Setting up new Asterisk / FreePBX system help


I am in a situation that I dont feel I am prepared for. We have been using Asterisk and FreePBX for a long time as our existing phone system but it is outdated and has only been able to be updated by our CEO who initially set it up when we were a company of 5 people.

He wants us to use the newest version of Asterisk and FreePBX so we can use PJSIP, Endpoint Manager and many of the other features that our old system doesnt have.

Now comes my big problem. I am our “IT” guy and have enough understanding to have setup our network and add / remove phones from our old system and run our computer networks but I have never setup a new phone system and I know nearly nothing about how all the SIP / VOIP phone systems work. We have setup a new server with the latest version of Asterisk and FreePBX on a cloud server that is completely unrelated to our old phone server and our CEO has his phones running on the system. I have been able to setup my desk phone line 2 to work on our new system.

I have made 2 major changes to our system and both times have caused major failures. Both have been recoverable and only affected our CEO and myself but I am worried that as I try to move our old system and phones to the new system I am going to crash our phones and we are going to be without phones for days which will cost us too much $$ to even consider.

How do I go about doing this? I am sure I am not the first person to be in this predicament. Are there consultants I can talk to to help me set this up, are there idiot guides for people like me to get me through this? I am so lost and feeling completely overwhelmed and inadequate for this task that I dont know what to do.

Please, any advice or direction is greatly appreciated, even if its to tell me I should not be doing this. IF that is the case, please refer me to someone if you know of anybody. We are in Raleigh NC btw.

Thank you in advance.

Sangoma support is always an option:

The wiki is here:

You can also explain what you are trying to do. I’ll bet you didn’t know this, but there are people here that have done what you are doing before. I, for example, and in the middle on a “wing walker” upgrade. I’m upgrading one phone at a time from the old server to the new server and have to be done by the middle of May when the old LD carrier triples their line access fee and cost per minute.

So, I doubt there are any hurdles at least one of us hasn’t already cleared. Tell us what you need and we can make suggestions that might be able to help.

Dave, thank you for the input.

So I need to move us off the old pbx system which is on a server we built and hosted locally. I need to move us to our new cloud hosted system. Thats the project in a nutshell.

Step one was to figure out an implementation plan but the more I try to figure out how to do that the further down the rabbit hole I go and feel like all I am doing is learning more about what I dont know.

My biggest worry is knocking all the phones offline when I move them from one server to the next. I thought about moving them one at a time, is that a viable option? Is there a basic rollout plan guideline that lays out the steps I should take to make this move? I figure once I get the phones working I can then focus on all the features. I have been given a big list of things we a. must have b. should have and c. would like to have.

Any suggestions?

What I did was set up a intra-company trunk between the two machines. At the end of the old machines “outbound” list, add a new trunk to your new machine. On the new machine, set up the trunk so that all of the calls from that trunk end up “from-internal”.

Disable the other outbound trunks on the old machine to test. The outbound trunks should all drop onto the new outbound machine. When you are confident that all of your outbound calls are working, you can remove the outbound routes altogether. Your outbound is taken care of.

Next set up the incoming so that one of your DIDs is transferred to the new machine. Set your incoming route to do whatever it is it needs to do under the new “feature set”. If it needs to go to an extension, send It to the extension on the old server. Repeat on a per-number basis.

Finally, set the extensions up on the new machine and strip them down on the old machine. By adding them as extensions, they won’t try to go out on the outbound routes, but you should still tear them down in the outbound routes anyway. Set their DHCP and TFTP configuration up so that they do to the new server. If you do this one at a time, you can test and configure each person’s setup for them specifically.


I hate to sound stupid but a good majority of what you said went right over my head. I am so new and green when it comes to this that I dont know how to do most of what you said. This leads me to think I am in way over my head and should probably consult with someone.

What do you think?

Google is your friend.

Ron White said it best “There’s no cure for Stupid.” You’re not stupid, you’re just where we all were at some point. Now, granted, some of us had a lot less to learn (“So you tie the button to the string like THIS.”), but still it’s just a matter of diving in.

Don’t try to solve the problems all at once.

The steps I gave you are granular. You can do them one at a time without killing anything. It’s all in the GUI and you can “preload” your brain by Googling the stuff you want to learn about.

