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HOW TO DO IT YOURSELF

There is a presumption, and we all know how dangerous they are, that if you are doing it by yourself you know all you need to configure your firewall, network and wiring. Enough to detect when it's not done correctly and have some idea of how to troubleshoot it. We make this post just to put attention to the value of having a tech on location that can be hands-on and sorting it out for you. If you understand all this and are excited about doing it yourself, enjoy!

You can download the DVD image below and "burn" it onto a DVD. (Ensure your burning s/w makes it a bootable DVD.) Then install the DVD in a server, boot from it and it will create a ready to go dialer. (This means it will erase everything, format the drive and install a new O/S.)

Once the install is complete you need to complete the configuration which consists of configuring some network settings such as a static IP address, DNS, gateway and host name. When install completes there will be 10 sample agent logins, 10 sample phone extensions and one sample manual dial campaign to test with. The trickiest part is configuring the carrier.

The Operating System is now based on the 64 bit version of RedHat/CentOS 6, with Asterisk 11, MariaDB 5.5 (MySQL replacement) and Apache 2.2.

Depending on the hardware used the maximum number of seats is likely to be 30 or less. To expand you will need multiple servers which in turn require our assistance to build them into a properly working OSDial cluster. (See 'remote cluster build'.)

See the OSDial feature list.

The network requirements for running VoIP (Voice over IP) are stricter than browsing the internet. There are a few issues that need to be addressed which are sources of problems, and we prefer to keep those away from the dialer setup.

  • The first is that you need to have a static IP address from your internet service provider. If not whenever the IP address changes you will loose connectivity to your carrier, if they recognize you by your IP, which most do.
  • You need a firewall to handle the traffic when you are attacked. Using the firewall in the dialer to block traffic from the attacks can become a high enough burden to interfere with the dialer.
  • The firewall must support port forwarding, and it needs to support ranges of ports, and you need to be able to specify TCP / UDP or both.
  • Your firewall needs to be able to limit the port forwarding coming from specific IP's.
  • There is also a dreaded feature someone added which all router manufacturers have cluelessly added which actually sabotages SIP from working properly, it is usually known as Application Level Gateway, or ALG. ALWAYS turn it OFF!
  • The dialer MUST have an internal static IP.
  • For debugging it will be a lot easier to operate the agents in a network with only static IPs.
  • The best firewall solution is usually pfSense (pfsense.org) It is Open Source and is available at no cost to you. Their website goes into great detail on what kind of server.
  • The firewall needs to port forward (tcp/udp) 5060, and (udp) 10000-20000 to the dialer. Port 5060 should only be accessable by your carrier.

There are situations where you want to have a remote access to your system while on the road. This is a MASSIVE SECURITY RISK! It usually means you will try to access it from different IP's as you travel from location to location. To allow you in you would normally leave the firewall open for EVERYONE to get in. If you are travelling you will not know in advance which IP you will be coming from.

An option for secure remote access is to use the OSDial Remote Agent and OSDial Remote Manager flash drives.

The hardware requirements for a reliable dialer are higher than a media server. It quickly reaches thousands of read & write operations per second, which are also very time sensitive. Please note that our specifications are aimed towards a higher standard of operation and reliability. Lesser components may work well under lower load, or for testing purposes.

  • More cores are better than a faster computer, use a minimum of two cores, four or more is recommended
  • Only use SAS or SCSI Drives. SATA drives will wear out prematurely (6-10 months)
  • Depending on load your dialer may need 4GB RAM, minimum 2GB for a few agents
  • Install require 15GB
  • The Agent computer should have 1GB RAM, minimum 768MB
  • If you record calls use an Archive server to process and store the audio files
  • Archive server can use SATA drives, always use the best quality drives available
  • Use the best switch(es) you can afford
  • In a cluster always use one dedicated switch for the cluster traffic between the servers
  • Ensure the network wiring is done per specifications
  • Use APC battery backup power supplies for all servers, with max 30% load on each UPS
  • Having more than a few agents requires a timing source such as Sangoma UT51/51 or A200 (FXO) for each dialer, or you will have missed hangups, cross connects, etc (See below.)

NOTE: We primarily design OSDial to specifically work with reasonably current versions of Google-Chrome. The compatibility varies on what other browsers do. Firefox works pretty well, while Internet Exploder is a write-off.

