Recently I have been involved in a couple of projects which required both Lync EV and Exchange UM. In order to do some testing I needed to get some kind of PBX into my lab environment. After searching the internet I found a ton of information but not a single source that showed all the “correct” implementation steps. This is what I hope to provide in this series. I decided that it would probably be too much for a single blog so I am going to break it up into 3. This series will contain the following articles:

  1. Exchange 2013 and Lync 2013 Integration with AsteriskNOW PBX Pt. 1 – this will describe how to get AsteriskNOW configured with local PBX extensions. This will allow us to utilize softphones to call between PBX users.
  2. Exchange 2013 and Lync 2013 Integration with AsteriskNOW PBX Pt. 2 – next we need to tie our new PBX into the Lync 2013 infrastructure. This will include creating PSTN GWs\Trunks, EV Enabled Users, Auto Attendant, EVA, etc…
  3. Exchange 2013 and Lync 2013 Integration with AsteriskNOW PBX Pt. 3 – lastly we will finish up integration from Lync 2013 to Exchange 2013 for Unified Messaging.

OK so let’s get started with installing our AsteriskNOW PBX. First lets download both AsteriskNOW 3.0.0 (http://www.asterisk.org/downloads/asterisknow) and your favorite softphone, for which I chose X-Lite (http://www.counterpath.com/x-lite-for-windows-download.html). I am utilizing HyperV and VMs for my lab but you can adjust to any environment you are using.

1. Creating AsteriskNOW Virtual Server

If using HyperV Manager than right click the HyperV Host server and select new virtual machine. Give this server a name, 1GB of memory, 20GB of Storage, and for networking make sure this is “not connected”, and click finish to create the virtual machine. Now before starting the server we need to setup networking. The reason we left this blank during the VM creation wizard is because we have to use the "older" legacy network adapter. In the console right click the newly crated vm, choose settings, and then “Add Hardware”. On the right hand side select Legacy Network Adapter and click Add. Make sure you set this legacy adapter to connect to the virtual switch that your other VMs are connected. Now attach the .ISO we downloaded above to the CD\DVD Image so that we can boot into the AsteriskNOW setup wizard.

2. AsteriskNOW Setup

After booting the VM you will be presented with the screen below. Select option 1 to install Asterisk 11 and Free PBX. Next select Reinitialize All, Choose your Time zone, set the root password, and allow Linux to setup the partitioning. The setup should take anywhere from 10-15 minutes.

Now we need to set the AsteriskNow server to use a static IP. Login as the root account you created during setup and type system-config-network. This will bring up a select action window. Select Device Configuration, hit enter on your NIC, and type in your information (see below). For the DNS server put your AD DNS server that Lync and Exchange have configured. After typing this information click OK, Save, and then select DNS configuration. Type in your AD DNS information similar to below. I put 4.2.2.2 as an additional DNS server on the internet but this isn’t needed if your AD DNS can send DNS requests to an Internet DNS server. Now click OK, Save&Quit, and then type shutdown –r now at the command prompt to reboot the server.

3. Create PBX Extensions

With AsteriskNow and FreePBX you can do most of the configuration from the FreePBX Admin Webpage. Go to http://asteriskserverip, click FreePBX Administration, and then type admin for both the username and password. You will see the Administration console below. Click on Applications, Extensions, select Generic SIP Device and click Submit. Fill in the information below and create a couple of users (screenshot below).

Extenstion – I am using 3XXX for Asterisk

DisplayName – Unique User Identifier

Secret – similar to password (keep track of this because we will need it)

Context – from-internal

Make sure after adding the users you click “Apply Config” at the top of the screen or these changes won’t get submitted.

4. Setup X-Lite Softphone Users

Now we need to setup the X-Lite client on two computers. Technically these computers don’t have to contain audio devices but you will want this for the future if possible. I am not going to walk through the X-Lite installation because this is a basic next, next, finish. Let’s configure the X-Lite client on both machines with the 2 users we created in Step 3. Once opening the X-Lite client, click Softphone, Account Settings and fill in the information we used in Step 3 (see below). The Password is what we put into the Secret field  (1User1) during the creation of the user. Click ok and you should get logged into the Asterisk box.

5. Call testing between X-Lite Users

Once X-Lite is installed and configured on both workstations lets dial one of the users extensions from the other pc. Connected!!

Now we successfully setup calling between two users on our AsteriskNow PBX. In the next article of this series we will dive into how to connect AsteriskNow Users with Lync 2013 Enterprise Voice enabled users.