Exploring VitalPBX



  • I've recently been turned on to VitalPBX as one of the big up and coming, modern players in the Asterisk space. VitalPBX has its own interface that is unique from the ground up, and doesn't need (or suggest) an ISO for installation. Installing on CentOS 7 is a breeze. The company claims to be the fastest growing Asterisk PBX. We are currently going through some phone changes and it seemed like a good time to evaluate something new.

    First, an install. Just install a bare CentOS 7 system with wget installed. This can be minimal or similar. This install is tested on Vultr as well. You only need 1 vCPU and 512MB or RAM to run VitalPBX. But of course, 1GB of RAM is recommended. But VitalPBX is lighter than some older Asterisk PBXs like FreePBX, so don't worry too much about resources that are needed.

    wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/VitalPBX/VPS/master/vps.sh
    chmod +x vps.sh
    ./vps.sh
    

    That's literally it. That's the entire installation! You should now have a running VitalPBX!



  • First impression, beyond the install being ridiculously easy, is that the resource usage is really light. This is a system with multiple people on the interface, and multiple extensions set up:

    # free -m
                  total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
    Mem:            991         406         134          13         450         419
    Swap:          2047           0        2047
    
    


  • Second impression, the interface is great. It's attractive, modern, looks professional, and is super responsive. Not what I am used to on a PBX at all. Very impressive. It's easy to find what you need, and everything looks good and gets you where you need to go really quickly. It feels like working on VitalPBX will be much more efficient than on some other systems because it just seems very fast and intuitive. Also the interface is responsive, I tried it on my phone and it worked quite well.

    Screenshot from 2019-05-22 01-26-44.png



  • The Extensions Screen:

    Screenshot from 2019-05-22 01-32-23.png





  • Setting up a Skyetel trunk was quick and easy. Worked right away. One thing to know, though, the VitalPBX instructions say to use the +1XXXXXXXXXX pattern when it needs to be 1XXXXXXXXXX on the Inbound Route DID.



  • One thing that I like is that VitalPBX goes straight to Asterisk 16.



  • I've not played with it yet, but it looks like the Hot Desking feature on VitalPBX is really slick! It looks crazy impressive.



  • @scottalanmiller is there any kind of endpoint manager?



  • @scottalanmiller

    Centos Latest 7 ? like what version are you running , i tend to use rolling ISO:
    1902-01.iso
    https://buildlogs.centos.org/rolling/7/isos/x86_64/?C=M;O=D

    Also what is the Asterisk Version ?



  • @scottalanmiller Any reason why you're changing from FreePBX? Is it because of all the recent changes at Sangoma? Or just want to try something new?



  • @scottalanmiller I've just started testing with FusionPBX as well. Totally different animal, since the backend is FreeSwitch, but it is very nice so far.



  • @syko24 said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    @scottalanmiller is there any kind of endpoint manager?

    Found the answer, yes it does have an endpoint manager.



  • Hm. Can't seem to get nginx working with it for web access to demo. Ports 80/443 are open and it's still 502'ing.



  • @fuznutz04 said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    @scottalanmiller Any reason why you're changing from FreePBX? Is it because of all the recent changes at Sangoma? Or just want to try something new?

    He always plays with the newest toys, if for no other reason than to learn them.



  • @Dashrender said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    @fuznutz04 said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    @scottalanmiller Any reason why you're changing from FreePBX? Is it because of all the recent changes at Sangoma? Or just want to try something new?

    He always plays with the newest toys, if for no other reason than to learn them.

    Same for me. I would never roll something like this into productoin at a cleint anytime soon. I need to learn it first.. But me learning it first would be me posting shit here like @scottalanmiller is.



  • @fuznutz04 said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    @scottalanmiller Any reason why you're changing from FreePBX? Is it because of all the recent changes at Sangoma? Or just want to try something new?

    Learning for one. Not really concerned with the changes at Sangoma, Sangoma is a fine company from my experiences with them and the people that they are losing weren't a team I'm very concerned about. Any risks from Sangoma would be to Asterisk and that would impact VitalPBX, Wazo, and others, as well.

    This was kind of "just the right" combination of discussions a few weeks ago where we had some phone people talk to us about VitalPBX and then the discussion with the FreePBX founder a few days ago really put it into my head. We've always known that the FreePBX layer on top of Asterisk was super amateur and kludgy, but it was the natural progression from TrixBox and Elastix over the years and, at the time, was far and away where we would want to have been. But they really were good almost entirely because they were the only game in town, not because it was "good" by any absolute standard. The PBX distro was a collection of other packages that are all solid and great, but the FreePBX layer on top was pretty rough; but we could ignore that as it is just the administration interface for the most part. So we never worried about it and test other products from time to time and there are some good ones, but nothing has been so dramatic to make us really want to evaluate for switching.

