I hope this is the correct forum for this sort of post.
I am the IT Manager for a local County Government Agency. About two years ago, we began the shift to VoIP Services from Legacy PBX and Telco Centrex Services. We rolled out a Core Environment that consists of four Cisco Call Manager 5.x systems, two Unity Voicemail Systems, Cisco's IP Contact Center Product and a Berbee Paging System.
It's been an interesting couple of years to say the least. We have vendor support for our systems. However, I'm of the opinion that Cisco's licensing model is simply atrocious, both from a manageability and a cost standpoint.
So we decided to start looking at alternatives, particularly from the standpoint of Voicemail Services.
We made the investment in the Asterisk Business Edition product by Digium with 50 concurrent calls and initially silver support (we'll upgrade to platinum once we get through our proof of concept).
To date, we've moved roughly 50 voicemail boxes off of our Cisco Unity platform to the Asterisk BE product. The experience has been extremely positive. We've had no issues with the product other than the occasional comment by users regarding the prompting not being as friendly. In addition, the conferencing and other nice to have features (i.e. Web Access to voicemail messages) have received positive response.
For the foreseeable future, we expect to shift all of our voicemail services away from Unity to the Asterisk BE product. This could potentially represent upwards of 3000 voicemail boxes. Being an enterprise environment where we need the utmost in reliability, we're looking at options to have more than one Asterisk System in some sort of failover scenario. One idea was a shared MySQL Database and DNS round robin to the boxes.
What I am looking for from the folks in this forum are any recommendations you might have as we head down this road. Or just as important, experiences any of you have had with Asterisk, particularly the Asterisk BE product. We're really interested in hearing about the reliability and scalability of the product.
Thank you in advance for anything you can share.