Interesting FreePBX Setup



  • I met with a prospective client yesterday and he was walking me through their current setup and needs. Runs a small office with 53 staff all at one location. They're Office 365 enabled and don't have any onsite servers except for 1 Synology DS918+ NAS. This is where the "interesting" part comes in.

    They use the NAS for Active Directory services (Active Directory Server package) and the obvious file sharing services and I've definitely seen that before, but they also have a FreePBX VM running in Synology Virtual Machine Manager. I didn't get to login since they're not a client yet, this was just an intro meeting, but he did show me the documentation that the guy who did the setup provided to him.

    • FreePBX installed as a VM on Synology DS918+

    • 8GB RAM on the NAS (2GB allocated to FreePBX)

    • Snapshots of the VM that are replicated to an offsite DS918+ (at owner's house)

    • Config backups of FreePBX being saved to a local folder on the NAS and included in the nightly remote DS918 location

    He says they have about 70 extensions configured including conference and meeting rooms, etc, and haven't had any problems at all with this setup. He even had the conversation with the guy who did the setup about whether they should host it as a VPS or have a local FreePBX and he deliberately chose the local install because it was more important that the internal people could continue to use their phones across the 3 floors of the building. They have a route to a cell phone at reception in the event of internet or connectivity issues with VoIP provider.

    I knew Synology could do this but haven't run into anyone who actually used the Virtual Machine Manager. Anyone else see a similar setup elsewhere?



  • @NashBrydges Their Virtual Machine Manager is just a front end to one of the standard hypervisors. I think it's KVM, but not 100% sure.

    If they already had the NAS, and didn't want to spend the money for a real server from a place like xByte, then it's a decent stop gap. When it's time to replace the NAS, might want to think about an actual server.



  • @travisdh1 said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @NashBrydges Their Virtual Machine Manager is just a front end to one of the standard hypervisors. I think it's KVM, but not 100% sure.

    If they already had the NAS, and didn't want to spend the money for a real server from a place like xByte, then it's a decent stop gap. When it's time to replace the NAS, might want to think about an actual server.

    Right - i.e. they do have a full blown normal hypervisor server on prem.

    You mentioned AD - is it windows AD? or a Linux setup emulating it (3, 2, 1 - Scott will now tell me how that's not the right term).



  • @travisdh1 said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    If they already had the NAS, and didn't want to spend the money for a real server from a place like xByte, then it's a decent stop gap. When it's time to replace the NAS, might want to think about an actual server.

    How is it not an actual server?



  • @Dashrender There is no other on-prem server. The Synology is the only onsite device and the only thing running any kind of hypervisor.



  • @NashBrydges said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @Dashrender There is no other on-prem server. The Synology is the only onsite device and the only thing running any kind of hypervisor.

    right - so that is their server.

    If it was only offering file services, I could see calling it a NAS - still technically a server, but meh - but in this case, this is a full blown server with hypervisor and VMs... just like so many other environments, just not a Tier one hardware - unless Synology is considered tier one these days? @scottalanmiller ?



  • @NashBrydges said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    Anyone else see a similar setup elsewhere?

    Only in the story books. I wonder if he has every powered down the office Synology, and brought the home Synology in, to test his DR.



  • @JasGot said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @NashBrydges said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    Anyone else see a similar setup elsewhere?

    Only in the story books. I wonder if he has every powered down the office Synology, and brought the home Synology in, to test his DR.

    Why would he do this? This isn't a HA setup. His home DS918+ is a backup only. Recovery would likely mean purchasing a new Synology and recovering from his backups at home. Now, whether that's been done/tested, haven't asked and my guess would be no.



  • @NashBrydges said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    Why would he do this? This isn't a HA setup. His home DS918+ is a backup only. Recovery would likely mean purchasing a new Synology and recovering from his backups at home. Now, whether that's been done/tested, haven't asked and my guess would be no.

    I am willing to bet his expectations are that he can.



