Thinking of using DELL with Asterisk – DON’T!

So, you want to replace your office PBX system with an Asterisk server – CONGRATULATIONS!

Now, before you go about downloading AsteriskNOW, installing your newly purchased Digium hardware and going about starting your work – take a moment to consider the hardware you’re about to use. Over the course of the past 5 years, I’ve conducted hundreds of Asterisk installations, utilizing various brands. 

No matter what brand I used, be it generic Intel’s, HP or IBM, I always got similar results. There was only one brand that always stood out with non-similar results. And it’s not only that the results were not similar to the other brands, I’ve had different results when using 2 machines of the same model – even when sourcing the two units at the same time. The vendor is DELL, I guess that DELL believes in the model that says: “No two computer are made alike” – and indeed, no DELL computer is ever similar to another DELL computer. Two people can purchase the same server from DELL, and each server will be completely different from the other – how can you manage an infrastructure when the hardware vendor keeps changing the spec and implementation? 

Just to give a small example, the same customer that I was talking about before had to have the entire motherboard and raiser board changed, 2 times, before Asterisk started running smoothly on the DELL 2950 server that they had purchased. Motherboard, we’re talking about motherboard, raiser boards, power supplies, the only thing that remained from the Original server was just the chassis and the CD-ROM – how funky is that. 

So, if you really like brands and you want to use Asterisk, make sure you’re using an IBM or an HP, at least these companies don’t cut corners like DELL – and makes each server unique, by saving a couple of bucks here and there. No wonder Fonality/TrixBox teams up with DELL, DELL wants to say: “We’re compatible with Asterisk!”, so they teamed up with the crew that closed a configuration that works on some measly server, and now, they are pushing this garbage to people over the Internet – Way To Go DELL!

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