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Fax Server for large Company

Posted on 2004-10-13
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I am blessed with the task of finding a fax server solution for a large company (about 100 people).  Basically we are looking for a way to have various faxes get routed to people's E-mail addresses instead of being printed out & then never found on paper.  I do not know too much about these kinds of solutions, so I am interested if anyone knows anything about where to find information of this.  I believe that Brooktrout cards are what I will need, but I don't know what that means.  What kind of incoming telephone structure do I need?  Will people dial a phone number + extension, or can we just have 100 phone numbers (like our phone system) & then a few outgoing numbers?  Along the lines of outgoing, I would assume that we would use WinFax or something of the sort to send out faxes?  

Anyone who has any information on this, your input would be greatly appreciated!
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Question by:rustyrpage
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by:siebrand
ID: 12300829
Could you supply additional information, please?
- How many simultaneous faxes will you be expecting / do you want to handle?
- What's the estimated max. number of pages you will be receiving on a day?
- Are busy-lines acceptable?
- How many different incoming recipients would you like to be able to assign or will there be one - a screener to forward incoming traffic?
- Do you want any growth scenario in your solution?
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 12300845
- Not sure how many simultaneous...I would say at least 4 or 5
- Receiving per day is probably close to 1000+
- I would prefer not have busy lines
- I want probably 100 different recipients (or at least 40)
- Definetely want growth.

I was looking at GFIs fax solution along with a BrookTrout card & an analog DID lines...what are the limits on that?
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siebrand earned 250 total points
ID: 12301003
Thanks for the additional info.

Requirements:
- Fax solution for digital inbound and outbound faxing with ~1000 inbound faxes/day;
- 40-100 recipients;
- 5 simultaneous inbound connections;
- several outbound connections;
- as little as possible busy lines;

I think the following setup will do well for you (assuming you are using Microsoft Exchange for mail environment):

Hardware:
- A server with 4 active ISDN-cards and a network connection (make sure you have extra PCI slots for adding extra cards)
- 4 ISDN-2 lines (8 channels), bundled with 40-100 numbers in a range connected to the server (you will be able to add additional lines to your bundle)

Software:
- Windows 2003 Server (domain member, I assume)
- GFI FAXmaker for Exchange/SMTP 12 100 users (growth path to 250 user license)

Good luck. Have fun.

P.s. you can download 60-day trials of this software, so you should be able to pilot this solution with < $500 in expenses.
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 12301032
Do you have a recommendation for hardware (both the server requirements & also the ISDN cards)

Do you have any idea the cost of the ISDN lines & numbers?
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Expert Comment

by:siebrand
ID: 12301905
That depends on the country you live in. I live in Holland and line costs over here have initial costs of Euro 25 and about Euro 25 per month (x4). Then you'll have to pay additional fees for you number block and your line bundling. That may amount to about Euro 65 per month with let's say Euro 100 of initial costs. Just call your local telco.

For hardware you'll have to try and find something that has the number of PCI slots that you'll want it to have. Perhaps something like this: http://www.gtweb.net/j3100.html (6 PCI slots, IDE - no RAID, which you might prefer). Best take this up with the shop you're buying your specials at if you're not able to put a system like this together. I think your standard server manufacturer (HP, Dell) will not have things like that, although you could inquire about it. Just put in a not too fast processor (~1GHz), some RAM (1Gb) and that'll do, I guess. This is not rocket-science.
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by:gjohnson99
ID: 12310323
Windows 2003 comes with fine fax server software it can do 100 % of what you what, cleint come with windows. Most hardware if not all has support for windows. Can route to email and/or printers.
Understands caller ID and DID numbers. Can support any number of incoming and out going lines.
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 12310373
If I have a Windows 2000 server environment & were to buy a basic Dell server with Windows 2003 server, would it be fairly easy to integrate it into my network & set it up as a fax server with Brooktrout cards & a DID line?  I just found out that a DID line with 100 numbers is only $40 a month out here, so that's not too shabby.  So, then the only expense to me would be a server & a brooktrout card.  

Do you know where I can find some documentation on how Windows 2003 Faxing works?  You say that it is included on the client side...is that using Outlook, or how do they do it?
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by:gjohnson99
ID: 12310580
This link should help you. A have been usingit  for over a year. I think the fax server is available on 2000 also. The fax server dose not put much load on the server, but a have only 2-3 line running at one time.

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/standard/proddocs/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/windowsserv/2003/standard/proddocs/en-us/fxsadmin/faxs_c_nodeinstall.asp


on the client you install in by going to printer and faxes.
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