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Elastix (Asterisk) trunk to Nortel BCM

Posted on 2011-09-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I'm pretty new to the Asterisk environment so be patient with me.  

I got Elastix installed and running with 4 testing extensions. Installed 3CX softphones and they are working internally within our local network.  So far so good.
We have a Nortel BCM450 running in our company with a different subnet (192.168.x.x). Our network subnet is 221.8.1.x.  Therefore, we had trouble when we tried using Sofphones from our VPN users.  
Anyhow, this is what I wish to do.  To connect our Asterisk server (Elastix) to our BCM450 system.  This way, I can have the softphone users call from their laptops through the Elastix server of course, and then through the Nortel BCM.  
Can this be done and if so, how?
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Question by:McKuser
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Expert Comment

by:feptias
ID: 36557122
On Elastix, I would create a SIP Trunk for the BCM with parameters like this:
 type=peer
 context=from-trunk
 insecure=invite
 host=<ip-of-BCM>

However, I cannot help with how to program the BCM - sorry.
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Author Comment

by:McKuser
ID: 36559960
Thks Feptias.  Do I have to worry about security between the BCM and the Elastix server?  I assume as long as the Elastix server doesn't have any trunk to the outside world via PSTN or VOIP servers, that should be fine correct?
Btw, can you explain the parameter, "insecure=iinvite" meant?
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Expert Comment

by:feptias
ID: 36560505
You have to be very careful about security from the Internet to the Asterisk server, especially if there is any route from Elastix to the PSTN. However, the link between Elastix and BCM should not require any password authentication because each end is defined by a fixed IP address (I assume).

insecure=invite is linked to the above. It tells Elastix to accept INVITE requests (incoming call setup requests) from the BCM without challenging for a password. I don't know if the BCM is likely to challenge for a password when calls are going in the opposite direction, but if necessary you can add user credentials to the Elastix SIP trunk using:
username=<username>
secret=<password>
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Author Comment

by:McKuser
ID: 36560586
The only security threat I know of is through someone's voicemail if the Elastix is connected to the internet or PSTN line.  For now, my only concern is for our BCM to "talk" to our Elastix server.
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Expert Comment

by:feptias
ID: 36560766
Then please try the sip trunk as I suggested and see if you can send calls in the direction BCM -> Elastix. You may have to change the context for the sip trunk to:
context=from-internal

...because that way it will immediately recognise all the extensions registered to Elastix.

For calls from Elastix to BCM, you must create an outbound route on Elastix.
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Author Comment

by:McKuser
ID: 36581371
Feptias, I was able to finally configure some entries on our BCM and got our softphones calling from Elastix extensions to our BCM phones.  Unfortunately, I cannot make any calls from our BCM to Elastix.
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Expert Comment

by:feptias
ID: 36582062
Firstly, did you try with context=from-internal and also try with context=from-trunk?

If that is not the issue, please capture the SIP packets or the "verbose" output from the Asterisk Command Line Interface (CLI) and post back here, for a call from BCM -> Elastix. Capture both if possible.

To capture SIP packets, you can use wireshark (SIP is on udp port 5060). Alternatively, from the Asterisk CLI you can get all SIP packets displayed using the command "sip set debug" or "sip set debug on" - depends on the version of Asterisk which one will work. To switch off sip debug, use "sip set debug off"

To see the verbose output from Asterisk, get to the CLI and type "core set verbose 3". To reset it after, "core set verbose 1".

I use Putty to connect to the Linux shell with SSH on Asterisk servers including Elastix, but you would need to know the linux login credentials. Using Putty, you can set the window buffer size to thousands of lines making it possible to scroll back through all the debug output. You can copy it from the Putty console or I think there is a capture to file option. It is also possible to get to the CLI from the Elastix web interface but this is not so good for capturing large amounts of output.

Please post back large amounts of output as a file or code attachment and not directly into the comment box. Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:McKuser
ID: 36589724
I found out we don't have any SIP trunk keycodes/license.  So this must be the reason why.  Is there any other way of connecting to the Asterisk server besides using SIP trunk?
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Expert Comment

by:feptias
ID: 36589788
Asterisk could pretend to be a phone and could register itself on the BCM, but I don't know how you could then route the calls to that connection within the BCM.
Asterisk supports the IAX protocol.
It can be fitted with a card (or you can use a low cost external gateway) to connect it to analogue circuits.
It can be fitted with a card to connect to ISDN circuits - either Basic rate or PRI, E1 or T1.
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Author Comment

by:McKuser
ID: 36589949
Yes, I was hoping not to use an external card.  Our BCM already has a digital trunk module to connect to our sister company via a T1 line.
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Author Comment

by:McKuser
ID: 36717084
It seems the best way right now is to use a SIP trunk between the BCM and Asterisk server. Since the IAX protocol is only for Asterisk, our BCM won't support this protocol.
I spoke to our phone supplier and he said I would need to purchase the SIP trunk license from Nortel or from a dealer.  Now, would I need to purchase multiple SIP trunk license or just one?  Does one license means I'm able to use one call at a time and 5 licenses means I can make 5 simultaneous calls between the BCM and Asterisk?
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Accepted Solution

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feptias earned 2000 total points
ID: 36717351
I am sorry, but I don't know about BCM licensing. The dealer should be able to tell you.

You would only need one SIP trunk (as Elastix sees it) to connect between the BCM and the Elastix server. It sees the BCM as a single end-point, albeit able to could carry multiple calls. There are no industry-wide standards for licensing - each manufacturer will have their own rules.
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Author Closing Comment

by:McKuser
ID: 36717943
Case close.
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