Internal timing is very critical with Asterisk when it is under load. To test your server run dahdi_test. Let it run for a few minutes and stop it with Ctrl-c. Here is an example output:

Opened pseudo dahdi interface, measuring accuracy...
99.899% 99.900% 99.999% 99.994% 99.999% 99.904% 99.998% 99.995%
99.999% 99.990% 99.997% 99.998% 99.999% 99.997% 99.904% 99.906%
99.997% 99.709% 99.906% 99.998% 99.999% 99.806% 99.998% 100.000%
99.608% 99.622% 99.998% 99.997% 100.000% 99.999% 99.705% 99.910%
99.998% 99.998% 100.000% 99.997% 99.999% 99.995% 99.998% 99.992%
99.996% 99.991% 99.994% 100.000% 99.996% 99.999% 99.997% 99.903%
99.998% 100.000% 99.998% 99.999% 99.998% 99.997% 100.000% 99.998%
99.905% 99.611% 99.915% 99.912% 99.611% 99.999% 99.996% 99.998%
99.998% 99.998% 99.611% 99.612% 99.998% 99.608% 99.611% 99.704% ^C
--- Results after 72 passes ---
Best: 100.000% -- Worst: 99.608% -- Average: 99.925795%
Cumulative Accuracy (not per pass): 99.998

Looking at the Worst number you see how it varies in the 10'th of a percent, this is likely to cause problems. Acceptable variation is in the 100'th or 1,000'th of a percent. We have modified the wandriver that comes from Sangoma, who currently don't support dahdi from version 2.26 and later, to have a workable solution. Our patch works with most server hardware.

We have identified several factors which makes it hard to debug when they show these type of numbers. A key one is interrupts, for example, with the Radeon driver we see how a completely disrelated device which is not on the same IRQ or memory, is causing a problem for the Sangoma USB timing stick. We now disable the Radeon acceleration by default on boot.

Another problem area is routers who often have a "helpful" feature turned on by default which rewrites header information and cause SIP problems. They vary with manufacturer but are often called things such as Address Persistent NAT and ALG (Application Layer Gateway). Turn them off!

An additional server may be needed to process and store recordings. Storing and processing recordings on each dialer is not cost effective and will degrade the performance of your dialers. Our Archive server automatically receives the recordings (two for each conversation), mix them into one file and convert it to an easily accessible format.

OSDial has an automated system for transferring files to the Archive server continuously. In turn it can copy files to a remote location, for example, a client's FTP server. Full logging keeps you informed of any issues that might occur, such as network issues or a busy remote server.


Please note that our license has certain requirements, but the limitations applies mainly if you redistribute the software or provide it as a hosted service. In the case of the latter you will need a different license with us.

Know the FCC Telemarketing rules. On Feb 15, 2012 new rules were adopted.

Download OSDial images here:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/osdial/files/osdial/3.0/osdial-3.0.1-x86_64.iso/download

Verify the downloaded iso file is not corrupted:
If you know how, it's a good idea to verify that the .iso image has been downloaded properly.

Version 3.0.2 - x86_64 - Current
SHA1: 4eab3a81f82b1364196f84c0d90481571110cd19
MD5: 676e9b7da741f3d051b72191b7cddedb

Version 3.0.2 - i386 - Current
SHA1: b59e7801753a41beb4e67bfcca5dc8bbc69c5a1c
MD5: a962b83ea67e2e4d35321afda7c76fc7

Version 3.0.1 - x86_64
SHA1: 1409eefb82cc618591ef6be5ac2bc6374c7d1908
MD5: 3fd13844102d02647761967c581ee060

Version 3.0.1 - i386
SHA1: fb7d29122a8d4984930f3f68b6f14650523f0348
MD5: 19733bffe6c9a09becd4ea763d9e52e2


Once you have booted from the install DVD you have the option to customize the installation to the function it will serve. In other words you can choose from these: (Parenthesis contains our identification, used as the suffix when in creating the host name.
For example, American Business Corp's company ID + suffix becomes abc-a1.)

osdial – Single Server (All in one - o1)
osdial-control – SQL & Web server (Combined - c1)
osdial-sql – SQL server (SQL - s1)
osdial-web – Web server (Web - w1)
osdial-dialer – Dialer server (Dialer - d1)
osdial-archive – Archive server (Archive - a1)

This selection does not integrate them into a multi server cluster but selects the appropriate packages for the function. The cluster integration still has to be done manually by our support staff. The install DVD lists all your install options.

NOTE: As soon as the install is completed, update to the latest version by logging in as root on the server and run:

yum clean all;yum update

Subscribe to the RSS feed for code updates.

Update instructions and Announce List.

We have a User Guide for sale.

Paid support and training is also available, customizations, documentation and certified hardware.

Our most highly recommended carrier is WSS Communications with no monthly fee's, no additional charges of any kind, with a rate at approx 1 penny per minute. Together with superb service and support they can also perform a site survey to find all available fiber, and other, connections for your location. Today T1/PRI technology is dead and has been replaced by fiber.

Binfone is a carrier with hight voice quality and good service which makes it an excellent backup carrier. (We always suggest having more than one carrier available.)

Get started with OSDial now, contact us at 800-221-0251!