Well after a month of testing Asterisk and a SIP trunk for our business we are quickly realizing that we are investing far too much time configuring, patching, etc. I am beginning to realize why Asterisk is not more popular.
I have spent many, many hours and evenings learning, reading the docs, and testing. I even spent a day sniffing packets to gain a better understanding of how SIP calls are setup, information that is just not clear on the web or youtube. As you all know, part of the problem is wading past the “experts” that think they know how this all works…
Anyhow, we have just hit a wall with this Cisco video and blf issue, and it is probably going to kill this project. We have hired help through Elance, but the people are just not reliable or available.
So before we pull the plug and buy call manager, I am making one last appeal: Can anyone recommend a good linux/Asterisk guy that can help us with these patches and setup more features like RTC, Alarm integration, ENUM. Etc?
Firstly, starting the thread off by threatening to call Cisco sales on a forum that mainly discusses free and open source software isn’t really going to get you anywhere, or at least won’t really make people want to help you (most of the user base here uses the free product)
So that we can better understand what you actually want please go into better detail about your requirements and problems, such as why you are having to patch and what you have to over configure.
Finally remember that a Cisco system will definitely be KISS however you will have no control over it in the future without buying additional services. In the world of Asterisk your ideas are limitless, I really don’t think you can say that for a call manager system while keeping the costs below 10,000 USD. But to each his own.
Yes, you can spend your money however you wish. Let me make a few points.
1 - You didn’t even mention FreePBX you just said Asterisk, are you even using FreePBX?
2 - What phones are you trying to use?
3 - What features you want require patches?
4 - Alarm Integration is kind of left field, you mean you want to use the Asterisk alarm module and go into the central station business or do you mean you want to use the Asterisk SNMP MIB and syslog to monitor the system with Enterprise tools?
Now reality check - Cisco does not have any type of Alarm Receiver to support and if you are talking about SNMP I think the Cisco CUCM MIB extensions are weaker than the Asterisk MIB.
Second, Cisco does not have WebRTC client out, but it is coming
Third, What are you trying to do with ENUM? Cisco requires SIP Gateway software run on an IOS device for ENUM support, it is not in the CUCM stack nor is SIP NAT traversal, that also requires a Gateway.
So why don’t you take a deep breath and explain your goals, must have vs nice to have items and the general network environment.
So I should probably not reply tonight as it is late. But I would like to point something out: Although I did not wish for the type of responses I got, I know from lurking here that that was not unexpected.
Never did I make any threat. I simply stated that we are now at a point that we are considering another system, but we are still willing to try to make this work. As far as my (immediate) requirements, I don’t think I could have been more clear when I asked “Can anyone recommend a good linux/Asterisk guy that can help us…” I see that you work for Schmooze. I find that interesting because I submitted a sales/support request on this same issue and was told last week that this was not something Schmooze would do. Finally, although I can only speak as to how my company would handle a similar situation, as a frustrated customer willing to pay for what we want, I am troubled by your response.
Your zealousness in the community could be applauded, however your approach leaves little to be desired. You are the main reason why I avoid posting here; you are often combative, jump to conclusions, and just plain insulting to many on here. You must be a joy to be around in person. Advising me to “take a deep breath” adds nothing constructive to the conversation. In the future, please refrain from replying to my posts. Thanks
@Ami_mac welcome to the community. I’ve seen both your forum thread here, and just reviewed the tickets you placed to our sales department.
To be fair to those responding on the forum, although you may think you are clear in what you are looking for “a good linux/Asterisk guy.” it is impossible to know if someone here may have the skill set you are looking for, without knowing the specifics of what you want done. Which is what @tm1000 and @SkykingOH were asking you to define. Since you mention you made a request to Schmooze for assistance, I have reviewed that request and the couple of items you mention in your tickets to our sales department were:
Support to connect to your existing analog door phone, (easily done) but at the same time your desire of mixing in the video from a separate SIP camera (not so easily done.) For this you should probably look for an out of the box solution, that integrates the video into the door phone, I can provide some recommendation on hardware for this if you are interested, not sure what your company is paying you, but it would likely be a better return on investment to purchase the properly engineered solution as opposed to creating it on your own.
The second item you requested was Patching for Cisco BLF’s, I’m not sure about the specific patch you were inquiring about, however often with some of the Cisco hardware we are restricted from doing certain things for legal reasons, usually license terms with certain Cisco applications and hardware. It’s possible that someone from the community could assist, however one of the best experts on Cisco hardware I know you just told not to respond to your post.
This also comes back to using the best hardware for the job, hardware/phones that are designed with Asterisk support in mind will also make your end user experience a much better one, as well provide you hardware that doesn’t have “empty/non functioning buttons” or has to be patched to work properly with open standards.
While that patch has received a lot of attention, it is something of a monster - and as you can tell from the issue, has numerous problems still. It would take a substantial amount of effort to get it cleaned up and included in a future version of Asterisk. That isn’t to say that it won’t happen some day - Gareth has done a lot of good work on it - but it is a very non-trivial effort.
My personal opinion (and only my personal opinion): That patch is only necessary if you want Cisco specific features in Asterisk. If what you absolutely require is a Cisco experience, then why wouldn’t you buy a Cisco product?
You managed to pick out the worst from each post. What about the content above that statement, which is good advice if you are upset?
I took time to check the latest CUCM feature set and asked a half a dozen questions. You choose to answer none of them. You did slip in a personal insult. At the latest FreePBX world last week I had no shortage of people that wanted to spend time with me. This is on a professional level, I won’t give your comment any weight to respond personally.
If you choose to share information you will get some guidance from the community. Especially curious about the alarm receiver requirement.
As far as me responding, you should be able to put aside your personal feelings to accomplish your goals. I am, by far, the most experienced Cisco guy on the team.
I am sorry you are troubled that we have passed on the opportunity to work on your project. Its just not in our wheel house so unlike others that you hired and got no where we passed right away. What you want to do is make features in a Proprietary phone work with the non proprietary PBX. As Matt from Digium said you are best to then go with said system. There are also legal issues we have seen and run into when trying to do such thing and reverse engineer something that is not our property.
I think it’s pretty obvious this guy is just new to the open source community and doesn’t know how to interact with members of it on the whole. I’ve seen this same kind of thread all too many times on open source community forums - the biggest hint was that he also needed a Linux expert. Nothing against him for being a newbie, but he really shouldn’t be getting mad at you guys for his own decision in choosing the wrong solution for what is apparently a corporate deadline-oriented project rather than a hobby-oriented learning job (which is where we all started).
I’ve been installing IT solutions for customers since 2005 (both open-source and proprietary) and I can say for a matter of fact that, based on his requirements (assuming they are set in stone), then yes, he is best served by spending money on an expensive pre-engineered solution rather than trying to engineer it himself (newbies that might be reading this thread: take note). Especially considering that he seems to be under pressure to get it done quickly (being under extreme pressure from bosses can turn people from nice to rude in 2 seconds flat). Open source solutions involving many interlocking, yet separate, parts that need a lot of high-level expertise to “glue” them together don’t really serve the “get it done quickly” department, especially if you are new to it. When even Schmooze is passing up a paid support contract, you know your requirements are too heavy.
And yeah, not sure why he is trying to integrate proprietary Cisco phones so tightly into his desired non-proprietary solution. I have tried to stay away from letting customers keep old cisco phones while switching to Asterisk. I’ll let them if they insist but I let them know right away that they aren’t going to get anything fancy out of it.