  • @NashBrydges said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    They have a route to a cell phone at reception in the event of internet or connectivity issues with VoIP provider.

    I'm curious how this works? how is the cellphone integrated into the solution?



  • @JasGot said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @NashBrydges said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    Why would he do this? This isn't a HA setup. His home DS918+ is a backup only. Recovery would likely mean purchasing a new Synology and recovering from his backups at home. Now, whether that's been done/tested, haven't asked and my guess would be no.

    I am willing to bet his expectations are that he can.

    You may be right.



  • @Dashrender said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @NashBrydges said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    They have a route to a cell phone at reception in the event of internet or connectivity issues with VoIP provider.

    I'm curious how this works? how is the cellphone integrated into the solution?

    VoIP.ms has a "routing if unreachable" setting where you can enter a cell phone to forward calls to if there an interruption between VoIP.ms and FreePBX.

    2b4e2d65-ce5b-420f-813c-85ea7f21f4fb-image.png



  • @NashBrydges said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @Dashrender said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @NashBrydges said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    They have a route to a cell phone at reception in the event of internet or connectivity issues with VoIP provider.

    I'm curious how this works? how is the cellphone integrated into the solution?

    VoIP.ms has a "routing if unreachable" setting where you can enter a cell phone to forward calls to if there an interruption between VoIP.ms and FreePBX.

    2b4e2d65-ce5b-420f-813c-85ea7f21f4fb-image.png

    OHHH - got it - It's not a FreePBX function, it's a SIP provider function. yeah, that's easy.. Thanks!



  • @Dashrender said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @NashBrydges said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @Dashrender There is no other on-prem server. The Synology is the only onsite device and the only thing running any kind of hypervisor.

    right - so that is their server.

    If it was only offering file services, I could see calling it a NAS - still technically a server, but meh - but in this case, this is a full blown server with hypervisor and VMs... just like so many other environments, just not a Tier one hardware - unless Synology is considered tier one these days? @scottalanmiller ?

    It's the same hardware they've always used, so anemic CPU. Really can't do a whole lot more than NAS things, and I'd argue that it's not doing much more than NAS things currently. Synology has just acknowledged that what they sell as a NAS box is in reality a low power AMD-x64 compatible hardware.



  • @NashBrydges said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @Dashrender There is no other on-prem server. The Synology is the only onsite device and the only thing running any kind of hypervisor.

    His point is that Synology makes real servers. They aren't even that basic. They have KVM installed, often have good hardware, generally redundant power and stuff. Often they are better than the gear we see at a lot of SMBs. Those are real servers being used like normal servers. It might be the lack of Windows anywhere that makes it feel odd, but when we do Windows setups places, it is very similar.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @NashBrydges said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @Dashrender There is no other on-prem server. The Synology is the only onsite device and the only thing running any kind of hypervisor.

    His point is that Synology makes real servers. They aren't even that basic. They have KVM installed, often have good hardware, generally redundant power and stuff. Often they are better than the gear we see at a lot of SMBs. Those are real servers being used like normal servers. It might be the lack of Windows anywhere that makes it feel odd, but when we do Windows setups places, it is very similar.

    Depends on the specs. Synology sells plenty of low end NAS systems.

    In this case it is a DS918+, that is not a bottom end unit, so I agree with @scottalanmiller



  • Their most recent stuff has 3-4 year old processors. Even their top tier FS3017, coming in at $10k for a diskless server, has 2x E5-2620 v3 that were launched in Q3'14. That's pretty bad...

    Compare that to a R740xd on xbyte with the latest processors, 64 GB RAM, and a RAID card with 8GB NV cache for ~$3500, the Synology starts looking really bad.

    None of which is really apples to apples in this case, because it's a $600 box we're talking about above... but at the higher end, Synology definitely starts getting left behind.



