Elastix PBX Rundown


I posted this as Vlog/Vlob post recently about this abandoned open source phone system. Elastix was a foreign made fork from Asterisk, that was a cheaper and free equivalent of Microsoft’s Office Communications Server and it’s Exchange server, but unlike MS’ OCS, at least there is a few more telephony features.

While Elastix had Exchange-like features for groupware, it’s PBX functionality is nowhere near an Aura or Cisco UCM. Elastix was unable to survive and was sold to 3CX. 3CX has and probably will still be a joke. What the 3CX people did, was took the brand, and took the 3CX code originally for Windows (because their selling point was it was more user friendly to administer than Asterisk) and ported it to a Linux distro to give the appearance they weren’t missing out.

Not too long after the original Elastix code went end of life, another organization took it’s code and made a fork of it and it’s called Issabel. Similar idea, cheaper Exchange functionality, but more reliable in it’s telephony service.

In this video, I had many of my Mitels I got from Jason via The Museum. Except for the 5207, all the others were capable of SIP. While the proprietary MiNet is preferred, I had decided, well instead of buying newer phones and collecting dust, to just repurpose them. I also noticed another Mitel phone system, the MX5000 (a rebadged InterTel system, after Mitel acquired them) that that phone system uses SIP for the VOIP phones, and while a couple of them I have are 5220s, if I were to get an MX5000 on the Interwebz down the road, it could theoretically work, then gain some Mitel/Intertel features.

This would be all for Media Services. Why?

My family has felt a phone system…

  • was part of the phone company’s “service” (Xfinity/Comcast Business.)
  • that each extension must be physical
  • if someone did a call pickup, bridged appearances, follow-me calling, family would not know where they are calling, and “loose track” of their adult child
  • Forget Do Not Disturb, they’ll think the network went down. (Not so much since March of 2020, where reliability was forced to go up given working from home requirements.)

Where does that leave any mobility? What if I want to park a call? So I decided that I’d use Elastix (and BTW there is no direct Internet exposure, since it’s on a non-routable LAN… and anyone who puts public IP or DNS on a SIP phone directly, is crazy, no matter what setup it is) for my media room and my bedroom. 1300 would be the “main number”, and do a dial-peer to SIP telephone number on the IP address of the Elastix box;  and the Cisco CallManager Express would calling another phone system as if it was an internal extension.

I have not been able to do outbound calling, but given the mandatory ten-digit calling in New Hampshire, this maybe easier. I’ve had issues even with the Avaya (see how I miss Key Phone Systems?)

Later in this video, I had discussed a potential migration to either Elastix and/or Isasbell and have the CME be the backup in case the server went down. In fact I would avoid SRST, and just use straight up CME; with the magic of using a Skinny Call Control Protocol driver. I do not have any spare SCCP sets laying around. This is preliminary and should be taken as speculation.