If I was doing this for you (which I could, for a price), I’d start on the “Trunk” page. Google “Asterisk Trunk Setup Intra company” and see what it says. Pop back in here if you have any questions. Set up a trunk on the new server that talks to the old server. It’s actually a pretty simple first step.

As you move forward through my list, keep doing the same things. One step at a time. If you break something, back that one change out. Don’t panic. Go slow. It’s not really rocket science - FreePBX simplifies so much of this that even the greenest greenhorn can wrangle these virtual “telephone longhorns.”

YouTube is also great… Crosstalk has great series on setting up a new server… How I have learned

If this is important, and you don’t know what you are doing hire a consultant. Someone that knows what they are doing can be in and done in an hour or two. Pay them a couple extra hours to train you.

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I have also wrote a basic install guide, you could skim that for what ever feature you tried to change that broke things. Might help.

I think one of the things that is causing me so much confusion is that many of the tutorials discuss setting up a FreePBX server locally. I am working with an old FreePBX server running FreePBX 2 and it is a remote machine and our new machine is hosted in a different location but also remote running FreePBX 13.

A lot of the things I am seeing talk about local networking which does not apply to my particular situation. Does this really add a lot of complexity to my situation or am I over thinking the problem and creating my own hurdles that are unnecessary?

Endpoint manager is one of the things I need to get working but dont quite understand how that works when our local network is where most our phones are located with a few located in other countries. The FreePBX server is hosted on a VM in Texas. How does that work?

Thanx again

With endpoint manager, you just have to setup the mac addresses manually, set the tftp or http provision allow in the firewall.

You will have to do something on the phones the first time to point Bremer to your server for the provisioning, but afterwards, they will have the info always short of being defaulted again.

Users will have to power cycle phones to force a reprovision or you will have to remote log in and force the reprovisin if changes were made and are needed instantly. But honestly after initial setup, that is generally rare.

I have a system hosted on Vultr, and I manually created the CFG files for my Yealink phones. I uploaded them to the /tftpboot folder and then in the responsive firewall, I set https provision to other, tftp to reject and http to reject.
I put the remote site IP in the network section as other. I set the. Port assignment in system admin to have https provisioning on default 1443.

I logged into the Yealink phone directly and went to the provisioning tab and told it the URL:

Rebooted the phone and it pulled the config.

The newer model Yealink phones come with a one touch service. I have not played with that yet. But I assume those are like the Sangoma phones. You log into the portal and tell it where to find the provisioning server there.

Basically you always have to have some initial method of telling a new device how to find the provisioning server the first time.

You could do DHCP option, all kinds of things.


Can I get support for this? I am willing to get on the phone with me and help me get this up and running.

Yes, just buy credit and open a ticket:

Your deployment ID is shown in Admin, System Admin, Activation or from the CLI with:

fwconsole sa info

Once you have the Deployment ID, open a customer service ticket with your user details and dep ID, so we can get things straightened out.

I have my deployment ID, the system will not let me create a customer service ticket with my user details and my deployment ID. That is my issue. When I enter my deployment ID for it to search for it says it cannot find it.

I really need to get moving on this and need support ASAP.

Create a new ticket of type “Customer Service and Billing”, you do not need a deployment ID for this.

Done, thank you!

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Given that this is a commercial situation where failure is not an option, you are 100% right to opt for commercial support.

Having said that, it will be worth your while to set up a small server on your own and play with it so you can get a feel for how the system works and build your skill set.

The cloud server portion of this project really adds another layer of complexity, most of it security and NAT related.

My recommendation is to grab an old desktop machine (anything with a p3 or better, ideally newer) and set up a machine in your home. Connect it to an ITSP and a few SIP phones. Make it work, play with the features, and generally geek out. Not only will this help you learn how to manage the system without breaking it, you’ll end up with something in common with the CEO, never a bad thing.

Well with some support from the people at FreePBX I was able to make a lot of progress in getting the system setup and moving toward deployment. I have a lot of setup to do with things like routes, ring groups, conferences, and users before I can deploy but I am very close.

I am having an issue now that I am trying to figure out. It seems that other people have experienced this issue but I have not been able to find a specific way to fix the issue. Outbound calls are dropping at 15 minutes exactly. I see that it is probably related to session-timers=refuse or something with NAT but I have not been able to figure out exactly how to add the session-timers setting to the system so it quits dropping calls.

Any advice here?