  • @bnrstnr said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    Their most recent stuff has 3-4 year old processors. Even their top tier FS3017, coming in at $10k for a diskless server, has 2x E5-2620 v3 that were launched in Q3'14. That's pretty bad...

    Compare that to a R740xd on xbyte with the latest processors, 64 GB RAM, and a RAID card with 8GB NV cache for ~$3500, the Synology starts looking really bad.

    None of which is really apples to apples in this case, because it's a $600 box we're talking about above... but at the higher end, Synology definitely starts getting left behind.

    Well, the point of Synology is to be a NAS, not really to be a hypervisor. But people are crazy and cheap (cheap to the point where they end up way over spending). That 10K price tag includes Synology's simplified interface. Like Scale - their solution is expensive when you only look at the parts that are included, but when you include the software and support, it starts to make more sense. Also, make sure you're buying the correct solution for the problem at hand.

    As for the DS918+, that's pretty cool to get two VMs on a $600 (diskless) box.



  • @Dashrender said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @bnrstnr said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    Their most recent stuff has 3-4 year old processors. Even their top tier FS3017, coming in at $10k for a diskless server, has 2x E5-2620 v3 that were launched in Q3'14. That's pretty bad...

    Compare that to a R740xd on xbyte with the latest processors, 64 GB RAM, and a RAID card with 8GB NV cache for ~$3500, the Synology starts looking really bad.

    None of which is really apples to apples in this case, because it's a $600 box we're talking about above... but at the higher end, Synology definitely starts getting left behind.

    Well, the point of Synology is to be a NAS, not really to be a hypervisor. But people are crazy and cheap (cheap to the point where they end up way over spending). That 10K price tag includes Synology's simplified interface. Like Scale - their solution is expensive when you only look at the parts that are included, but when you include the software and support, it starts to make more sense. Also, make sure you're buying the correct solution for the problem at hand.

    As for the DS918+, that's pretty cool to get two VMs on a $600 (diskless) box.

    They also have some type of container enabled, so I'd bet on a type-3 and a type-2. Really doubt the CPU could handle much more, but also very nice that it's possible to do via their GUI.



  • @bnrstnr said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    Their most recent stuff has 3-4 year old processors. Even their top tier FS3017, coming in at $10k for a diskless server, has 2x E5-2620 v3 that were launched in Q3'14. That's pretty bad...

    Compare that to a R740xd on xbyte with the latest processors, 64 GB RAM, and a RAID card with 8GB NV cache for ~$3500, the Synology starts looking really bad.

    None of which is really apples to apples in this case, because it's a $600 box we're talking about above... but at the higher end, Synology definitely starts getting left behind.

    If you are buying an "appliance" and expecting it to have the cost and performance of a straight server, you are not going to be happy. These are products specifically made for people who can't or won't set up their own basic file server. So comparing is never applicable. No NAS is a good value compared to a server.



  • @Dashrender said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    But people are crazy and cheap (cheap to the point where they end up way over spending).

    Where "cheap" = "throw money around like crazy".

    People buying big NAS are anything but cheap. Cheap and reckless are very different things.



  • @travisdh1 said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    They also have some type of container enabled, so I'd bet on a type-3 and a type-2.

    Type-2 what?



  • @scottalanmiller said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @Dashrender said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    But people are crazy and cheap (cheap to the point where they end up way over spending).

    Where "cheap" = "throw money around like crazy".

    People buying big NAS are anything but cheap. Cheap and reckless are very different things.

    exactly!!!



  • @scottalanmiller said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @travisdh1 said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    They also have some type of container enabled, so I'd bet on a type-3 and a type-2.

    Type-2 what?

    He is talking about the type of hypervisor that Synology is running.



  • @JaredBusch said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @scottalanmiller said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @travisdh1 said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    They also have some type of container enabled, so I'd bet on a type-3 and a type-2.

    Type-2 what?

    He is talking about the type of hypervisor that Synology is running.

    using a Type-2 would just seem crazy.. but of course anything's possible.