    VitalPBX is a bit unique in that they basically took an identical approach that FreePBX did - same overall component selection, approach, design, etc. But its built by professional developers who know what they are doing it would seem. The design is cohesive, responsive (both in the web terminology and the IT one), competent, etc. Unlike Wazo which requires relearning and thinking differently about your PBX, VitalPBX is a "drop in replacement" for FreePBX. Since FreePBX does exactly what we want, VitalPBX seems to do exactly what we want - but does it well (so far.)

    So VitalPBX is a different situation than everything we've seen before. It's got a long standing (if small) company behind it. It's exactly the product we wished that we would have had for all these years. It fits our internal and customer use profiles perfectly. And it requires essentially no retraining so our engineers using FreePBX can just look at VitalPBX and run with it. I was literally more effective on VitalPBX in like ten minutes just because it's so intuitive and the platform moves that much faster 🙂



  • @syko24 said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    @scottalanmiller is there any kind of endpoint manager?

    Sure does. All included, no "paid for" add on.



  • @Emad-R said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    Centos Latest 7 ? like what version are you running

    Totally up to date.



  • @Emad-R said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    @scottalanmiller

    Centos Latest 7 ? like what version are you running , i tend to use rolling ISO:
    1902-01.iso
    https://buildlogs.centos.org/rolling/7/isos/x86_64/?C=M;O=D

    Also what is the Asterisk Version ?

    16.3.0 - you can see it in the first screen shot in the bottom right.



  • @fuznutz04 said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    @scottalanmiller I've just started testing with FusionPBX as well. Totally different animal, since the backend is FreeSwitch, but it is very nice so far.

    FusionPBX should be ideal if you want to host multi-tenant. That's its bread and butter and easily is the best for that. VitalPBX will do multi-tenant but requires a commercial component for that and its simply not the core use case (and not one we are interested in, so we don't care.) We are a one tenant operator today whether internally or for customers. So while we find that use case very interesting and important, it just doesn't come up for us (yet.)

    We need a really solid "go to" single tenant system. And so far, this is the best I've put my hands on.



  • @wirestyle22 said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    Hm. Can't seem to get nginx working with it for web access to demo. Ports 80/443 are open and it's still 502'ing.

    Check the IDS.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    @syko24 said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    @scottalanmiller is there any kind of endpoint manager?

    Sure does. All included, no "paid for" add on.

    This concerns me. Keeping an EPM solution accurate and up to date for even a single brand of phones is a large amount of work.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    FusionPBX should be ideal if you want to host multi-tenant.

    That is also one of the reason that FreeSwitch forked from Asterisk years ago. To better handle multi-tenancy.



  • @JaredBusch said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    @scottalanmiller said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    @syko24 said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    @scottalanmiller is there any kind of endpoint manager?

    Sure does. All included, no "paid for" add on.

    This concerns me. Keeping an EPM solution accurate and up to date for even a single brand of phones is a large amount of work.

    It's a valid concern.



  • So lots to be thrilled about. One staggering caveat is that while it is free, VitalPBX is not open source. This is a really huge deal and something that has to be considered if you are thinking about it for production.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    So lots to be thrilled about. One staggering caveat is that while it is free, VitalPBX is not open source. This is a really huge deal and something that has to be considered if you are thinking about it for production.

    That is not a deal breaker, but it lowers this on my priority list.

    One thing about FreePBX is that most of it is OpenSource. I don't mind some proprietary stuff that I can buy/add to make life easier, but I like that it is mostly open.



  • @JaredBusch said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    @scottalanmiller said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    So lots to be thrilled about. One staggering caveat is that while it is free, VitalPBX is not open source. This is a really huge deal and something that has to be considered if you are thinking about it for production.

    That is not a deal breaker, but it lowers this on my priority list.

    One thing about FreePBX is that most of it is OpenSource. I don't mind some proprietary stuff that I can buy/add to make life easier, but I like that it is mostly open.

    Yeah. Not a deal breaker for me either, because of how PBXs work there really is no way to lock us in. So I'm not worried about it. But it does mean, for example, I can't just jump in and help to develop the Endpoint Manager for models that they don't already support. Something that seemed like a realistic thing otherwise.

    But on the plus side, basically all of the features I would want are built in and free. Unlike FreePBX where there are often one or two that seem like should be purchased.

    One things that we normally buy with FreePBX from a third party is FOP2. VitalPBX has their own option for this, that is cheap and the only add on that looked really compelling.



  • We're very fond of VitalPBX. Take this with a grain of salt - but VitalPBX generates a very low number of support requests when compared to other PBXs. We tend to view that as a good indicator of how well the system works and how easy it is to administer.



  • @Skyetel said in Exploring VitalPBX:

    We're very fond of VitalPBX. Take this with a grain of salt - but VitalPBX generates a very low number of support requests when compared to other PBXs. We tend to view that as a good indicator of how well the system works and how easy it is to administer.

    Grain of salt indeed. How are you calculating that? This is a solution with a tiny fraction of the current market. Low number of requests are easily just because there are fewer people installing it. Also because it is typically the more technical people trialing things, they also need less help.