System 50 - do I buy or should I just grab an old Dell on eBay?

I’ve seen a System 50 on eBay that I was planning to buy - is it an OK investment? We are a small business with very seldom need of concurrent calls. We have 3 members of staff and two inbound PSTN trunk lines.

I have five Digium D50 phones I want to use with the system with EPM and I understand it’s only X86 compatible.

So I guess I just want to make sure that paying $115 for a System 50 and wanting to use it with Digum D50s and EPM is not a bad idea?!


Using a system 50 is never a “bad” idea for this small an installation.

Your “Dell” solution wouldn’t be a “bad” idea either.

Either way, D50s and EPM is the part that’s going to pay the dividend. The selection of the hardware for the server is going to be up to you.

I would never buy hardware of any kind for a FreePBX system. $6/month with Vultr gets you a system on modern gear, in a datacenter, as a VM, with backups. That’s 20 months compared to your $115 used hardware and you are not on old low end gear.

System 50:
Intel Atom, 1 GB RAM, 320GB HDD (non-ssd).

Vultr instance:
1 vCPU (typically reports as i7), 1GB RAM, 25GB SSD
Simple schduled platform backup can be set daily, weekly, monthly.
Snapshot at will.

You have PSTN lines coming in to your facility and I assume you want to keep those. If that’s the case, you are going to end up buying hardware anyway, so putting your server and trust in someone else’s datacenter and under someone else’s control may not be an option for you.

To be clear: there is a fundamental difference between buying service on other people’s hardware and buying your own. If you are going to buy hardware, buy something quality. If you are going to through crap together and cobble up something that ends up being junk, that’s also your option.

You’ve indicated that you have hard lines into your facility. For this, you will need FXO ports on hardware. You can install something that does that, then connect it to almost any implementation you want, or you can get a FXO card, drop it in a server (including a Digium/Sangoma server with the ports already installed) and go to town.

Unlike some of the other folks here that think that having all of their critical assets under someone else’s control is a good idea, I’m old school and disagree. Take from that what you will. Remember, if your phones can get through the firewall, so can other people’s.

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Yeah, that is not how anything works. Unless of course you don’t do things right. But then, that is not the problem of the system, but of the administrator.

Port your number to a metered SIP trunk. The math on that is super basic.

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