  • @JaredBusch said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @scottalanmiller said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @travisdh1 said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    They also have some type of container enabled, so I'd bet on a type-3 and a type-2.

    Type-2 what?

    He is talking about the type of hypervisor that Synology is running.

    But he mentioned Type-3, and there is no such thing in hypervisor parlance. Type-0 is unofficial and not real, just a misunderstanding of Type-1 but used to refer to KVM and ESXi, Type-1 is KVM, Hyper-V, ESXi, and Xen; then there is Type-2 which is VMware Workstation and VirtualBox; and Type-C for Containers.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @JaredBusch said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @scottalanmiller said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @travisdh1 said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    They also have some type of container enabled, so I'd bet on a type-3 and a type-2.

    Type-2 what?

    He is talking about the type of hypervisor that Synology is running.

    But he mentioned Type-3, and there is no such thing in hypervisor parlance. Type-0 is unofficial and not real, just a misunderstanding of Type-1 but used to refer to KVM and ESXi, Type-1 is KVM, Hyper-V, ESXi, and Xen; then there is Type-2 which is VMware Workstation and VirtualBox; and Type-C for Containers.

    I think he was calling a container a Type-3, I've heard others refer to the same before.



  • @Dashrender said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @scottalanmiller said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @JaredBusch said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @scottalanmiller said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @travisdh1 said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    They also have some type of container enabled, so I'd bet on a type-3 and a type-2.

    Type-2 what?

    He is talking about the type of hypervisor that Synology is running.

    But he mentioned Type-3, and there is no such thing in hypervisor parlance. Type-0 is unofficial and not real, just a misunderstanding of Type-1 but used to refer to KVM and ESXi, Type-1 is KVM, Hyper-V, ESXi, and Xen; then there is Type-2 which is VMware Workstation and VirtualBox; and Type-C for Containers.

    I think he was calling a container a Type-3, I've heard others refer to the same before.

    Same. Not correctly but I've heard it for sure.



  • @Dashrender said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    I think he was calling a container a Type-3, I've heard others refer to the same before.

    Really? Search on that, it doesn't exist. And it's not the same kind of thing, calling it a Type-3 is wrong, and not wrong in a clear way like it would make sense, but it isn't the name. But containers are a totally different animal and cannot be numbered in the series without creating serious confusion.



  • @coliver said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @Dashrender said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @scottalanmiller said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @JaredBusch said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @scottalanmiller said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @travisdh1 said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    They also have some type of container enabled, so I'd bet on a type-3 and a type-2.

    Type-2 what?

    He is talking about the type of hypervisor that Synology is running.

    But he mentioned Type-3, and there is no such thing in hypervisor parlance. Type-0 is unofficial and not real, just a misunderstanding of Type-1 but used to refer to KVM and ESXi, Type-1 is KVM, Hyper-V, ESXi, and Xen; then there is Type-2 which is VMware Workstation and VirtualBox; and Type-C for Containers.

    I think he was calling a container a Type-3, I've heard others refer to the same before.

    Same. Not correctly but I've heard it for sure.

    I've never heard it used.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @coliver said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @Dashrender said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @scottalanmiller said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @JaredBusch said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @scottalanmiller said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    @travisdh1 said in Interesting FreePBX Setup:

    They also have some type of container enabled, so I'd bet on a type-3 and a type-2.

    Type-2 what?

    He is talking about the type of hypervisor that Synology is running.

    But he mentioned Type-3, and there is no such thing in hypervisor parlance. Type-0 is unofficial and not real, just a misunderstanding of Type-1 but used to refer to KVM and ESXi, Type-1 is KVM, Hyper-V, ESXi, and Xen; then there is Type-2 which is VMware Workstation and VirtualBox; and Type-C for Containers.

    I think he was calling a container a Type-3, I've heard others refer to the same before.

    Same. Not correctly but I've heard it for sure.

    I've never heard it used.

    I heard it used many times at Spiceworld.


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