Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Securing Applications and Server with SSL Certificate

With the advent of web-enabled applications today, the popularity of securing its usage with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is growing.

SSL is simply a digital identity for a server or website. The identification relies on authentication by a well-known and reliable certificate authority (CA). This is the reason most SSL certificates are issued by CA such as DigiCert, GeoTrust and Thawte. See DigiCert Malaysia.

Increasingly, organizations are using SSL to secure applications such as Virtual Private Network (VPN), tele-conference, email server and Active Directory (AD) server. Of course, the common usage of securing a website with SSL certificate (HTTPS) has also increased with the recent change of Google's preference over HTTPS websites (URL secured with SSL certificate). If you have a server or application you want to secure, do consider the use of SSL certificate.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Super Wi-Fi

I recently came across 'Super Wi-Fi' technology which makes me rethink the possibilities of wireless connectivity. Super WiFi is a wireless technology that enables long range WiFi connectivity to up to 900 metres, as opposed to common WiFi range of 200 metres.

Although not really based on WiFi technology (2.4Ghz frequency range), Super WiFi can be easily used together with WiFi devices to extend the coverage of an area. Imagine being able to surf the Internet easily within a few blocks area with just one Super WiFi base station - no addtional extenders, no APs.

One example of Super WiFi application is setting up an ad-hoc telecommunication network for disaster or emergency use. With just one Super WiFi base station, rescue team can easily setup a telecommunication network with a PBX and wireless cellphones. With quicker setup and better communication on the scene, rescuers have better chances in handling the situation.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Panasonic Softphone

Panasonic softphone is a piece of software that runs on your PC and performs functionalities of an actual telephone. It is known as KX-NCS0350 in US or KX-NCS8100 in UK and the rest of the world.

Panasonic softphone supports KX-TDA 100 and higher, including KX-TDE and KX-NCP PBX. It is a proprietary softphone, which means it does not work with PBX of other brands, nor does it supports SIP. However, Panasonic PBX does support SIP through third party SIP phones.

The main feature of Panasonic softphone is it looks exactly like the real telephone, but sitting in your PC desktop. This provides a user-friend interface for users that are more familiar with the physical telephone. It is best to use a headphone with a microphone with the softphone.

The setup of Panasonic softphone involves more network configuration than normal 'plug-and-play' physical telephone. You have to first register the softphone to the PBX (following the steps in the manual) before you can start using it. That being said, you should purchase a license from your Panasonic dealer before registering or using the softphone.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What is Asterisk?

(It has been a while since the last article. Today we are going to fast-forward to a topic more relevant to today's PBX industry landscape: Asterisk)


Put simply, Asterisk is a software-based PBX. By running Asterisk software, your PC can perform the functions of a PBX. Asterisk can also act as a gateway to public telephone network, a VoIP server, ACD server for call centers or IVR system.

Now that we answered "What", lets take a look at the other wives and the husband :-)

Asterisk was originally written by by Mark Spencer of Digium. However, it was released into open source under GNU General Public License (GPL) and therefore, owned and supported by the open source community. Digium is the company that provides commercial support and licensing to those who wish to extend Asterisk as closed source product.

Digium Inc is located in the United States.

Asterisk was first created in 1999.
Version 1.0 was released in 2004.
Current version 1.8 was released in 2010.

Asterisk itself is a set of software building blocks where you can configure and customise. It is not a turnkey solution. However, Digium does provide out-of-the-box Asterisk package that is easy to install and use.

One important point is that with Asterisk, you would still need to interface the hardware (ie. your PC) with the telephone system. This can be done in several ways. One way is to install T1/E1 interface card on your PC and connect them to the T1/E1 interface card of the PBX or direct to the carrier.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

PBX Unit Components

In physical, PBX is made up of several components. Take a look at the comparison of NEC, Panasonic and Toshiba PBX unit below :

NEC Aspila Topaz

Panasonic KX-TDA100

Toshiba Strata CIX100

Whatever the make, a PBX unit is composed several standard components or parts.

Below is the break down of anatomy of a PBX :

  • Main shelf or casing
    This is the plastic cover that protects the internal components and wiring.

  • CPU or processor
    This is the brain of the PBX that performs all the logic and switching. In some IP PBX, it also acts as the digital signal processor (DSP).

  • Card slots
    For PBX that supports cards expansion, these are the empty slots for you to add more cards for more capacity or functionality. The slot interface is usually proprietary.

  • Cards
    These are the modular cards which can be added to or removed from the PBX. Each card provides specialized function. However, most common PBX models has a card for phone extensions.

  • Power supply
    This component provides the power to the whole PBX, namely the processor and cards. One aspect to pay attention to is that the power rating is enough for all the cards in the PBX.

With these knowledge and vocalbularies in place, it would be easier for you to understand details of PBX inner-workings later.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

IP PBX Market Share in Japan 2006

IP PBX Market Share in Japan 2006

NEC 28.3%
Fujitsu 21.7%
Oki 16.9%
Hitachi 16.6%
Avaya 4.8%
Panasonic 4.6%
Cisco 2.8%
Others 4%

NEC US 1997

(More to be posted as data become available)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Toshiba PBX Series

Toshiba, which started in engineering and electronics, had only launched its PBX products in the late 1990's.

Year : Series
1996 : SRATA DK (analogue)
2002 : STRATA CTX (hybrid)
2004 : STRATA CIX (IP)

Although a latecomer, Toshiba PBX models has shifted from analogue to hybrid to IP technology in a relatively short time.