I have a remote server Core2Quad Q6600, 4GB Ram, with CentOS 5.1 installed that I wish to use as a test box for learning asterisk and a VPS system. I am having trouble deciding on what VPS platform to use. The following platforms I am considering and have researched a little are:
Any suggestions on which VPS system to use? I prefer a low cost solution which is why I left Virtuozzo off the list. Please note that I will have do all my installation and configuring via SSH remotely of course.
With regards to Asterisk, my original plan was to install Trixbox, but that doesn't seem to install remotely as it uses an ISO, so I thought installing just Asterisk and other things from source as I need them would be best.
Of course, I have much research and work to do here, but I am trying to wrap my head around just ONE VPS system so that I can move forward on Asterisk and other test environments.
Final note, I don't plan on creating any sort of hosting company, rather this is for my own testing and website use. Thus I am hoping the hardware/ram will be sufficient. I also understand that it might be better just to abandon the VPS side and run Asterisk on the dedicated as is. This is fine, but I also wanted to run some regular lightweight websites with php,mysql, and apache and wasn't sure if this would conflict with Asterisk. I'm still checking on that.
I also understand I have to watch timing and kernel issues with respect to Asterisk and VPS as well.
The best practice should be installing Asterisk in a dedicated server but you should be able to install it in a vps. It will work in a vps as long as you do not install any telephony hardware like Digium Cards. Install Asterisk from sourcecode.
For virtualization software I suggest you OpenVZ as it is linux native and is mature enought to be reliable. I have a few Virtuozzo server and they work like a charm. As OpenVZ is the base for Virtuozzo you should be fine.
Once you have asterisk install you should have a LAMP installation. This includes your apache web server, PHP, MySQL Database. With a little bit of configuration you should be able to run several low traffic websites. Actually you will need apache php and mysql to handle the CDR from asterisk.
I hope this comments helps you. Feel free to ask me any question.
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Thank you very much for the information. It is quite helpful. In fact I think I've narrowed my VPS options down to OpenVZ or Linux Vserver. Apparently (if correct?), there are issues with ztdummy and timing under xen which would not allow me to explore certain features for use with Asterisk. Again my application of choice under VPS if I go that route is Asterisk and would like to as many features available as possible including the timing stuff.
With that said, I am also finding just going the dedicated route and dropping VPS altogether an option that might eventually be the best. I just wanted to somehow incorporate VPS as I would like to understand and work with that more as well.
I'll also check out Virtuozzo again, but since this is for testing and self use, I find it to be a bit expensive unless I have a way to recupe the costs.
I am more than happy to share my experience, however since my last post above I could probably write a novel with everything that has happened. In a nutshell here is what has happened.
1. Installed OpenVZ and it works great but it took me a while to get a handle on the network issues with the HN, VEs and the outside world.
2. Installed Vtonf which works very well but after all the work I have done with SSH and OpenVZ, I personally don't need the control panel as I understand most of the commands now. Most likely as things get underway, I'll use the Vtonf control panel more as it is easier but I just can't get out of SSH at the moment.
3. Installed Zaptel with ztdummy, Asterisk, MeetMe, and all the goods on a VE without to much of a problem but there were some critical points I had to remember and jot down in my notebook. Lots of research done on this but it paid off and it does work.
4. HyperVM seems like a good solution but so far I haven't needed it. Vtonf does the basics just fine so far but again I am mostly doing things via SSH. I am not offering any hosting services, but rather am doing custom work with regards to Asterisk and other applications.
5. Installed Webmin on the VE and works very well. I also compiled from source Apache, Mysql, and PHP so far which works well and am now on to the installation of FreePBX.
So far everything works, BUT I have had to do a lot of work to get it to work. All of this is definitely not working straight out of the box and I truthfully didn't expect that. So for right now I am happy with the way things are going. I just hope I don't lose my notes!! <laugh>
If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask anytime.
I thought I would update my progress on all of this. Since my very first post above, I have managed to install the following successfully. Everything is working fabulous at this time. Yes, it took a lot of research and testing to get everything installed correctly but it's finally paying off. Note that everything was installed via source and manually configured. My goal was to not only get all this setup, but to also understand what was going on in the backend.
I have successfully added SugarCRM and A2Billing to my server setup and everything works fabulous. Despite the crappy service from Vitelity, I also managed to get some DIDs setup with them and everything tested well. I'm now purchasing an Aastra 57i CT phone which will be fun to add to the mix.
One thing that has been a problem with everything that I've setup has to do with with OpenVZ. For some reason, I have to issue a "service network restart" each and everyday in order to keep the server afloat. I have configured a script to monitor and restart the network, but can't figure out why I'm experiencing a disconnect. No doubt, if I didn't have OpenVZ I wouldn't have this problem, but for now having VPS is working great despite that little problem. Of course it could be an iptables, DNS, or other network issue, but it's going to take time to find the problem most likely with everything there is to check.
I also should note that I migrated over to HyperVM and have been using this alongside the Vtonf contronl panel. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Vtong other than the fact that there are many features in HyperVM that have been very useful for me that Vtonf doesn't have. I know you shouldn't have more than one control panel on the HN, but for testing purposes I have elected to do so. HyperVM has helped me to answer questions about my OpenVZ setup.
Also upgraded the following which worked flawless.
Asterisk 1.4.18 w/ Meetme ( Will upgrade to 1.6 when more stable ).
This is a final note here to rap up my experience. I received an Aastra 57i CT package in the mail a couple of days ago and successfully connected it remotely to the Asterisk server. It works beautifully and the remote handset is awesome as well. I signed up for an account with Vitelity despite the bad service I had in my initial stages. In the end it worked out and I was able to acquire a couple of DIDs no problem. I then made several phone calls from Japan to the States and the quality was fantastic! I received a few through the DIDs and they worked extremely well. I have also been messing around with some of the NerdVittles goodies that are available and managed to get almost all of them working including the Cepstral Text to Speech stuff. I later bought the Allison voice which has been cool when creating custom IVRs. In finale, my project has been a success and it's taken me about a month to learn and implement everything needed to get all this running. Yes, someone mentioned once that the Trixbox solution my be the easiest route, but when using a remote server, I found installing everything from source obviously better than Trixbox because afterall, Trixbox only offers ISOs. Not to mention the install process really helped me to understand what goes on under the hood pretty well. Lots of fun.
Early on you mentioned that you installed Zaptel/ztdummy in the VE with no issues. That appears to be a great sticking point in being able to use asterisk on a VPS. I had thought that was not possible since it requires a kernel module that cannot be loaded in a VE. Would you give a couple hints on how to do that.