as PBXact.