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Aging telephony server needs a motherboard with an ISA slot!

By paulsadler ·
I'm curious if anyone out there could help. When I was hired here, I inherited an aging telephony system that is based upon Intel Dialogic telephony boards, 2 of which are currently PCI, and other being an old ISA.

Ideally I'd like to throw these boards into a P4 system, but I've yet to see a P4 based board with any ISA slots. I'm willing to go P3, but I'd like to keep the speed above or at 1 GHz.

Would anyone have any advice for me? We're getting random, odd crashes, and after replacing all the components with known-good ones, it seems to be the motherboard itself.

I did suggest simply buying a PCI based telephony board, but we could truly get by with what we have, and a new mobo is easily 1/10 the cost of a new telephony board.

Thanks in advance!!!

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Buy Now - Save Later

by JimHM In reply to Aging telephony server ne ...

As the old saying goes - "Pay me now or Pay me Later, but you're going to Pay me." Have the company bite the bullet now, with a complete system with updated Hardware and software.

Present it with - what happens if the System fails and there is currently no replacement or backup. Here is the downtime costs and rebuilding costs to keep the old system. Here is the costs of a new system - with these added features ... 1, 2, 3, 4, ... X. Additional auditing and call controls.

You're painting yourself into a corner that you may not be able to get out of if you patch that system for to long.

Bite the bullet and upgrade... PS - they should of been upgrading all along... but thats another budget story .. right.

(As they say been there done that - worked with a EMS organization that had a 486 running the phone systems. They never upgraded. The software wouldn't run on 98, NT, 2k or XP. - Cost of maintenance over the past 7 years would of been around $15,000 - new system when the old one died ... Emergency installation and equipment purchases over $35,000... The numbers justify it..) Good Luck

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In a perfect world, yes

by paulsadler In reply to Buy Now - Save Later

To management, I've painted what I believe to be an excellent picture with a world in which lives a telephony server which does not crash, and needs little to no maintenance. Sure the initial investment is higher, quite a bit higher actually, but the benefits seem to go in one ear and out the other. I'm new in my position, so I suspect I'm not getting the respect that I deserve yet.

When I proposed the upgrade I highly downplayed it as a cheap, temporary solution that may not actually work. Yet somehow I'm stuck here scouring the web looking for old hardware.

Can you tell I'm frustrated?

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Ah Management and its Vision (or lack of)

by JimHM In reply to In a perfect world, yes

I can tell you're at the same point I was at one time. My advise for that is make sure you document everything, all your recommendation, alternatives, pricing, implementation schedule. And something to show that Management got a copy of it - either Email receipt or memo of why it was rejected.

Because when the "Defecation hits the rotatory oscillator" - you are going to be blamed!

When I worked at a major Utility I had made a recommendation to upgrade the network stability (old ChokenRing - with no management tools), we would get a beaconing node every couple of weeks which would cause an outage for 30 minutes or so until we found it (by hand - removing hubs).

Well, I put together a proposal, implementation schedule, recommended solution cost, alternates and costs, cost justification with ROI's and TCO (Cost of 1 day outage to corporation was over $2 mill - cost of fix $256K). The VP of IT turned it down, I asked him to please send me a memo about why just for my records - whether it was the solution or costs.

Six months later we got a beaconing node that we couldn't locate - took 2 days to recover. CEO was jumping Ugly - and the VP of IT blamed me and my boss. Oops magically the proposal and rejection memo were handed to the CEO..

Guess who was looking for a new job - and guess who got $500K to put in the solution in two weeks.

So - sounds like they have you lined up as a Duck and it's coming up on Duck Season... Get your CYA's lined up - for a just in case.

Do you have access to any Advisory services - Meta, Gartner, Faulkner, Giga - that would back your recommendation? As a place to find old equipment try AMVET's or Salvation Army or Good Will - I know in my area those outfits clean and sell them for $50 to $100 dollars...

Good Luck

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Industrial PCs

by TheChas In reply to P4 Motherboards with ISA ...

You can still buy industrial PCs and server systems with ISA slots.

One source we use is Axiom.

They have a 4 slot mini chassis with ISA slots.

If you need to do this on the cheap. Check the other systems in house and pick a user with an ISA slot to upgrade to a newer PC.

You can also find older motherboards and systems at the surplus houses such as:


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Hate to break the news, but....

by tony49mcp In reply to Aging telephony server ne ...

Your strategy is sound. Your logic is flawless. Your search is honorable. Your goal is obscure. You may convince the boss that a "Band-Aid" will solve the immediate problem. BUT, if you?re looking to operate the equipment for more than five more years, then purchase the most advanced system your business can afford. Tomorrow is another thirty-year advance in technology.

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Do yourself a favour

by Oz_Media In reply to Hate to break the news, b ...

Avoid computer hardware manugacturers that are jumping into the telephony world.

FIRST hand:
3-Com IP Hardware(run screaming)
AVAYA - Not bad but very limited feature sets
Software based - well...

Telephony hardware: IP to IP telephony is common and often provided without problem by PC manufacturers.
When it comes to terminating IP to POTS it is best to use a telephone system manufacturer.
NEC, NORTEl are the leaders with Mitel behind.

These company's were introducing iptelephony before the start of the Internet. Bite the bullet, spend the cash and you can configure over 2000 features to your liking instead of 200. Most importantly, the hardware works. It is REALLY expensive depending on your size, NEC has a very powerful entry level migratable IP/Key system available in the IPK series. For larger orhznizations I'd recommend the NEAX 2000 or perhaps Notrel's BCM 3.5.

You can play with IP telephony or you can make it work for you, it's your choice but could also be your headache.

Spend the money and do it right, once and for all.

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OZ is correct here

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Do yourself a favour

But as you obviously have budgetry constraints involved I would put everything on paper and submit it to whoever is responsible but keep a copy on file and any responces about your proposal so when things go really wrong you don't carry the can for the problems and you can show that you're recomendations was ignored.

As far as M'Boards go with ISA slots there is a Gigabyte P111 model GA-6VX7B-4X that will take P111's greater than 1 GIG but good luck finding one as they are now obsolute however if you can get your hands on one Intel will be able to sell you a new P111 from stock of whatever speed you need.

I hope that is of some help to you.

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Here's a P4 MBoard with 3 ISA slots - $170

by maxwell edison In reply to Aging telephony server ne ...

Soyo SY-P4I 845PE ISA P4(478)/DDR 333/A&L/ATX Motherboard

MEMORY: 3 184-PIN SUPPORT DDR333/266/200 MAX. 2GB
IDE: ATA 66/100
I/O: 6*USB2.0

ebay link:

REMOVE SPACES from the pasted URL

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Why P4??

by GuruOfDos In reply to Aging telephony server ne ...

There are dozens of Socket A (Duron/Athlon) boards with at least one ISA slot. Bang for buck, the AMD is a faster, better processor too!

Gigabyte GA-7IXEH (1xAGP, 5xPCI, 1xISA and it WILL work with an 8 way ISA slot extender) leaps off the top of my head as one, and I've tried plenty of others. We still build ISA cards for control applications so still need ISA motherboards on a monthly basis. They haven't dried up yet, but AMD based boards with ISA are far more common than P4 offerings, at least on my side of the pond!

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