The quick answer is 3CX. Their SBC (Session Border Controller) is a game changer for remote phone deployment.

What does the SBC do?

The SBC greatly simplifies remote phone deployment by creating a powerful connection to an offsite PBX. It routes traffic between the two as if they are on the same local network. It has the added benefit of allowing phones to be plug and play provisioned, as well as encrypting and encapsulating voice traffic through the device. The added encryption allows voice traffic to bypass problematic firewall features (such as SIP ALG) that may be present on consumer grade or ISP provided routers. There is increasing adoption of this technology, with the likes of cloud based 3CX instances (e.g. PBXs deployed into AWS, Azure, OVH, etc. via the PBX express tool). The SBC can be installed onto a Windows, Linux or Raspberry Pi machine, and can be a low-cost alternative to a VPN.

What’s new or changing?

3CX SBC enhancements are coming – there are a couple of key quality of life improvements. Along with the latest fixes and security updates, the new software adds significant improvements to the high availability (HA) cluster configuration. HA allows for the setup of a second SBC on a supported operating system – such as Debian or Raspbian Linux. It can sit as a standby clustered instance in case of failure of the primary. The HA cluster eliminates the single point of failure at a remote site, with minimal disruption during the switchover. Changes in this Beta offer an easier and more streamlined High Availability Cluster setup.

The Ping Resource service has also undergone a valuable tweak. It can be set to enabled or disabled during the initial configuration. When enabled the cluster can be specified to ping up to 3 IP or FQDN addresses, as ping targets for monitoring the state of the system. This allows for the cluster to be used, regardless of any ping messaging restrictions that may be in place on the network. Time zone is now set during the initial configuration rather than having to remember to set it after setup, and changes have been made to the uninstall process to make it cleaner and simpler to redeploy an SBC in case of misconfiguration.

Please note that as this is still a Beta, it is not recommended for live production environments just yet. Want to know more about the 3CX SBC and its upcoming changes?  Or do you want advice on configuration?  Drop us a line!