3Com launches Asterisk based SMB IP PBX

3Com has launched a $1,600 30-user Asterisk appliance based IP PBX.

It's essentially just a resale of the Asterisk appliance by 3Com, but it's sold and supported by 3Com.

The Asterisk IP PBX is a great piece of software (it's available for download from the Asterisk website), but it's not for the feint hearted. It runs on Linux and is reasonably complex to set-up. Unfortunately documentation is severely lacking (though there are some good books out there from publishers like O'Reilly and various websites like VoIP Info) and often a response is "look in the code".

Having "real" vendors support Asterisk means it will get into the mainstream markets and that's likely to produce some good documentation.

As the 3Com unit is a pre-installed system, configuration is a lot simper and newer versions of Asterisk come with a web based configuration system. Though that takes some of the fun out of hand writing dial-plans - which may change the definition of fun.
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