If you have a small business (in our case, eight to ten people) you can run your phones through a private branch exchange (PBX) on Amazon Web Service’s EC2 and make some serious cost savings. At the same time you get a huge increase in flexibility over proprietary analogue PBXs or a typical hosted IP PBX.
The underlying technology of almost every hosted PBX is Asterisk – an open source implementation of a software PBX. The PBX in A Flash (PIAF) distribution combines Asterisk with the excellent FreePBX interface in a simple turnkey package. I’ve fired it up on a few out-of-date PCs and even a Raspberry Pi but I really like the idea of having the PBX outside the office firewall so staff can work from home if they need to. Moving offices is a snap too; just pick up the phones and plug them in at the new premises.
We already have about twelve servers running on EC2 so it was a logical step to see if the PBX could live there too. If it worked out there would be huge advantages in commissioning, running, scaling and backing up the server if it is running in EC2.