[Freeswitch-users] Howto? Migrating from Siemens HiPath4000 to FreeSWITCH

NeCoSec - Ulrich Schinz freeswitch-list at necosec.de
Thu May 10 09:50:36 MSD 2012

Hi FS-List,

maybe there are some experts in here, that can help me to get some
things clear.

I'm working for an institution with about 500 extensions. At the moment
there is a Siemens HiPath4000 used. It is an old version
of the Software, we are using (3.x). We are paying a lot of money for
that solution(rental fee/leasing), so I'm planning to move
to another option.

The building is an old monestary and the infrastructure (e.g. cables) is
very old. So we are planning to get the Infrastructure
up to cat7 cables. On the one hand, because we need to get most parts of
the building online (internet for guests and conferences)
and on the other hand it makes no sense to keep a 70-80 years old
cabeling up. So with this in mind VoIP would be a good option....

To bring the cabeling up to date, we're planning to do it part by part.
It's not a realistic option to get this done in a short time.
The building is a very large one, so this has to be done in maybe 3-5

We are using a Telekom PRI/E1 (german Telekom).

So my plan is:
Setting up a FreeSWITCH server with 2 PRI cards (e.g. Sangoma A101D),
one card connecting to the PRI of Telekom and the other card
connecting to the HiPath4000. In this way I hope to get the calls
connected through FreeSWITCH to the HiPath4000 and I can start
getting ip-phones connected, where cat7-cables are available.
In this way I have some advantages:
- I can handle a smooth change to VoIP (don't have to have a hard cut)
- I first can integrate open-minded people to the VoIP-technologie, so
they can test and give feedback, what they like, and what
they wanna have better... Older or not so open-minded people (we have
some really old monks and padres) would then benfit from
a tested environment.

The switches are planed to have QoS and PoE.

As phones I'm planning to use Snom-phones. (Snom300 and Snom320)

Further I'd like to build a failover system, with a second server.

Another option would have been to upgrade the HiPath to VoIP, but the
costs for that are in no relation to what a FreeSWITCH System
would cost...

My experience with FreeSWITCH is limited to quite small enviroments and
I never tried it with PRI (always using "normal" ISDN base,
Sangoma a500...)
My experience with HiPath4000 is limited to the available webfrontend.
The "internal configuration" is done by the provider of that
My experience with Linux and networksystems is about 12 years in small
an large systems...

In two years the HiPath is "payed" and it's ours. So we can use this
system with no costs and have full access.

My questions:

- Do you think this is an good way to get it running?

- Maybe someone with some experience in HiPath knows, whether it's
complicated, to get the HiPath configured (getting extension-blocks
handled by FreeSWITCH and on the other side keep other extensions on the

- Is the routing with this 2 PRI-cards construct possible, or better
easy done?

- Is there a way to simulate a PRI-Provider. I.e. if I'm buying two
PRI-cards I maybe could configure two test-boxes, each having one
card. Connecting these two I maybe can play around with these PRI
connections (just to get a feeling for it...)?

- Do you have some hints, what to consider, if I'm doing this? I'm
planning this for quite a while, and im thinking a lot about this,
but I always have the feeling of forgetting some essential things and
the whole construct blows up, if im starting it. This would be
not very optimal ;)

- Maybe someone has some hints, in which order to plan this setup. The
plans become more and more concrete and I'm not sure, like
said before, whether I'm doing and thinking things in right order.

- Just a technical detail: the HiPath is in a room, that is not optimal
for this kind of it-systems (aircondition, accessible for everybody).
But the patchpanels are in that room (the old ones, old cables, 2 poles
for HiPath-Protocol, parts of it with 4 poles for ISDN). And the
PRI-connection to the Telekom is in this room. Would it be possible to
place the servers in another room and get the PRI there?
Would the cable-length be a problem (I think about 50 meters)?
And for the failover system it would be optimal to have the system in
another part of the building (in case of fire another place is better).
There it would be nice to "patch" the PRI to another place...

- As the building is very large, we have some fibrechanel connections to
get the long distances bridged. To keep QoS up: Do I have to
have special converters? (I don't think so, cause the switches should do
that, but maybe I'm wrong).

- Cascading switches (Phone -> Switch -> Fibre -> Switch -> Server):
Does every switch have to do QoS, or would the first switch be
enough. Or the other way around, would cascaded switches make problems,
if both have QoS configuration...?

Sorry for this very long post and so many questions....

Kind regards

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