Apr
08
2009
2

Install Queuemetrics Call Center software for Asterisk on Fedora 10


What makes Asterisk so great is the growing ecosystem of 3rd party software.  For call centers based on Asterisk PBX, the best on the market is Queuemetrics.  This solution allows for over 150 different statistics to be collected.  Here is just a few:

Number of calls
Total call length
Average call length
Average call waiting
Number of unanswered calls
Average time before disconnection
Area code
Number of calls
Total calling time
Average time per call (for taken calls)
Average wait per call
Average position at disconnection (for lost calls)
Number of available agents
Total agent time
Average agent time
Minimum/ maximum agent session duration
Agent availability

If by now you are not convinced take a look at the complete list; you can check out Loway’s site and Queuemetrics here.  I have personally helped setup several commercial call centers(while working for VoiceIP Solutions) with this software and I am impressed at the value and support for our customers purchase.  So today we are going to set up a basic Queuemetrics installation; we will not be covering the Asterisk portion.  Nothing fancy here, but I can get you started.

The goal of this post:

– install Queuemetrics

(more…)

Mar
15
2009
2

Errors loading Asterisk addons, CDR(Call Detail Records) to MySQL

The other day I was doing an Asterisk 1.2 –> 1.4 upgrade.  I have a MySQL database that Asterisk records the Call Detail Record’s(CDR) too.  I deleted the asterisk 1.2 modules, then compiled/installed asterisk 1.4 & asterisk-addons 1.4.  Being that I hadn’t set up the CDR MySQL stuff in a while I loaded the res_mysql.conf, but I copied it from the cdr_addon.conf file by accident.  Because the two files have similer syntax It took me a while to figure this one out.  I checked all the passwords and I even checked the Asterisk CLI to see if the module loaded.  MySQL was populated with the same tables as before.  I also kept seeing this error (see below).

Possibly a mixed up addon file.

Possibly a mixed up addon file.

The error:

[Mar 15 03:25:44] ERROR[23793]: res_config_mysql.c:629 mysql_reconnect: MySQL RealTime: Failed to connect database server asterisk on  (err 2002). Check debug for more info.

The res_mysql & cdr_mysql have very similer config files, but you can’t ‘cut & paste’ between them.

Sample configuration for res_mysql.conf:

;
[general]
;dbhost = 127.0.0.1
;dbname = asterisk
;dbuser = myuser
;dbpass = mypass
;dbport = 3306
;dbsock = /tmp/mysql.sock

; Sample configuration for cdr_mysql.conf:

[global]
;hostname=database.host.name
;dbname=asteriskcdrdb
;table=cdr
;password=password
;user=asteriskcdruser
;port=3306
;sock=/tmp/mysql.sock
;userfield=1

Be careful not to mix the two between upgrades!

Mar
06
2009
0

Cisco to enter the Virtualization Server Market

Is this Cisco's future?

I just read on CNN.com that Cisco has announced a server line of products.  I find this interesting because the main reason I don’t use Cisco products is their high cost.  They make some of the best switches and routers, but do they have the mentality to be competitive in the mainstream server market?
One of the huge selling points of virtualization technology is the ability to cut power and hardware cost.  Knowing Cisco their baseline server product will probably be blade server costing $10,000 or more(+ whatever VMware’s cut is).

here is a quote from the CNN article:

“Chambers says virtualization is one of his big priorities for 2009, along with globalization, video growth, customer relationships, and Web 2.0. With its strong position among corporate information technology departments – Cisco has 61% of the router market – the company surely will be able to get an audience for its servers. But if he aims to beat HP, Dell, and IBM on their home court, Chambers is going to have to serve up something truly groundbreaking.”

You can read the whole article here.

The New York Times also ran an article that brought up some excellent points.

“The product — a server computer equipped with sophisticated virtualization software — is a bold but risky move by Cisco into an unfamiliar, intensely competitive market that typically produces far lower profits than Cisco makes from network gear”

You can read the whole article here.

I seriously doubt Cisco is ready to compete against HP, IBM, Microsoft and the Open Source Community.  Virtualization has taken years to become a reality.  Cisco will rely on a VMware product that buyers can already find on cheaper x86 hardware.  By contrast the VoIP market is ripe for the picking, escpicially if Cisco prices more aggressivly against open source Asterisk.  Gianormous Corporations never learn…

Jan
09
2009
0

Fedora, Asterisk, Polycom and making dhcp option 66

My main job at work is to build, configure, maintain, etc… Asterisk phone systems.  Every phone system needs phones and the most popular VoIP phones for Asterisk are the Polycom Soundpoint IP SIP phones.  One of the great features of the SoundPoint IP series is the ability to easily manage a large number of phones by storing their configuration files on a central FTP server.  In this article:

1) I briefly explain the Polycom Soundpoint IP series FTP boot process(not a tutorial).

2) provide a basic example of a dhcpd.conf that supplies FTP credentials for the Polycom phones via DHCP.

The Polycom phone boots up and attempts to retrieve it’s configuration file and check for firmware updates.  The ftp username and password are entered during the first boot of the phone.  For a small number of phones this is fine, but Polycom Soundpoint IP phones have the built-in ‘option 66’ for easily deploying an unlimited number of phones.

Option 66 is a term used by some DHCP vendors to describe DHCP code 66.  This option code(when set) supplies a TFTP boot server address to the DHCP client to boot from.  In our case we’re talking about VoIP phones, but option 66 is probably most commonly used by citrix thin clients.

There isn’t much out there on how to configure option 66 with standard Linux DHCP server.  After googling for a while, I decided to install gdhcpd.  It’s a simple DHCP configuration tool that is easy to use.  I generated a simple configuration using the tool then added options I read about in the man file.  Trust me… read man files.  A wealth of info without the need to forum hop.

[matt@mattcom1 Desktop]$ man dhcpd.conf

[matt@mattcom1 Desktop]$ man dhcp-options

dhcpd.conf:

ddns-update-style none;
ddns-updates off;
option T150 code 150 = string;
deny client-updates;
one-lease-per-client false;
allow bootp;

#
# DHCP Server Configuration file.
#   see /usr/share/doc/dhcp*/dhcpd.conf.sample
#   see ‘man 5 dhcpd.conf’
#

subnet 192.168.7.0 netmask 255.255.255.0 {
interface eth0;
range 192.168.7.9 192.168.7.12;
default-lease-time 6000;
max-lease-time 7200;
option subnet-mask 255.255.255.0;
option time-offset -28800;
option tftp-server-name “ftp://polycom:password@192.168.7.2”;
option ntp-servers pool.ntp.org;
option domain-name-servers 4.2.2.2;
}

——————————————————————————————————–

Change the subnet,range, and netmask to your taste!  Then restart the dhcp daemon.

[matt@mattcom1 Desktop]$ service dhcpd restart